There has been a lot of talk about the migrant caravan coming to the U.S.- Mexico border from Central America. It has been reported that the caravan is carrying LGBT people who have been persecuted in their own country.
Neta, a non-profit organization with the assistance of the caravan organizer Pueblo Sin Fronteras posted a video on Facebook. The video shows the vast diversity of sexual and gender identities. This is a direct call to stop discrimination and violence against women and LGBT people in Central and South America.
It is important to point out that the reasons for the caravan is vastly different than what has been stated by the Trump administration. “The purpose, they say, is not to encourage Central American migration, nor to ‘storm’ the U.S. southern border,” The Hill reports. “Rather, by traveling in large numbers, the caravans provide protection for Central Americans who are vulnerable to abuse as they cross through Mexico.”
According to The Hill, the abuse includes “extortion, rape or even kidnapping by gangs and drug cartels,” And there is no evidence that members of the caravan are perpetrators, as Trumps stated last week. “There is almost no actual evidence on which to base this claim,” The Washington Post reports, adding. “There don’t appear to be any mainstream news reports of a rape epidemic taking place in the caravan. The only mentions of rape with regard to the caravan in recent days, in fact, refer to criminal behavior that the migrants have been trying to escape in their home countries or along the route.”
It is not uncommon to see migrant caravans crossing during the Christian Holy Week (the week before Easter), as this caravan set out. Some are indeed seeking asylum in the United States, most are wanting to call attention to the violence in their home countries.
Most caravans consist of roughly 200 to 300 people, this year the number is about 1,500 mostly because of current developments in Honduras, “where gang violence has made the murder rate one of the highest in the world,” The Arizona Republic notes. Many in Honduras are outraged over last year's presidential election where incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez (A U.S. ally) defeated his challenger, and many believe the elections were stolen.
The human right organization The Latin American Working Group (a coalition of groups) issued a report highlighting election fraud, and denouncing U.S. policy toward the nations. “We are reaping what we sow in Honduras: a failure of the international community including the United States to take a strong stance against repression is intensifying the human rights crisis in the country and contributing to the outflow of refugees,” executive director Lisa Haugaard said in a press release.