Unthinkable violence drives Hondurans north to United States Print
Written by Linda Cooper James Hodge   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 21:18

They set out -- alone, terrified and at the utter mercy of gangs and criminals -- on a treacherous journey for the promised land: a mass exodus of children, some as young as 4.

Most are fleeing their homes in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and it is un milagro, a miracle, if they ever arrive at the U.S. border.

The migrant trails through Mexico are torturous and fraught with dangers. Most children must not only endure the blazing desert sun, but get through La Arrocera, a lawless region where many have been beaten, robbed or raped. More than a few are murdered.

They are often shaken down by corrupt Mexican police and immigration officers who threaten to deport them unless they pay a bribe. Some are kidnapped and held in groups until relatives pay a ransom.

But if their luck holds -- if they escape serious injury and have not been deported or abducted -- they might catch a ride on the roof of a freight train that could bring them near the U.S. border.

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