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UNHCR North of Central America Situation Fact Sheet August 2020

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Around 470,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from the North of Central America in the world and 318,590 internally displaced people in Honduras and El Salvador.

NCA continues to report a high rate of daily infections, especially in Honduras where Dengue is also on the rise. Violence against minority groups, including indigenous and afrodescendant communities has been reported across the region.

A new tropical depression impacted NCA causing damages due to floods, landslides and river overflows. Most of the communities were recovering from tropical storm Amanda, the consequences of COVID-19 and other issues related to violence.

CONTEXT

Violence and insecurity continue unabated in northern of Central America. In El Salvador, although the number of homicides and missing persons reportedly fell in the first half of 2020 as compared to 2019, civil society organizations report the human rights situation has worsened during 2020, particularly violence against women and internet crimes. In addition, members of the LGBTI community continue to report discrimination and violence, heightening their vulnerability to internal forced displacement and extortion.

In 2020, Honduras registered 30 massacres that killed a total of 110 persons, 40% of which took place in the Central District (including Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela). According to the National Police, the increase in murders in the Central District is a result of the expansion of criminal activities (drug trafficking, extortions) of gangs and disputes over control of the territory. UNHCR has observed an increase in SGBV cases, with 30 registered in San Pedro Sula between 14 March and 12 August, 60% of whom among deportees.

In Guatemala, the homicide rate, activities by gangs and other organized crime groups are reportedly increasing since the COVID-19 traffic light system was put in place. Several violent events have reportedly forced 40 indigenous families off their land after an armed group set fire to several of their residences, according to the information provided by a land rights group.

UNHCR and partners continue to provide assistance to persons of concern, and to advance on community-based interventions to ensure continuity of humanitarian access in prioritized high-risk communities affected by the increasing levels of violence.