Latin America & the Caribbean: Weekly Situation Update (28 December 2019 - 5 January 2020) As of 6 January 2020
54.5K GUATEMALANS RETURNED FROM THE US IN 2019
29.1K UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS PASSED THROUGH HONDURAS IN 2019
254% INCREASE IN NICARAGUANS RETURNED FROM THE US FROM 2018 TO 2019
MEXICO & CENTRAL AMERICA: MIGRANTS & REFUGEES
The Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM) reports that the US deported 54,547 Guatemalans in 2019, a record number and the third straight year of rising deportations from the US. Migration experts in Guatemala say that the rising migration figures are related to deteriorating social and economic conditions, especially in rural areas of the country.
The National Migration Institute (INM) reported that 29,197 undocumented migrants passed through Honduras in 2019, a new record. According to INM, Honduras saw 92,157 undocumented migrants pass through since January 2014. Some 51,113 migrants, more than half the total, are from Cuba. The country with the next highest total is Haiti with 21,566 (23 per cent), followed by 3,976 from Cameroon (4.3 per cent), 3,588 Congolese migrants (3.8 per cent) and 1,760 from Eritrea (1.9 per cent). INM data shows that 66 per cent of undocumented migrants during this reporting period were men, while 34 per cent were women.
End-of-year statistics from the United States Customs and Border Protection show that some 2,240 Nicaraguans were sent back to Nicaragua during 2019, a 254 per cent increase from the 879 deportations reported in 2018. Similar statistics from Costa Rican migration authorities show that 55,900 Nicaraguans entered the country in 2019, with 33,600 asylum requests and 27,900 pending claims and 8,200 labour permits issued.
28.6K HOMICIDE VICTIMS IN MEXICO DURING 2019, THE MOST SINCE 1997
28.4% FEWER HOMICIDES IN EL SALVADOR DURING 2019 COMPARED TO 2018
MEXICO & CENTRAL AMERICA: CHRONIC VIOLENCE
Security officials reported that 2019 closed with a total of 28,645 homicide victims, a record tally since the National Public Security System (SESNSP) began keeping official records in 1997. The central state of Guanajuato registered the highest number of homicides with more than 3,200, followed by Baja California in the northwest and Mexico State in central Mexico, who each registered more than 2,600 homicides.
Due to its location on the United States-Mexico border, Baja California’s chronic violence poses protection risks to arriving migrants seeking to cross the border into the US.
On 2 January, President Nayib Bukele reported that December 2019 closed out as El Salvador’s most peaceful month since 1992. The 120 homicides registered in December represent a daily average of 3.87 deaths, down from the daily average of 8.91 in June 2019 when Bukele took office.
Between 1 January 2019 and 28 December 2019, El Salvador registered 2,374 homicides, a substantial decrease from the 3,316 homicides recorded during the same reporting period in 2018.