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TOPIC: guatemala

Rwanda

How Rich Western Countries Pay To Send Refugees Away

Western countries are shipping refugees to poorer nations in exchange for cash.

The UK government was due to begin its first deportation flight to remove asylum-seekers to the East African country of Rwanda on June 14, 2022, exactly two months after signing the UK-Rwanda agreement. The asylum-seekers were from several war-torn and politically unstable countries, including Syria, Sudan and Iran.

Each year, thousands of people – many fleeing repressive governments or poverty – attempt to cross the English Channel in fragile boats in the hope of starting a new life in the UK.

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Unsafe At Home, Central America's LGBTQ Must Flee For Their Lives

Guatemala has become a transit country for migrants seeking to reach the United States, but it is also a hub for those seeking refuge. Hundreds of migrants remain trapped waiting to be considered as refugees. The chances of receiving a positive response are slim, especially for the LGBTQ community.

GUATEMALA CITY — Madelyn is a 22-year-old trans woman. In Nov. 2021, she migrated from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, to Guatemala City after being repeatedly harassed and attacked by gang members in her country.

Every year, hundreds of migrants arrive in Guatemala to request refuge. In 2019, there were 494 people; in 2020, 487; in 2021, 1,054 and 70 more in Jan. 2022 alone. Everyone must wait at least two years for a resolution, and migration statistics reveal that only 1.7 out of 10 migrants receive a yes as an answer to their asylum request. The situation is more dramatic for applicants from the LGBTQ community because only 2 out of 100 people are accepted.

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A Migrant Odyssey: Haiti To Chile To Mexico's Border, And Beyond

Shella Jean was part of a new migration path from Haiti to the relatively prosperous nation of Chile. But she has since left behind her "Chilean Dream" on a perilous journey northward toward the U.S.-Mexico Border. This is her story.

I met Shella Jean in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in July 2017. The first time I saw her, she was standing next to a gas station in the blazing sun. I remember her face: the almond-shaped eyes, the thick lips, and eyebrows as thin as two strands of thread. Shella took me to her home.

We climbed a steep stone street until we reached a concrete room. It was used as a dining room during the day and a bedroom where she slept with her mother, a cousin and a nephew whom she had to take to Chile to reunite with his parents.

Indeed, accompanying her nephew was not only the mission entrusted to her by her relatives but also her chance to start a new life, away from the misery of her homeland.

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Orange Peel Drama: Soccer Player Takes Flopping For Referee To Fruity New Heights

Diving, flopping and faking for the referee's benefit have become an integral part of modern football. But Guatemalan player Wilfredo Ramos Pérez has taken the craft to the next level of the absurd.

During a match in the Central American country's third division, with one player already on the ground, the referee stopped the match for a foul — that prompted a fan to throw an orange peel on the pitch.

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blog
Bertrand Hauger

Guatemalan Open Carry

Just a friendly walk by the pier? Perhaps. The machetes, or "coupe-coupe" as we French call them, are a multi-purpose tool, and were ubiquitous through much of our Central American travels. But looking back at this scene was also a chilly reminder that Guatemala was, and still is, one of the most violent countries in the world.

Migrant Lives
Giacomo Tognini

Displaced Guatemalans Languish On Mexican Border

LAGUNA LARGA — Four months ago, hundreds of villagers were expelled from their land in the jungles of northern Guatemala. The government claimed they were encroaching on a protected national park, sending over 700 men, women, and children fleeing to the nearby Mexican border. According to the Guatemalan daily Prensa Libre, the refugees continue to languish in squalid conditions without any government help despite growing criticism from human rights organizations.

Over 450 refugees remain trapped in the border area between Guatemala and Mexico, living in unsanitary conditions. Three women suffered miscarriages and three children were born without documents in a border zone, leaving them effectively stateless. Several women are pregnant but there is little medical care available, and there are no schools for the children.

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Geopolitics
Giacomo Tognini

Fleeing Violence, Central American Child Migrants Flock Into Mexico

MEXICO CITY — As the Trump administration threatens to expel nearly a million undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children, Mexico is seeing a spike in arrivals of children fleeing violence in Central America.

Over the past four years, the number of unaccompanied minors from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador seeking asylum in the country surged by 350%, the Mexico City daily El Universal reports.

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blog

Central America: Tri-National Force To Fight Drug Gangs

TEGUCIGALPA — The Central American countries of the "Northern Triangle" (Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala) have long battled gang wars and drug-related crime that have left the region's cities among the world's most dangerous.

Individual attempts in the past to defuse the crisis, including local gang truces and national crackdowns on drugs, have been largely in vain. Now, Honduran daily El Heraldo reports that the three neighbors are uniting to form a tri-national military force to take on the region's myriad drug gangs, which increasingly have links across borders.

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blog

Guatemalan Marimba

Some things never change. If you stay at the Posada de Don Rodrigo in Antigua, Guatemala, it looks like you will still be treated to the sound of a traditional marimba band, as I was 27 years ago.