Hunger Impels Migration from Central America

Lack of food, not the incidence of crime and gang violence, is the biggest reason people are fleeing El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala for the southern border of the United States, and parts farther north.

According to a joint report by the World Food Program, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Organization of American States and the International Organization for Immigration, “food insecurity” in the area known as the Northern Triangle, in Central America, is the cause of mass emigration.

“The impact of climate change is very drastic in the Dry Corridor and particularly in El Salvador,” that country’s foreign minister, Hugo Martinez, said on August 23.  “In 2015 alone, we lost 470,000 tons of maize and about 6,000 tons of beans.”

The corporate media is full of stories alleging widespread malnutrition in Venezuela, where the right wing opponents of left-populist President Nicolas Maduro are guilty of hoarding, and even destruction of food and other basic supplies.  Yet there is little coverage of more desperate conditions in countries where Washington and Ottawa are not promoting regime change.

Photo: One of the areas most affected by extreme hazards, in particular natural hazards, is the Dry Corridor of Central America, with recurrent droughts, excessive rains and severe flooding affecting agricultural production. Photo: FAO