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Honduras: Bishops about migrants’ exodus, “protecting the human rights of the people who are walking”

“The solution is not asking them to come back, we’ll find a solution in opening long-term opportunities to accomplish their personal and family life, by providing everyone with professional opportunities. Now’s the time to look for humanitarian corridors for the population who is walking in a caravan, but it’s time also for the government, the financial and business sectors, for workers and farmers, and for society as a whole, to join forces and establish a new social contract” to solve this “social tragedy” that is happening in Honduras once and for all. This is one of the most powerful passages from the release issued on Saturday 20th October by the Honduran Bishops Conference (Ceh), speaking of the exodus of thousands of migrants who are trying to reach the United States at the same time, walking as a caravan through Guatemala and Mexico. In the release, the Bishops ask their brother countries “to respect their fundamental rights and to help them on humanitarian grounds”. The Honduran Church – the release says – “acknowledges that every human being is entitled to have a dignified life and a personal, family and communal development. The Honduran State has a duty to provide its citizens with means to cater for their basic necessities, which are: a dignified, permanent and well-paid job, healthcare, education and housing”. The Bishops reflect that migrations happen when such conditions are not met. In addition, the release also points out that migration has been happening for a long time in Honduras: “How many hundreds of Hondurans have left every year, individually, and how many have come back from Mexico and from the United States! We have been deaf to their cries for abuse and for the infringement of their rights along the way, and we have been blind in not seeing such reality. We preferred to rejoice for the arrival of remittances, as if they were a solution to our domestic problems”. So, the new thing is the fact that this has now turned into a mass phenomenon. According to the Bishops, this is not the time to blame the Government or the parties, “we are all jointly responsible”. However, those who have recently ruled the country “did not do a good job”. In the second part of the release, Ceh hopes the more developed countries, first and foremost the United States, may stop contributing to xenophobia and condemning migrants as if they were criminals”. A heartfelt thank-you goes to the brother countries and to the populations of Guatemala and Mexico. A thank-you that goes above all to the Bishops Conferences and to the dioceses concerned, mainly the workers of the Pastoral Care of Human Mobility.

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