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Those Who Never Make It and the Suffering of Those Left Behind: The Fate of Honduran Missing Migrants and their Families

Author(s): Elisabeth Kirchbichler

Journal: Encuentro
ISSN 0424-9674

Issue: 87;
Start page: 61;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Missing Migrants | Honduras | Undocumented Migration | Families of Migrants

Every day Hondurans leave their country to migrate to the U.S undocumented, risking their lives on the journey. Some reach the U.S.; many are deported after being picked up by either the Mexican or the U.S. authorities. This article focuses on a little acknowledged third group, those who go missing on the trip, and their families, who are left worrying and wondering what has happened. It looks at the cases of fou missing migrants in the area of El Progreso, in north-western Honduras, considering what is at the root of their decision to migrate, what is suspected to have happenedto them, how the situation is affecting their families and what the latter do to find them. It also examines the support they receive. These relatives are affiliated with a self-help committee founded with the aim of finding out what has happened. In the process of doing so, the committee has not only been able to locate some of thosemissing and put the topic on the public and political agenda in Honduras, its most active members have gained a previously unknown confidence in their ability to take the outcome of their lives into their own hands.
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