A young member of the spring 2018 refugee caravan waves a Honduran flag atop the US-Mexico border wall in Playas Tijuana. Photo Credit: Tina Shull
Coming Soon: Stories from the Migrant Caravan
by Monica Curca and Thor Morales of Activate Labs
Members of the Viacrusis Migrantes en la luche ("Migrants in Struggle" Refugee Caravan) in Mexico in April 2018. Photo Credit: Pueblo sin Fronteras
This Caravan is Yours, Mr. Trump
When the people of my country of Honduras decide to leave, they do not leave because they lack love for Honduras, but because the need demands it. When these people begin their route north, their feelings are conflicted and painful.
I know this by experience.
And for many, these justifications don’t stop their feelings of guilt for leaving their beloved home, family, and origin behind. We go because we are forced to leave, because we are left with no choice, and because we have no other options. When Hondurans decide to leave, Mr. Trump, you are also responsible. We seek opportunities to better our lives, opportunities which in Honduras have been stolen by the corrupt leaders that you and your international policies have imposed on us.
Eighty percent of the migrants were prompted to leave by the extreme levels of poverty in Honduras. The poverty in Honduras is maintained by 200 leaders here who, by endorsing your international politics, impose on us a culture of looting, exile, and modern slavery that plunges us into misery.
They destroy our natural resources, displace us from our ancestral territories, and promote a culture of consumption that displaces our traditions. These migrants leave Honduras because they are hungry and thirsty. They are hungry because the land they previously used to produce food for themselves is now used only for bio-industries that powers engines, but not humans. They are thirsty because the rivers that previously provided water for them to drink are reserved for corporations and for the generation of energy, thanks to your endorsement of this international policy.
They leave because of violence in Honduras, Mr. Trump. Although you already know this, Honduras has the highest indexes of violence, the highest insecurity rates, the most corrupt police force, and the most repressive military in the region. And, I tell you, Mr. Trump, your international policy is the reason for this violence. It is your funding and “aid” that you send under the pretext of fighting drug trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, and regional security that is used to arm this murderous Honduran army, to equip this corrupt Honduran police, and to generate this culture of fear that prevents us from claiming our right to public spaces. These policies are promoted by the bought off media that plants the seeds of fear where they can market peace and use the sale of weapons to achieve this.
The marching migrants from Honduras yell. ¡FUERA JOH!, or Out with Juan Orlando Hernández! I assure you, Mr. Trump, what they yell is synonymous with Out with Trump! Our people know that you, your Department of State, your embassy in Honduras, and your accredited officials support, promote, and uphold the current dictatorial regime (of Juan Orlando Hernández) that you impose in Honduras.
People know that you are an accomplice.
People know that in your silence are the echoes of tortured and dead Hondurans from the post-electoral fraud conflict.
People know that your democratic discourse is more of a sham than a Honduran religious figure.
People know that the invasion of your international policy on our sovereign right to make our own homeland is like a deadly parasite that inhabits our bodies.
For all that, Mr. Trump, I can assure you that this caravan that crosses Mexico is yours. It will eventually reach you, and it will continue adding to those billions of foreigners who will gradually colonize your land. In the end, when you least expect it, you will then be the foreigner. Mr. Trump, the Honduran people are leaving because this is the American continent, not just the United States of America. In our ancestral culture, of which you are not a part, borders do not exist and traveling and moving is part of our worldview.
Borders are an invention of yours and yours alone.
Borders are used to generate fiefdoms and your success in exchange for the pain and suffering of others.
You invented the borders because you are afraid of us. You fear our people who will eventually rise up. We can see beyond the ambiguities of your farce of equality that there is a HUMAN RIGHT, a gift from our people, confirmed in the harmonious relationships that we establish with our Mother Earth and Pachamama: a shared and common home.
Chaco de la Pitoreta
(Hector Efrén Flores)
Poet and Cultural Representative in Honduras