The Latin Pipeline
Honduras is becoming a key staging point for human trafficking rings bringing undocumented Cuban immigrants to the United States, authorities said on Thursday.
The Central American nation has long been a stepping stone for Latin American immigrants bound for the U.S. border, but the government said at least 292 Cubans have washed up on the palm-fringed Caribbean coast this year, up from 177 in 2005.
Migration authorities say organized human trafficking gangs spirit the Cuban nationals north through neighboring Guatemala and Mexico to the United States, in an illicit trafficking pipeline funded by Cuban relatives living stateside.
Honduran Foreign Minister Milton Jimenez said that while authorities give asylum to the Cubans they nab, police have started an investigation to try to break up the human trafficking rings at work in the country.
"We cannot tolerate the fact that there are three or four coyotes (professional smugglers) using our territory," he said.
Under U.S. policy, Cubans who reach U.S. soil can stay but the U.S. Coast Guard works to intercept Cubans coming from the sea. These people are repatriated.
To avoid the Coast Guard, smugglers have shifted their focus to Mexico and Central America, from where Cuban migrants try to make it into the United States.
Somehow I am thinking that it is a lot more than three or four coyotes, but at least they seem interested in doing something about it.
Being extremely sympathetic to Cuban nationals trying to escape Communist tyranny, this would not bother me at all if once they got to Mexico they were forced to seek entry into the U.S. legally due to our efficient border security.
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