Cubans with safe conduct denounce extortions by Honduran immigration agents

Cubans with safe conduct denounce extortions by Honduran immigration agents

On their way through Honduras to the United States, Cubans are extorted by agents of the National Migration Institute (INM). Migrants, regardless of whether they have an official safe-conduct that authorizes legal transit, are required to pay $20 at each checkpoint, according to a report of The Herald of Honduras.

A journalist from the Honduran newspaper infiltrated the groups of migrants and witnessed the abuses committed by the immigration authorities. The bus they were traveling in was stopped, the agents got on and the warning was direct: “This is fast, this is a checkpoint, we are going to give 20 dollars each, put it here,” said one of the uniformed men as he approached them with a tray.

Another of the Cubans exposed the same Honduran journalist that at the Choluteca control station the police randomly selected their victims. They pointed at him and two other nationals with the index finger: “Pam, pam, pam. You, you and you. They took us to an office and they said that every Cuban who passes through that checkpoint must leave 20 dollars regardless of has a safe-conduct,” he said.

This type of extortion had already been reported to 14ymedio last January by Arnaldo Rodriguez, a native of Artemis. At that time, the Honduran policemen took away this Cuban’s passport, forcing him to pay a $218 fine to the INM. This sanction established in article 104 numeral 1 of the Immigration and Immigration Law was suspended by way of amnesty last August.

“This is fast, this is a checkpoint, we are going to give 20 dollars each, put it here,” one of the uniformed men sentenced as he brought them a tray.

Anselmo Mayedo, who left the island in 2021 and is currently in Mexico waiting for his brother and nephew to catch up with him, told this Thursday to 14ymedio that he took the Managua route and crossed through Honduras, where he was “threatened by the police” and suffered the theft of 400 dollars. The entry from Nicaragua to Honduras, he says, is through the sectors of Danlí, Trojes, Guasaule, La Bucana or El Porvenir.

“The group, in which six Cubans came, took a bus to get to El Porvenir. We got off and walked through a forest until we reached Trojes, where the police took us and took our passports,” says Mayedo.

The INM reported that this year 50,059 Cuban migrants, 30,374 Venezuelans, 6,444 Ecuadorians and 3,918 Haitians have entered Honduras irregularly. They are followed, in order, by 1,000 from Colombia, 811 from India, 806 from the Dominican Republic, 720 from Senegal and 647 from Angola, among others for a total of 101,392 irregular migrants.

77.3% of the migrants entered Honduras through the municipalities of Danlí and Trojes, department of El Paraíso, bordering Nicaragua. El Paraíso has become in recent months a new route that migrants, mainly from Cuba, Venezuela and Haiti, are using to continue towards the United States.

Honduran authorities say that most migrants who enter the country do so irregularly, through “blind spots” through human traffickers, known as coyoteswho do not always take them to the border with Guatemala.

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