Guatemala: When the immigrants of Central America aren’t raping and murdering, they look more like starving climate refugees.
The Central American nations that are the main source of attempted migrations north through Mexico are fleeing drought, heatwaves and rain pattern disruption, long term conditions that are as much a driver of their desperation as the failed states they inhabit. The migration is only one of several major global mass climate people movements, a meta historical event all but ignored by an American media too busy promoting Democratic debates as if they were professional wrestling bouts.
Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador are a Hellscape of poverty unrest, gang activity and violence (a hefty percentage of which is rooted in a long history of American governmental interference in the region – but that’s another story). It’s so bad that hundreds of thousands of parents would rather risk ICE, starvation, death and the thugs of the Build the Wall gang, on the long shot that they will find asylum. Americans are aware of this only peripherally, when not too busy debating whether or not Shaikira was wearing enough clothes at the Super Bowl. And we seem to blame the victims.
We virtually never hear about the other more powerful force driving the refugees: the ongoing collapse of the ecosystems that the people of Central America rely upon for food. The region is into the fifth year of a drought and heat wave that encompasses large chunks of these largely rural nations. Rainfall and other once stable weather patterns have been disrupted, leaving agricultural yields a fraction of what they once were. The average temperature in the region has risen about 1° F in 60 years and rainfall continues to decrease. Climate scientists predict that conditions are only going to get worse as catastrophic floods increase and coastlines are eaten by the rising ocean.**
About 80% of this year’s maize crop was destroyed by drought, with something like 15,000 children under 5 suffering acute malnutrition.
The World Food Programme estimates that about one million Guatemalans fall short of normal daily food requirements.
The millions of Americans who hate these immigrants don’t care to know about mass starvation on a dying land. And it’s not as if these are Muslim nations, full of people who are just naturally terrorists. No, these are our fellow Christians (albeit “Catholics” – close enough). And it’s not as if the “taking jobs from hardworking Americans argument holds water at this point, if it ever did.
The key to denying “the other” access to your prosperity is to demonize them, and no one does it better than Trump and his moral minions. And that makes it easier on the conscience when you see the pictures of kids begin taken from their parents, on purpose, as a warning to other would be lawbreakers.
The lawbreakers who are trying to feed their kids.