Fronteras: From 'Northern Triangle' To US-Mexico Border
The thousands of Central Americans arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has fueled calls for increased border security and immigration reform. Officials on both sides of the border have their take on the issue, but what about thoughts from those who meet with the refugees along their journey? Jason Cone and Samuel Almeida are with Médecins Sans Frontières, better known as Doctors Without Borders.
Violence, extortion, and a lack of jobs are the main reasons people flee from the “Northern Triangle”: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Those three countries are considered the most violent in the world. MSF is a global nonprofit that provides medical assistance to victims of conflict, epidemics and disasters. Many of those individuals are refugees fleeing war zones, or — in the case of Central America — refugees fleeing countries that have become like war zones.
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Cone, executive director of MSF, and Almeida, MSF’s regional advocacy manager for Mexico and Central America, have been assisting Central American refugees with medical and mental health services. They say the reasons behind the flights of refugees are surprisingly similar around the world. Cone and Almeida said the organization’s main role in global conflicts is to bear witness.