Honduras | Texas Public Radio

Honduras

A Honduran mother holds her newborn daughter in their apartment. She delivered her baby in a local hospital in the Rio Grande Valley, but she and her daughter were expelled to Mexico, along with the rest of her family.
Reynaldo Leaños Jr. | Texas Public Radio

A small apartment on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande is not where a 23-year-old Honduran mother thought she’d end up after fleeing her home country.


David Martin Davies

The Downtown San Antonio Greyhound bus station is a bustling place. Built in 1945 it’s the second oldest operating bus station in the Greyhound system. There is no escaping its vintage look even with the multiple flat screen TV’s on the deco style speckled walls.

On this Saturday afternoon there’s the familiar scene of departure.  Francesca, a woman from Guatemala and Freddie, her 9-year-old son, are trying to make sense of their bus ticket.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

The migration of minor children from Central America into the United States is one of the most painful problems facing us, as a community, said a leading advisor to Pope Francis, who is supposed to visit the U.S. Capitol in September and is expected to talk to lawmakers about a number of issues. Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of the Honduras visited San Antonio this week and talked about what Central American children were going through.

The influx of minor children from the Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala is a migration issue the cardinal holds close to heart. He is Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, the capital of the Honduras.

Cardinal Maradiaga said he believed drug lords organized the migration to divert attention from their activities. “I am convinced this was organized by the drug lords. They were paying coyotes in order to move so many children at once, in order to attract [attention] to this problem and to leave other places free for their traffic.”

HOUSTON — A South Texas man working for the Department of Defense in Honduras faces up to 30 years in prison for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

William Curry McGrath of San Antonio remains jailed pending sentencing this summer in federal court in Houston. The 55-year-old McGrath on Tuesday pleaded guilty to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place.

McGrath was a civilian employee with DOD, working as director of the Network Enterprise Center at Soto Cano Air Base in Comayagua, Honduras.

Ryan E. Poppe

AUSTIN — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott met with the Honduran president last week in his first visit with a Central American leader since he took office and promised to stanch the flow of immigrants coming across the border.

It was a break from friction Abbott is confronting closer to home in the Capitol.

With six weeks left in a legislative session that began with Abbott giving largely non-contentious marching orders like ethics reforms and tax cuts — and leaving hot-button issues like gay rights and abortion aside — a standoff between the GOP in the House and Senate has put some of his agenda in gridlock.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Texas Matters: Republican lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick supports speeding up the immigration hearing process for unaccompanied minors housed in Texas; but Democrat Leticia Van De Putte says it is a death sentence. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is also putting forward a plan. Also on this show: Texas Nationalist Movement calls for day of action, how payday lending stays unregulated, blues great Johnny Winter dies.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is facing criticism for a plan to house children crossing the border from Mexico illegally. He says they could be housed at a local middle school, an alternative education building and a warehouse at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

Jenkins is a Democrat and Republicans are blasting him over the plan, saying the local school system and health care delivery system will be overtaxed by people who won’t be able to contribute to that cost.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Texas Matters: A radio documentary investigating the increase in the number of immigrant refugees, many of them unaccompanied minors, that are turning up at the Texas-Mexico border. The greatest percentage of migrant youth are coming from Honduras.

Arriving in Texas

David Martin Davies / TPR News

President Obama is requesting that Congress authorize $2 billion and special powers to deal with the surge of unaccompanied minor immigrants.

In record numbers the children are coming from Central America, crossing the Rio Grande and overwhelming the U.S. system after being apprehended at the Texas border. Most are coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, but Honduras is the leading source country.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Thousands of unaccompanied children are coming from Central America, crossing the Rio Grande and being apprehended at the Texas border. They are coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – but Honduras is the main source.

As night seizes Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the streets of one of the capital city’s toughest neighborhoods, Comayagüela, are virtually deserted. Most people here know that it’s not safe for anyone to be caught out alone at night. This is where the killer gangs are notorious.