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Fri Sep 20, 2019, 12:36 AM

Drowning of U.S.-bound Honduran mother and son underscores plight of migrants

Drowning of U.S.-bound Honduran mother and son underscores plight of migrants
Gustavo Palencia, Delphine Schrank

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras/MATAMOROS, Mexico (Reuters) - When Delia Hernandez, 44, bade farewell on Aug. 1 to Idalia Herrera, 27, and nearly two-year-old Iker Cordova, she dreamed her daughter and grandson were fleeing the arid fields of southern Honduras for a bright new life in the United States, she said.

Instead, Herrera and Cordova drowned in recent days in the Rio Grande just shy of Brownsville, Texas, weeks into an anguished wait in the Mexican border city of Matamoros for an asylum hearing with U.S. authorities, migrants there and Herrera’s grandmother said.

They were mourned from a makeshift migrant encampment in Matamoros, to El Limon, 1,600 miles (2,575 km) south, where Herrera had lived among farmers barely eking corn, beans and sorghum from drought-stricken soil.

In June, a photo of a dead Salvadoran father and daughter tangled in the reeds of the Rio Grande drew attention for a while to the plight of U.S.-bound migrants, many fleeing violence and deep poverty in Central America, even with the hard-line immigration policies of U.S. President Donald Trump.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol did not immediately reply to a request for confirmation that Herrera and her son were sent back to Mexico under a U.S. policy called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).


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