Guatemalan Migrants Go Into Hiding in North Carolina

Guatemalan migrants in N.C. fear an increase in ICE operations, which are now being carried out during the night and early hours of the morning, including weekends.

Guatemalan migrants living in North Carolina are hunkering down inside their homes in fear of being detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during one of their raids.

RELATED: Guatemala: Amnesty Reform Would Excuse Those Guilty of Genocide

“I have lived here [Charlotte] for 16 years and it had never been this hard. There are people who have not shown up for work in four days, because of the ICE waiting in front of their houses or following them to gas stations where they are detained, it is a very sad situation we are living,” said Monica del Cid, a Guatemalan community leader in Charlotte.

The fear these people have is due to an increase in ICE operations, which are now being carried out during the night and early hours of the morning, including weekends. del Cid - talking to Guatemalan publication Prensa Libra, said, it is common to have ICE agents settle in-front of homes and businesses from 5:00am to 5:00pm, so that Guatemalan businesses remain closed. 

‘Irregular’ migrants are the most afraid of going out to conduct work-related activities - a situation which is hurting them financially, according to del Cid.

Shops belonging to Guatemalan’s are closed out of fear of ICE raids, added del Cid.

During the past few days, ICE operatives left more than 200 people detained. This comes two months after a pledge by North Carolina’s two biggest counties to discontinue their collaboration with the U.S. Department of National Security.

President Donald Trump has made anti-immigration policy his campaign platform. He has pushed the issue of funding as far as causing a government shutdown that lasted several weeks after not being granted the billions he requested for the construction of said wall and the strengthening of ICE.

Talks on border security funding collapsed after Democratic and Republican lawmakers clashed over immigrant detention policy as they worked to avert another U.S. government shutdown, a Republican senator said on Sunday.

“The talks are stalled right now,” Republican Senator Richard Shelby told Fox News Sunday. He said the impasse was over Democrats’ desire to cap the number of beds in detention facilities for people who enter the country illegally.


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Honduran Migrants Break Police Barrier, Enter Guatemala

Honduran and Guatemalan authorities try to halt the new caravan heading towards the United States.

A total of 709 people from the migrant caravan that left Honduras Monday crossed the Guatemalan border on Tuesday with the intention of reaching the United States in search of better living conditions.

RELATED: US: Human Rights Defenders Protest To Support Migrants

The director of Honduras' Permanent Contingency Commission (Copeco), Lisandro Rosales, said that 359 migrants entered Guatemalan territory in the Agua Caliente's border area.

While another 350 Hondurans broke police barrier to enter the country irregularly, trying to continue on their trip to Mexico.

Rosales indicated that 23 unaccompanied minors were referred to the Directorate of Children, Family and Adolescents (Dinaf) for their accompaniment during the return to their places of origin.

Hundreds in new U.S.-bound migrant caravan cross into Guatemala: Several hundred Honduran migrants in a new U.S.-bound caravan crossed into Guatemala on Tuesday, as U.S. President Donald Trump seized on news…

One of those cases is that of two Honduran brothers, aged 12 and 14, who were abandoned by their aunt. The minors will be reunited with their grandmother, who is responsible for their care, since their mother lives in the United States.

On Tuesday, authorities increased immigration control measures in Agua Caliente region in an attempt to prevent the passage of the caravan. The police installed 54 checkpoints at the borders with Guatemala and El Salvador.

The Honduran authorities reiterated the call to their compatriots to not "put their lives at risk on the migratory route."

The latest from leaves San Pedro Sula in the middle of the night. Entire families carry nothing but the clothes on their backs in the pouring rain. Some know the horrors of the journey, but said they are desperate to escape violence, poverty, and extortion.

According to Honduras Ministry of Foreign Affairs, none of the thousands of migrants who made caravan trips to the U.S. last October "has managed to obtain political asylum or permission to remain in that territory on a regular basis."

At least 11 Hondurans from the first caravans died while attempting to reach U.S. territory.

Using the motto "In Honduras They Kill Us," the new caravan's occupants began the preparation to leave Honduras on Dec. 14 with hopes to escape their homeland's high instances of poverty and violence.

Honduras is one of the world's most violence-plagued countries with a homicide rate of 43 per 100,000 inhabitants. The figure also falls in line with being Central America's highest extreme poverty rate.

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Body of Migrant Girl Who Died in US Care Arrives in Guatemala

The body of the migrant child who died in the U.S. custody was brought back to her mother Sunday while the U.N. called for a probe into her death. 

The body of Jakelin Caal, the Guatemalan girl who died while in the custody of United States Border Patrol of dehydration, arrived at La Aurora airport in Guatemala Sunday.

RELATED: Family Painfully Remembers Guatemalan Girl Killed in US Custody

The family of the seven year old was not there to receive her body as they did not have the money to travel from the remote municipality of Raxruha in northern Guatemala.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did the necessary formalities. Around 5 pm local time, her body was taken to her village from the airport.

Her death has once again brought to the fore the treatment of migrants by U.S. authortities.

The girl and her father were detained by immigration authorities on Dec. 6 in New Mexico as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in. On Dec. 7, the girl started having seizures and was taken to a hospital, where she died. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the girl’s father signed a document stating his daughter was in good health. However, many question the validity of the statements, given that the girl and her father, Nery Caal, are of Maya origin and did not speak English. It is still uncertain whether they spoke Spanish.

A United Nations human rights expert called on U.S. authorities Monday to conduct a full and independent investigation into the death of Caal and to stop detaining children.

Felipe Gonzalez Morales, the U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, also said the family of Jakelin Caal, from the Mayan Indigenous community, should be given access to legal representation in the proceedings in a language they understand.

“Redress to her family should be provided and if any officials are found responsible they should be held accountable,” he said in a statement.

“The government should also address failings within the immigration system, and specifically within the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agency, to prevent similar situations.”

“The U.S. authorities must ensure that an in-depth, independent investigation of the death of Jakelin Amei Caal is conducted,” Gonzalez Morales, a Chilean professor of international law, said in the statement.

Gonzalez Morales called on the Trump administration to halt the detention of children, unaccompanied or with their families, based on their migratory status, and to seek alternatives.

“As repeatedly stated by a series of UN human rights bodies, detention of children based on their migratory status is a violation of international law,” he said.

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Guatemalan Girl Dies of Dehydration in US Custody

A 7-year-old girl, who was detained last week for entering the U.S. illegally, died of dehydration and "shock."'

A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl, who traveled to the United States with the Central American caravan, died of dehydration while in U.S. custody. She had been detained last week for crossing the U.S. border illegally.

RELATED: Caravan Couple Awaits Asylum Bid After Son's Birth in US

The girl and her father were detained by immigration authorities on Dec. 6 in New Mexico as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in, the Washington Post reported.

On Dec. 7, the girl started having seizures and she was taken to a hospital, where she died.

My God. Shame on our country and shame on Donald Trump. A 7 year old girl was taken into custody by US Border Patrol and died of "dehydration and shock." These aren't thugs & criminals. They are people desperate for safe harbor. This is a grave sin.

The names of the girl and her father have not been released. 

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an official statement saying that U.S. Border Patrol "always takes care of individuals in their custody and does everything in their power to keep them safe."

However, the Associated Press quotes border officials who claim the girl had not had food or water for several days.

The area through which the girl and her father crossed is one of the most dangerous border zones due to the presence of human traffickers and extreme weather conditions.

U.S. President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which resulted in separating children arriving at the border with their parents, has added new dangers for the thousands of migrants who travel north, escaping violence and poverty.

About 400,000 immigrants were arrested between Sep. 2017 and Nov. 2018, according to El Pais.

Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro reacted Thursday asking for a full investigation of the girl's death. He published a statement stressing that hardening conditions for asylum requests have not deterred people from migrating north.

On the contrary, migratory flows have increased opting for riskier depopulated areas to cross.

Tension has been mounting in the U.S. southern border as over 7,000 migrants, primarily from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have reached the border in the past days. They trekked around 4,000km to request asylum in the U.S., but Trump has chosen to treat the asylum seekers as "criminals" and "invaders," deploying troops to the southern border.

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Cuba closed the day successfully against Guatemala

Cuba utilized all its men against Guatemala to achieve a comfortable 3-0 win (25-17, 25-18, 25-13) at the close of the opening day of the Norceca Tournament Sub-21 (M) qualifier to the FIVB 2019 World Championship at the Sports City Coliseum, where no surprise occurred.

The local team outscored the Central American team in all departments with advantages of 41-13 in attacks, 11-4 in blocking and 7-1 in services in the shortest match of the day and in which the three sets lasted curiously 23 minutes each.

The wing spiker José M. Gutiérrez was the top scorer (11), escorted by also wing spiker Julio Cárdenas and the opposite José Romero, both with 10 units.

On the opponent side only scored three players, which plus the opposite Edgar Maldonado with only 7 points and two other players added 11, but the Guatemalans raised their total to 48 with the 30 that Cuba gave them due to unforced errors.

Jesus Cruz, host coach, explained that "for his debut the team moved well, in these young people there are factors that influence too much like pre-start and stress, and they knew how to cope, always respecting the opposite and playing at the level we know how to do. In the third we made more mistakes, but the 12 entered the field, which we proposed to be released and to beat rivals like the United States and Canada, tall, skilled, who play well and thus meet the goal of winning the gold".

Christian Thondike, local captain: Although we are not at the maximum the selection acted well, but we will raise our level. Guatemala did not really resist us, it does not have a lot of level, but we have to try to play hard because we have two rivals like the United States and Canada ahead of us that we must beat."

Luis F. Castañeda, Guatemalan technical director: It was a beautiful match, we came with a team with eight players under 19 and they need to play hard, we work well, Cuba is a power, a lot of height, on the contrary ours, but we did our job that was do a number of points and we did it, we are happy and we hope to do better for the remaining matches."

The setter Diego Andrés Ralón, captain of the Central American team, said that "it is a great opportunity to always play with a world power team and we have come to do what we know. The serve of Cuba is very powerful, very different from ours, but I feel that in the first two sets we managed to keep them making attack points, we blocked a couple of balls and that gives us expectations to try to qualify for the quarterfinals."

On Tuesday Group A features Dominican Republic-Guatemala (12:00) and Cuba-Barbados (18:00) and in Group B, Canada-Nicaragua (2:00 pm) and United States-Haiti (4:00 pm).

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Cuba debuted with crushing victory over Guatemala

The team of Tomás Fernández claimed an overwhelming 3-0 victory over Guatemala (25-19, 25-9, 25-15) and with the result the Cubans got their first five points in Pool A of the IV U23 Pan American Cup which is held for the fourth time in Peru at the Manuel Bonilla Coliseum in Miraflores.

Commanded by their captain Diaris Perez, the Cuban team took the victory demonstrating strength in the categories of the blocking (12-2) and services (13-3) with Guatemala battling in the attack (33-21). Both squads registered 17 unforced errors.

The individual score was led by Pérez who reached the maximum of 12 points, followed by Ailama Cese with 11 points and Jessica Aguilera with 10. In the opposite team Martha Guillermo got the maximum of 8 points.

The next game in Cuba is scheduled for this Wednesday 15 at 3:00 p.m. against Chile. On the other hand, Guatemala will match forces before the host team at 7:00 p.m.

The captain of Cuba, Diaris Pérez: "I think that in the first set we were playing to the rhythm of the rival team, but for the following sets we could retake our level, the team has come very cohesive and I think we will have a good competition, I trust we will achieve our goal, to stay with the gold medal".

The captain of Guatemala, Astrid González: "This is the first participation for our national team in a U23 Pan American Cup and I am very happy for the work my team has done, we knew it would not be an easy game, but we played very close, following the indications of our coach and that we are happy to have been able to play a game in which each one gave the maximum before a tough rival.”

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Laura Pausini to Release Album 'Hazte sentir' in Guatemala

Guatemala, Aug 4 (Prensa Latina) Italian singer-songwriter Laura Pausini is anxious to release in Guatemala her new album ''Hazte sentir'' and celebrate 25 years of successful artistic career.

Although Pausini confesses that it has not been easy to accumulate this rich trajectory, she assures that she has never surrendered to obstacles, nor considers music as a means to generate material wealth.

'I feel very fortunate, always with my feet on the ground,' she says while explaining that when she writes a song it is because she needs it, feels it and lives it in her hands and soul.

With the release of 'Hazte sentir' in Guatemala on August 6, the singer invites the audience to be themselves, without fear, without hiding their defects, through 14 songs in which their protagonists must make a decision that can be very deep or light.

Pausini is considered at all times a simple and natural person, the reason why her fans admires her on stage.

The world premiere of 'Hazme sentir' was on March 16, and now the singer arrives in Guatemala as part of a tour with previous stops in her native Italy, the United States and Mexico.

'This album is an invitation to accompany me on a new path, as the cover suggests: a look at those who cover my back, those who make me feel loved, protected and supported, with the promise of a path that starts from here,' has commented Pausini about the album's striking cover.

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Guatemala: 2,500-Year-Old Olmec Monuments Discovered

The city of Tak'alik Ab'aj was originally inhabited by Olmecs (1,500 BC to 100 AD) and by Mayans during its expansion in the middle Pre-Classic period (800 to 300 BC).

Two carved Olmec monuments and a nearly 2,500-year-old column were found in the Tak'alik Ab'aj archaeological park in southwest Guatemala, officials with the local Ministry of Culture said Friday, according to AFP. 

Germany Returns Two 3,000-Year-Old Olmec Busts to Mexico

"This finding strengthens the proposal put forward by the archaeologists of the site, who indicate that in Tak'alik Ab'aj there was a transition between the two cultures," the culture minister, José Luis Chea explained.

The city of Tak'alik Ab'aj was originally inhabited by Olmecs (1,500 BC to 100 AD) and by Mayans during its expansion in the middle Pre-Classic period (800 to 300 BC).

The Olmecs disappeared and the Mayans continued to develop their advanced culture, especially in northern Guatemala, southern Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize.  The Mayan culture flourished in what is known to be the classical period (250-900 AD) until it declined in the post-classical period (900-1200 AD).  

"The discovery consists of two carved stone fragments" of monuments "253a" and "253b" and column "86" which "correspond to the middle Preclassic period (800-350 BC) of the Olmec era," Chea told the reporters.  

Archaeologist, Christa Schieber, said the researchers found the first monument which is in the form of an Olmec head that represents symbols of power and corresponds to an authority referred to as "Grandfather."

The monument is placed "on its head" and signifies "the meaning of the descent from the heavens of the ancestor," said Schieber, who is one of the experts leading the exploration in the municipality of El Asintal, 125 km southwest of the capital.

The second piece is "exquisitely" carved containing an emblem of ritual, with the column weighing nearly 5 tons, and together they show "The Descent of the Grandfather," the archaeologist further explained. 

The culture minister added that the pieces found were part of other "monumental" structures which were mutilated "to mark the end of the middle Pre-Classic period, corresponding to the Olmec occupation and dedicated to the start of a new cycle, according to the Mayan era."  

In October 2012, the Guatemalan archaeologists announced the discovery of the tomb of a powerful king in Tak'alik Ab'aj, which could have led to the transition from Olmec to Mayan culture between 700 and 400 years BC.

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