Future DevelopmentClimate, violence, and also Honduran migration to the joined StatesSarah Bermeo and also David LeblangThursday, April 1, 2021
Apprehensions of family members units native Honduras showing up at the U.S. Southerly border thrived exponentially in between 2012 and also 2019, from 513 come 188,368 (the dashed heat in number 1). While the is possible that Biden administration policies and also COVID-19 transform the calculus of migrants, they did not reason the sharp increase in apprehensions in 2019. This also predates hurricanes Eta and also Iota, back the terrible toll of these November 2020 storms is likely to push much more people to leave their homes and travel north.

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Our occupational at battle each other University and the university of Virginia, summarized in this plan brief, points to an interaction of climate factors and violence as the drivers of this outcome. The rise in migration native Honduras end the last several years and the farming proportion of migrants showing up as household units is thrust by persistently high levels of violence coupled with sharp boosts in food insecurity.

How climate and violence interact

Honduras is one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere. It has experienced among the world’s highest homicide rates, through multiple creates of violence connected to drug trafficking groups and gangs. Over the critical decade, the nation has endured from recurring droughts linked to climate change that have actually increased food insecurity, particularly for subsistence farmers in the dry Corridor of central America, where some areas have knowledgeable seasonal chop loss better than 70 percent.

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Sarah Bermeo

Associate Professor of windy Policy and also Political scientific research - Sanford School, battle each other University

Director the Graduate research studies for the grasp of International development Policy - Duke center for worldwide Development


David Leblang

Ambassador Henry Taylor Professor the Politics; manager of the Batten School’s global Policy center - college of Virginia

Faculty other - Miller facility of windy Affairs


To much better understand the duty of precipitation shocks and violence in identify migrant flows, we performed a study linking data on subnational ar of birth because that Honduran family members unit apprehensions v subnational procedures of negative precipitation deviations and also homicide rates. The results suggest that decreases in precipitation are associated with enhanced migrant flows. The size of this impact increases with greater levels the violence.

We use data on department (state) the birth because that Honduran family unit apprehensions at the U.S. Southern border because that fiscal year 2012-2019, derived through a liberty of info Act request. At a descriptive level, these data suggest the departments of birth linked with the highest possible numbers of apprehensions of family units—Cortés (>56,000) and Olancho (>38,000)—and those that have actually the greatest apprehension prices as a percent of population (more than 7 percent for Olancho and also Colón).

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As a measure of rainfall shortages, us calculate the lot that annual rainy season precipitation for a room deviates from the department’s 20-year average. Ours results present that decreases in rainfall are associated with considerable increases in family members unit apprehensions in ~ the U.S. Border. For instance, an increase in an unfavorable rainfall deviation native its worth at the 25th come the 75th percentile is connected with an expected increase of 221 apprehensions from the department the complying with year.