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Central Americans flee crime poverty for better life in US

Central Americans flee crime, poverty for better life in US

MESILLA: Ovidio Lopez Tum sold tortillas in his hometown of Chicaman in Guatemala to support his wife and eight children.

But after being wounded in machete and grenade attacks by extortionists, the 53-year-old Lopez said he decided to flee to the United States.

To bolster his request for asylum, he brought along documentation of his injuries — cuts to his head and fingers from the 2014 machete attack and shrapnel wounds from the 2017 grenade blast.

He also brought along his 12-year-old daughter, Ingrid Maribel, hoping to provide her with an education she could not receive at home.

Lopez and his daughter are among the thousands of migrants from Central America turning up at the US southern border with Mexico.

President Donald Trump has described the situation there as a humanitarian and security crisis and is engaged in a standoff with Congress over his demand for $5 billion to build a border wall.



M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.