The unseen driver behind the migrant caravan: climate change | World news | The Guardian

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The unseen driver behind the migrant caravan: climate change Migration
While violence and poverty have been cited as the reasons for the exodus, experts say the big picture is that changing climate is forcing farmers off their land – and it’s likely to get worse
Oliver Milman in New York, Emily Holden in Washington and David Agren in Huixtla, Mexico
Tue 30 Oct 2018 05.30 GMTLast modified on Tue 30 Oct 2018 14.05 GMT

Shares 4858 [image: MEXICO-HONDURAS-US-MIGRATIONHonduran migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, walk alongside the road in Huixtla, Chiapas state, Mexico, on October 24, 2018. – Thousands of mainly Honduran migrants heading to the United States, a caravan President Donald Trump has called an “assault on our country”, continued their march to the US after one-day rest in Huixtla, Chiapas state in Mexico. (Photo by Johan ORDONEZ / AFP)JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images] Honduran migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, walk alongside the road in Huixtla, Chiapas state, Mexico, on 24 October. Photograph: Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images
Thousands of Central American migrants trudging through Mexico towards the US have regularly been described as either fleeing gang violence or extreme poverty.
But another crucial driving factor behind the migrant caravan has been harder to grasp: climate change.
Most members of the migrant caravans come from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – three countries devastated by violence, organised crime and systemic corruption, the roots of which can be traced back to the region’s cold war conflicts. ‘God will decide if we make it’: Central American caravan presses northward
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Experts say that alongside those factors, climate change in the region is exacerbating – and sometimes causing – a miasma of other problems including crop failures and poverty.
And they warn that in the coming decades, it is likely to push millions more people north towards the US.

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