Migrants Rack Up Debts to Chase Dreams

IMG_3479.JPG GuatemalaFrom Zoe Sullivan, for Al Jazeera America, there is no justice when illegal lenders prey on desperate Guatemalans to pay coyotes for passage to the United States.

Every day, hundreds of Guatemalan migrants attempt to reach the United States with the help of a human smuggler or coyote. Research suggests that nearly 80% of those making this journey have taken on debt to do so, and half of this number borrowed from an informal money lender. Yet in a country where interest rates are legally unregulated, borrowers are at the mercy of the financial system — whether informal or formal.

Part Two: Why Guatemalans flee: poverty, kidnapping and extortion.

Hear Sullivan’s radio report at time code 12:40.

[Reporting sponsored by The Reva and David Logan Foundation.]

Photo credit: Zoe Sullivan