Monday, April 5

Ask how criminals profit from remittances for real story of huge US border crossings

 Two reports from the John Batchelor Show on CBS Audio Network, Pacific Watch segment with Jeff Bliss, Special Edition:

"Two million migrants --including 200,000 unaccompanied children and 1.1 million single males -- encountered at the border by the end of the year" (Audioboom Podcast)

"Mexican Cartels use China's Tik Tok to recruit US-based human traffickers" (Audioboom Podcast)

Big business, yes? I believe you can get an idea of how big from a May 31, 2019 Forbes report written by Kenneth  Rapoza, a Forbes Senior Contributor (emphasis mine): 
Central American Migrant Remittances Breaking Records, Beats Foreign Investment

Either migrants are making more money than ever before, or their numbers are increasing even as economists like Paul Krugman insist the border crisis only exists in President Donald Trump's head.

Central Americans are sending home billions of dollars, giving poor governments there little incentive to improve social safety nets for the working class leaving for the U.S.

In 2017, El Salvador brought in a record $792 million from foreign direct investment, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or UNCTAD. It is unclear if that includes remittances from their people living abroad. If it did, or if it did not it doesn't matter here. El Salvadoreans sent home a record breaking $534.2 million as of December 2018, according to that country's central bank.

Guatemala FDI was $1.14 billion in 2017. That's chump change compared to what their foreign workers are sending home to family. Last year, they sent a record breaking $9.3 billion in remittances, according to the Bank of Guatemala.

And then there's Honduras, the next group of Central American countries populating migrant caravans heading to the U.S. border in numbers never before seen.

FDI to Honduras was $1.18 billion in 2017, according to UNCTAD. Remittances were $427 million in December after hitting a record 12-month high of $456 million in May.

The dependence of these small nations on migrants to sustain the livelihood of some of the population has led these countries to do little to stop an ever increasing outflow from Central America. There is very little political will to solve this crisis. Trump's "tough love" policy at least gets nations thinking about it.

According to the World Bank, remittances accounted for 21.1% of El Salvador's GDP, 19.9% of Honduras' GDP, and 12.1% of Guatemala's. By comparison, remittances are only 3% of Mexico's GDP and 0.2% of Brazil's.

Mexico's trade relationship with the U.S. helps. And it's large domestic market cannot be compared to tiny Central American countries. For instance, Mexico brought in $22.8 billion in FDI in 2017, based on UNCTAD's numbers while their all-time remittance high, reached in 2018, was $9.05 billion, according to their central bank.

Mexico's remittances are worth more than Pemex oil and gas sales.


I think the Forbes report could explain the mystery of why the crime cartels are now outfitting 'migrants' with wristbands that contain too much data to simply identify whether the banded 'migrant' has passed through a cartel checkpoint on the way to the U.S. southern border. The governments of the Central American nations, who seem by now to be almost openly in league with the cartels, would need to keep close track of who is entering the USA. They would want an estimate of the remittances they can expect from migrants who get work in USA.  If they're doing more than keeping tabs -- using gang members to remind workers with jobs in the U.S. and their families to keep up the remittances,  the workers would be in effect slave labor.             


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