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National Justice for Our Neighbors
February 2016 
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Lighting Out for the Territory Ahead   
 
A young trafficking victim finds justice and a new family with JFON Austin Region
 
 
“I thought they would kill me at any moment,” remembers Kevin, a human trafficking victim of Mexico’s notorious Cartel del Golfo criminal gang.  “Every day I wondered if this would be the day I die.”    
 
From his hometown in rural Honduras, Kevin had traveled far; by bus, by river raft, by walking and by riding the train known as la bestia—the beast. Now, fewer than 15 miles from the U.S. border, he and four other migrant boys, exhausted and hungry, were trudging through the streets of Rio Brava, Mexico. They were looking for the local shelter where they could rest before completing their journey. Suddenly, an ominous black truck screeched in front of them and they were surrounded by armed men.
 
The trip so far had been harrowing, but this was a whole new level of heart-stopping fear. He knew the town was Cartel del Golfo territory. 
 
“Put your hands up! Do it!” the men barked. “Now!
 
 
Read on here.  
 
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Understanding the Crisis in Honduras 
From Melissa Bowe, NJFON Program and Advocacy Manager
 
This past month I had the privilege of joining a delegation from the General Board of Church and Society at the Honduras Annual Conference.  My role was to provide education on asylum law and border enforcement to pastors and lay leaders throughout Honduras.
 
The timing of my trip was jarring, as the Obama administration’s planned raids on Central American women and children had begun just days earlier. Our nation’s haphazard and disturbing raids of families fleeing violence was juxtaposed with stories from those very families in Honduras who seek safety and refuge in the United States.  
 
We were there to listen to the Honduran people tell us of their community’s desperation and yearning for peace from gang violence; for work; for freedom from fear of death, torture and harassment. It was clear to me from the very first day of our trip that no amount of raids, deportations, or imprisoning people in family detention centers is going to deter Hondurans from seeking refuge in other countries.  
 
The will to live in safety cannot be discouraged through policy.
 
 Read more here.
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 Coming Next Month: The Path to Life  
 
In the narrative above, we share some part of Kevin's long and difficult journey to the United States. The NJFON staff and board recently visited the U.S - Mexico border very close to where Kevin was kidnapped. We walked the streets he did, found a shelter for which he fruitlessly searched, and gazed upon the desolate landscape of scrub and rock he scrambled through to get here.
 
And then we got in our car and crossed back into the United States. 
 
What happens to migrants like Kevin who don’t make it?  What does Border Patrol have to say?  What are folks along the border doing to help? Stay tuned!
 
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