Extortion by criminal groups affects the daily lives of many living across the North of Central America. Often accompanied by violent threats, kidnappings and sexual violence, it is one of the main reasons behind internal displacement and forced migration in the region. People with small businesses, people working in public transportation, residents of communities controlled by criminal groups, and children are particularly affected, and often have to close their businesses or be confined to their homes. It is also one of the main crimes that people are subjected to during displacement and migration through Mexico, as well as after deportation back to their countries of origin. As such, extortion transcends international borders as one of the main human rights violations committed against displaced people and migrants.
In order to call attention to the protection situation in this region, the Norwegian Refugee Council is leading a series of snapshot reports on "Violence and protection in North of Central America and Mexico". This eighth report entitled: “Extortion: a trigger of internal displacement and forced migration” addresses some of the relationships between extortion, internal displacement and forced migration, and explores the phenomenon, its protagonists and consequences in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. Finally, a brief annex explores the protection risks related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Read the report in English or Spanish: