Honduran national Cintia Yadira Herrera died of heart problems on June 18 shortly after arriving at San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras on a mass deportation flight arranged by US immigration authorities. She took a few steps after disembarking from the plane in Ramón Villeda Morales Airport and then collapsed, according to firefighters who came to her assistance; she died in the airport. Herrera was 33 or 34, according to different media reports, and was the mother of three children.
According to some of the other 102 Honduran deportees on the chartered plane, Herrera had said she felt ill from the beginning of the flight. Her family blamed the US government for her death. “The immigration authorities in the US didn’t listen to my daughter’s pleas, even though she told them she didn’t feel well,” José Herrera told reporters.
Cintia Herrera left her home in the eastern department of Olancho in March to join her husband, Luis Matute, in the US. She was captured by US immigration authorities the day she arrived in the country and was held in detention until she was put on the flight. Humanitarian organizations estimate that each day about 100 Hondurans leave their country to look for work in the US. About one million Hondurans now live in the US, and remittances from US-based Hondurans to Honduras exceed $2.5 billion a year. The US deports more than 20,000 Hondurans annually. (La Prensa, San Pedro Sula, June 20; EFE, June 21, via Univision)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, June 24.