CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — Millions of people are leaving their homes across Latin America in numbers not seen in decades, many of them pressing toward the United States.
While migration to the U.S. southern border has always fluctuated, the pandemic and the recession that followed hit Latin America harder than almost anywhere else in the world, plunging millions into hunger, destitution and despair.
A generation of progress against extreme poverty was wiped out. Unemployment hit a two-decade high. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine choked off a key pipeline for grain and fertilizer, triggering a spike in food prices.
Economic shocks were worsened by violence, as conflict between armed groups festered in once relatively peaceful countries and raged in places long accustomed to the terror.
Amid these events, smugglers and migrants alike have pushed powerful social media campaigns, many rife with misinformation, that have encouraged people to migrate to the United States.
This article was written by Natalie Kitroeff and Julie Turkewitz and originally published on www.nytimes.com