19 April 2013, 15:10

No one’s village amid El Salvador and Honduras

Гондурас флаг

Part of Honduras on paper, in fact small village La Nahuaterique belongs nearly to no one.

The village of La Nahuaterique, home to 6,500 Salvadorans, in 1992 was ruled by the International Court of Justice to be Honduran, but more than 20 years later there are almost no signs here of the Honduran state.

The villagers take no part in Honduran political life - they are not part of any Honduran parliamentary constituency - and police never show their face here, reports BBC.

The schoolteacher comes from a Honduran town, Marcala, 32km away. So, occasionally, does a priest. But for many crucial services the people travel across the border, 12 km away, into El Salvador.

BBC cites one of La Nahuaterique’s residents, Marcos Argueta: "In a way, we're from neither here nor there. We've been abandoned by both."

"Many people here didn't want to be Honduran but they couldn't leave as they didn't have land elsewhere," says Argueta. "We all thought: 'At least Honduras will come in and provide for us.'"

But Honduras still does not remember that La Nahuaterique is equal part of the state.

"There have been serious issues with security. Anyone can come in - drug traffickers, criminals," says Argueta.

El Salvador and Honduras signed an agreement in 1998 under which Salvadorans on the Honduran side of the border, and Hondurans on the Salvadoran side, were meant to acquire dual citizenship.

But 15 years on, more than 1,000 Salvadorans in La Nahuaterique are still waiting for Honduran citizenship. Without it they cannot work for the state, receive social security payments, take out a loan or hold a driving licence, according to BBC.

Voice of Russia, BBC

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