Honduran man, 28, who was a member of the migrant caravan is shot dead just eight days after being deported from the US
- Nelson Espinal was assassinated in his hometown of Jose Angel Ulloa de Comayaguela, a week after his deportation
- Espinal joined the migrant caravan of Central Americans that set out for Mexico in October with the hope of being considered for asylum
- The 28-year-old construction worker was caught by U.S. immigration officials trying to cross the border in late November and was then deported
- Family members said Espinal stepped out of his home to purchase hair gel when he was shot 15 times by three men
- Witnesses said the men did not say anything to Espinal and fled the scene after shooting him
Nelson Espinal fled his native Honduras in October because of the spiraling violence that engulfed his country
A Honduran man who fled violence in his home country has been shot dead days after being deported from the US.
Nelson Espinal, 28, was shot 15 times by three men Tuesday night.
Espinal was among the first to join the migrant caravan that set out from San Pedro Sula on October 13 and crossed into Guatemala before the Mexican government opened its border doors.
The Honduran migrant spent almost two months in the Mexican border city of Caborca near the border with Arizona.
As weeks came and went, Espinal got desperate and sought illegal avenues to enter the United States.
Espinal was detained after crossing the border illegally in Arizona, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A child stands in front of Espinal’s coffin during a viewing held at his home in Honduras
Sara Matamoros (second from left), the mother of the assassinated Honduran migrant, is comforted by friends and family outside her home during her son’s funeral service
The Honduran man was deported to his home in the capital city of Tegucigalpa in late November and barred from returning to the United States for five years, according to documents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Family members told media outlets in Honduras that the determined Espinal, who worked in construction, planned to make another attempt to enter the country to join his brothers in January.
Proceso Digital said neighbors in the town of Jose Angel Ulloa de Comayaguela described Espinal as an easy going person who did not have problems with anyone.
Locals saw him back at work following his deportation, completing the pavement on neighborhood streets.
‘He said that if he did not leave [Honduras], they were going to kill him,’ his sister Patricia Espinal said.
Alicia Espinal mourns the death of her brother Nelson Espinal, who was shot 15 times Tuesday night
The 28-year-old murdered Honduran migrant was going to attempt to cross into the United States in January
‘That’s why he left following the caravan.’
Her brother stepped out of his home to go to a store to purchase hair gel when the men surprised him.
The town is a stronghold of the Mara Barrio 18, a rival of the MS-13.
Honduran media outlet La Prensa reported that witnesses said the men approached Espinal and fired at him without uttering a single word and fled the scene.
Thousands of Central Americans are still camping out near the border cities in Mexico in hopes of being approved for asylum.
On Wednesday, a U.S. federal judge struck down Trump administration policies aimed at restricting asylum claims by people citing gang or domestic violence in their home countries.