10.6.16 — 7.30pm (EST)
Migrant or Refugee? Central America’s Migration Reality

Join Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for a free panel discussion at the National Geographic Grosvenor Auditorium in Washington, DC, on the challenges and dangers facing displaced people in Central America.

Nearly 300,000 Central Americans enter Mexico every year, many fleeing extreme gang violence in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. In search of safer surroundings for their families and a life free of fear, they undertake a difficult, perilous journey north often accompanied by the same threats – theft, kidnapping, assault, rape, murder– that they fled in the first place.

These men, women, and children are often characterized as migrants, but if they returned home, they might well be killed. Should they be called migrants, then? Or are they really refugees and asylum-seekers? Doctors Without Borders USA executive director Jason Cone, Doctors Without Borders aid worker Sue Averill, and Central American expert Mary Speck, will address these and many other questions, calling on their expertise and experience in the region to flesh out a reality far more complex than is often conveyed.

A Q&A will follow the discussion.


Jason Cone, executive director of Doctors Without Borders USA.

Sue Averill, BSN, MBA, a Seattle-based nurse who has worked for Doctors Without Borders in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Mary Speck, was the project director for International Crisis Group’s Mexico & Central America project, which recently released the report, Easy Prey: Criminal Violence and Central American Migration. She is a veteran journalist and historian, specializing in Latin America. As a foreign correspondent, she covered issues ranging from the end of military rule in the Southern Cone to guerrilla war in Central America to drug trafficking and political violence in the Andes. She has a doctorate in history from Stanford University based on archival research in Havana, Cuba.

Marc Bosch, Doctors Without Borders Latin America program manager (Colombia, México, Venezuela, Bolivia).

Moderated by Margaret Brennan, foreign affairs correspondent for CBS news.

NOTE: Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please arrive early. If you have not checked-in prior to five minutes before the start of the panel, your reservation is no longer guaranteed.

This event is part of the Forced From Home exhibition in Washington, D.C.

10.6.16 — 7.30pm (EST)

National Geographic Grosvenor Auditorium
1600 M Street NW,
Washington, DC, 20036