National: “Nueva Esperanza: displaced for a year, and in critical conditions”: Civil Mission

Imagen del campamento de los refugiados guatemaltecos @ Misión Civil de Observación, agosto de 2012

Image of the Guatemalan refugee camp @ Civil Mission of Observation, August 2012

On 5 August, several organizations released a joint bulletin regarding their visit to the residents of the Guatemalan community Nueva Esperanza, where they have resettled following their displacement by the army of their country in August 2011.  They have since found themselves to be refugees on the Mexican side of the border with Guatemala.  The organizations which in October 2011 participated in a Civil Mission of Observation to document the situation and the humanitarian conditions of the residents note in their recent pronunciation that “the conditions that previously were critical last October have deteriorated even more due to the scarcity of water and aid.”

The organizations indicated that for the Guatemalan families, “de facto refugees in Mexico since August 2011, our country refused them their due assistance and, violating the most elemental obligations of humanitarian law, expelled a large part of the families under the misleading term ‘repatriation,’ which should always be voluntary.  The families were obligated to move themselves some meters to locate themselves in Guatemalan territory, where they have been meeting with their own government to negotiate under critical and inhuman conditions.  Nearly one year after the forced displacement, the residents call themselves the ‘Campesino Camp in Resistance Nueva Esperanza'; they represent a challenge that is located in a border that is not only forgotten but also non-existent.”

The visit was carried out with the objective of updating the report “The Forgotten Border,” which was presented in November 2011 by the Civil Mission of Observation following the first visit.  During this visit also participated Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ) Chiapas, the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights, the Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada Commitee for Human Rights, the Tabasco Human Rights Committee (Codehutab), the UYiits Ka’an School for Agroecology, and the Indignation Team.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado conjunto: Nueva Esperanza: un año desplazada y en condiciones críticas: Misión Civil (pdf) (05/08/2012)

El Universal: ONG alertan sobre desplazados guatemaltecos(06/08/2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Tabasco: “The forgotten border” press-conference (13 December 2011)

Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)

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