On 30 April, close to 300 migrants, including three pregnant women, an elderly woman, and several children, were arrested and assaulted by agents of the Federal Police (PF) and the National Institute on Migration (INM) as they were marching on the federal highway from Tenosique to Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco. The human-rights defenders Rubén Figueroa, Fray Tomás Castillo, and Fray Aurelio Tadeo, who were carrying water and food to support the migrants, were beaten by the federal police close to the community of Chancamac, Tabasco.
Figueroa, a representative from the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, declared that “the response of the Mexican State before the increasing social mobilizations demanding the universal right of free transit has been this brutal operation. It is evident that the position of authority is to continue entrenching its prevailing migratory policy.” Furthermore, he indicated with regard to the arrested migrants that “they came alone and for that reason their rights were trampled”; the train companies Ferrosur and Kansas City Southern decided not to allow them to board their trains. The director of the “La 72” migrant home in Tenosique, Fray Tomás González, called the violence with which federal police and migratory agents met migrants as lamentable, as “they did not understand the reasons, they just got on top of us, first kettling us and then beating and kicking us […]. We provided no resistance so that they would not hurt us.”
Beyond this, on the night of 1-2 May there was a second mass-raid against migrants, and close to 150 persons who were sleeping in the train station of Palenque, Chiapas, were detained by INM agents together with federal police. Nearly a hundred migrants succeeded in evading arrest by taking refuge in the migrant home in Palenque. The detained were taken to the migrant station in Palenque, and it is feared that they will be deported.
For more information (in Spanish):
Riesgo inminente de deportación desde Tapachula de personas migrantes agredidas en operativo del Instituto Nacional de Migración en coordinación con Policía federal, estatal y municipal de Tabasco (Agencia Intermedios, 2 de mayo de 2014)
Migrantes denuncian agresión de agentes del INM al detenerlos(Informador, 2 de mayo de 2014)
Agreden a defensores de migrantes en Tabasco (Proceso, 1 de mayo de 2014)
Elementos de INM y PF agreden a grupo de migrantes centroamericanos(AGN Veracruz, 1 de mayo de 2014)
Denuncian agresión a migrantes que caminan hacia el norte del país por parte de elementos de la PF e INM (Plumas Libres, 1 de mayo de 2014)
Nueva redada: detienen a 150 migrantes más que pernoctaban en Palenque (La Jornada Zacatecas, 1 de mayo de 2014)
National: Collaborators of the “72″ migrant home abandon work due to threats (24 June 2013)
National: New death-threats directed against Fray Tomás, director of “La 72″ (27 March 2013)
Chiapas/Tabasco: “The forgotten border” press-conference (13 December 2011)