On February 23, 72 Hogar, a refuge for migrants in transit to the United States or awaiting refugee status in Mexico, issued a statement entitled “The Mexican State Refuses to Address the Serious Crisis of Refugees in Mexico. The Southern Mexican Border.” 72 Hogar explained that the number of applicants for refugee status has increased significantly in the last four years. In 2016, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recorded 8,881 refugee petitioners, mainly Hondurans (4,119); Salvadorans (3,488); Guatemalans (437); and Venezuelans (361). He calculated that there will be 20,000 applications for 2017. Indeed, according to La Jornada, with the arrival of Donald Trump to power in the United States, Mexico has become a destination country for migrants.
Faced with this increase in requests for refuge in Mexico, 72 Hogar noted the “systematic denial of the Mexican State to address the aforementioned crisis.” They denounced that not all applicants receive answers from the bodies responsible for dealing with them, and that in cases where they are seen to, the procedures take much longer than the specified 45 working days. Fray Tomas Gonzalez Castillo, the legal representative of 72 Hogar, stated “we still have applicants who began their procedure between September and December 2016 and have not been interviewed by the staff of the Mexican Commission for Assistance to Refugees of the Ministry of the Interior (COMAR) […] COMAR staff have informed us that the Ministry of the Interior has told them that the official permits for the brigades in Tenosique are there, but that there is no budget. We have also been informed that the last brigade of interviews will be in the first week of March and then they will not be able to come as they have been instructed to move to the northern border of Mexico to attend to the crisis of Haitian people stranded in that region.”
For this reason, 72 Hogar issued an urgent appeal so that they can “relieve this crisis and prevent it from increasing in proportions that may later lead to regrettable situations.”
For more information in Spanish:
Peña prometió protegerlos, pero delitos contra migrantes en la frontera sur se disparan 200% (Animal Político, 13 de enero de 2017) México, destino para miles de migrantes (La Jornada Maya, 12 de enero de 2017)
México será destino de migrantes por el efecto Trump: ONU (La Jornada, 12 de febrero de 2017)