National/International: Organizations Oppose the Southern Command Base in Guatemala

Southern Command.pngThe Secretary of National Defense, Salvador Cienfuegos, in the inauguration of CENTSEC 2017. Photo @SEMA.mx

On April 25th, at the end of the Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC 2017) held in Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, the chief of the Guatemalan Defense General Staff, announced the installation of at least “one of The operational bases [2] of the US Southern Command in the Department of PetEn, Guatemala, with the objective of carrying out joint operations by air, sea and land throughout the cross border region of Mexico with Guatemala, migratory trafic and prosecuting organized crime cartels.” Since the beginning of 2017, a new military pact between the United States (US), Mexico and the Central American countries has been under way to increase the presence of the US Southern Command on the border between Guatemala and Mexico.

An operational base could mean that “for the first time in recent history there are official operations of the United States Army in Mexican territory.”

It is important to note that “none of the incumbents and representatives of the Secretariat of National Defense and Secretary of the Navy of Mexico nor of the Southern and Northern Command of the United States appeared during the press conference at the close of the Conference, held in Cozumel, Quintana Roo, which presupposes that it was planned to conceal and avoid any media and social impact in both countries in the short term.”

From June 14th to 16th, the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of State convened a high-level conference on security and economics for Mexico and Central America. At this conference the objective would be to discuss the causes of forced displacement and migration from an economic and security perspective.

In light of this, in May, more than 300 organizations and groups from Mexico, the United States and Central America questioned “what it would mean that for the first time in recent history there are official operations of the United States Army in Mexican territory” and expressed “as cross border peoples we resist and we are strongly opposed to the dispossession of our territories and our bodies via military occupation, and we defend life, dignity and integrity.”

 For more information Spanish:

Más de 300 organizaciones rechazan la presencia del ejército de EU en México y Centroamérica (Contralínea, 19 de mayo de 2017)

DECIMOS NO Y NUNCA MÁS A LA PRESENCIA MILITAR DE ESTADOS UNIDOS EN LOS TERRITORIOS DE MÉXICO Y CENTROAMÉRICA (OSC, mayo de 2017)

Apoyará el Comando Sur vigilancia en la frontera México-Guatemala (La Jornada, a 26 de abril de 2017)

Peña prometió protegerlos, pero delitos contra migrantes en la frontera sur se disparan 200% (Animal Político, a 13 de enero de 2017)

Pide MSF quitar Plan Frontera Sur por no garantizar a migrantes acceso a mecanismos de protección (Proceso, a 19 de diciembre de 2016)

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