International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula


From September 27th to 30th, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, toured Mexico. At the end of his visit, he acknowledged that the country is in a difficult position, between the pressures exerted by the United States to stop migration to its borders, and large migratory flows.

During his stay in Mexico, Filippo Grandi, who has 30 years of experience in issues related to asylum and refuge, met with officials at various levels. Grandi noted that the Mexican government is willing to receive help from UNHCR, which he considered a good sign. However, he stressed that Mexico needs to review some of its practices regarding migration, and invest more resources in the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR in its Spanish acronym): “These are not impossible resources for Mexico. We have discussed it with the Interior Ministry and I think they agree. It is clearly a responsibility of the State. I hope that my message is strong for those holding office in Foreign Affairs and Governance. This investment in COMAR is a priority.”

In another of his comments, he criticized the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), the agreement between the United States and Mexico, and other bilateral agreements of the United States: “Does it not seem to you that the agreements signed by Washington with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, to assign them as third safe countries for asylum seekers to wait for an uncertain response, are a formula for disaster?”

Meanwhile, in Tapachula, on September 30th, around 350 migrants from several countries from Africa made a march from the Siglo XXI Migration Station to the center of that city, with songs and dances. This was the sixth time they were marching, in protest at a change in Mexican immigration regulations that no longer allow them to travel with authorization through Mexico, to the border with the United States.

On September 29th, during the inauguration of a new COMAR facility that was attended by Filippo Grandi, migrants from Africa also demonstrated to demand respect for their rights.

For more information in Spanish:

Más recursos para la Comar, una prioridad para México: ACNUR Educa, 1 de octubre de 2019.

Filippo Grandi: México, atrapado entre el flujo migrante y política de EU La Jornada, 1 de octubre de 2019.

Marchan migrantes africanos en Tapachula Chiapas Paralelo, 30 de septiembre de 2019.

Migrantes africanos protestan durante visita del titular de ACNUR Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de septiembre de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula (September 2, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Human Rights Organizations Demand End to Child and Adolescent Migrant Detentions (May 26, 2019)

National/International: CNDH Requests Special Measures for Migrants (May 8, 2019)

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