National/International: Concerns over Closing and Militarization of Land Borders in Mexico

@Chiapas Paralelo

In a statement published on March 22nd, the Collective for the Observation and Monitoring of Human Rights in the Mexican Southeast, made up of several civil society organizations, expressed its concern and rejection of “the traffic restriction measures for non-essential activities at the terrestrial borders of Mexico announced on March 18th of the current year by the Ministry of Foreign Relations (SRE), as well as the deployment of migratory containment operations on the southern border of the country announced in the bulletin (144/2021) published on March 19th by the National Institute of Migration (INM).” It also recalled that these measures “were made known in the context of negotiations with the United States to access vaccines against COVID-19.”

The organizations warned about the “lack of protocols, inter-institutional coordination, capacities and infrastructure to provide an effective response that ensures the protection and best interests of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents accompanied by their families.” Although they recognized “positive signals from the United States government aimed at re-establishing and improving the asylum system and the intention was announced to develop a strategy to attack the causes of Central American migration and to strengthen access to international protection at the regional level”, “the specific details and to what extent the government will carry out actual consultations with civil society organizations in the region are not yet known.”

They denounced that to date “in practice, the focus of Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico towards forced displacement continues to be one of national security, and no routes are being created for effective access to international protection or options and ways to regular migration.” They stressed that “preventing the entry of people seeking international protection constitutes a violation of international human rights instruments”; and that “the measures aimed at restricting land entry are not supported by any opinion of the Ministry of Health and the southern border states are on a green traffic light (…), so there is no justification in terms of public health.” For all the above, the Collective demanded that the Mexican State “guarantee the right to migrate and request asylum at all points of entry into the country”“recognize the structural causes of the displacement of people in the region and respond in an effective and differentiated manner”“eliminate all immigration containment measures that directly affect the transit of workers and day laborers, as well as trade routes, since they constitute activities that sustain the economy of the southern border”; as well as “creating the regulations, protocols, operation manuals and adequate and sufficient human and material resources for the effective implementation of the current Migration Law that prohibits the detention of children and adolescents and their families.”

To the United States government, the Collective requested it “establish a precise calendar with the objective of restoring the right to access asylum in coordination with organizations on both sides of the border”; as well as “advancing in the development of a regional strategy to address the causes of migration and access to international protection, prioritizing a human rights approach and guaranteeing the participation of civil society organizations in the region in the process.”

On the other hand, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) urged the National Migration Institute (INM), the National Guard, the Secretariat of National Defense, and the State and Municipal Public Security authorities of Chiapas, to avoid acts of violation of human rights of people in the context of migration, especially girls, boys, adolescents and women. This is before the INM’s announcement to implement a “humanitarian rescue operation” on the southern border of the country to “safeguard children in a situation of mobility, through the deployment of personnel from the aforementioned units along the Suchiate river, bridges and points of entrance or access, in order to maintain a regulated, orderly and safe migration.”

“It should be emphasized that people in the context of migration are a highly vulnerable sector due to the wide range of risks and abuses that they may suffer in their transit through this country, particularly girls, boys, adolescents, pregnant women and older adults, who are more susceptible to suffering human rights violations”, added the CNDH added.

For more information in Spanish:

Ante negociaciones con EEUU, gobierno mexicano cierra sus fronteras a personas migrantes y con necesidades de protección internacional (Colectivo de Observación y Monitoreo de Derechos Humanos en el Sureste Mexicano, 22 de marzo de 2021)

La frontera sur saturada: así se llegó a la primera crisis migratoria de la era Biden (El País, 22 de marzo de 2021)

Advierten riesgos sobre despliegue de GN y Ejército en la frontera (La Jornada, 23 de marzo de 2021)

Defensores de migrantes rechazan restricciones implementadas por gobierno de AMLO (Proceso, 23 de marzo de 2021)

ONG temen ola de abusos por el plan para frenar migrantes (La Jornada, 24 de marzo de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Increase in Migratory Flow Noted at Guatemalan Border (March 9, 2021)

National/International: Migrant Caravan Violently Detained in Guatemala (January 18, 2021)
Chiapas: INM Suspends Migration Procedures Due to Lack of Secure Conditions (January 14, 2021)
Nacional: CNDH and Migrant Shelters Denounce Militarization of INM (December 7, 2020)

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