Chiapas/International: Thousands of Haitians Stuck in Tapachula Demand Facilitation of Migration Process

@ La Jornada

Currently, around 120,000 migrants of Haitian origin are stranded in Tapachula, Chiapas. Many families, including boys and girls, stand in long lines to be received at the offices of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR).

Since the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti to the recent earthquake on August 14th, the ravages of Hurricane Grace and the assassination of its president, the country is experiencing a critical humanitarian situation, which has caused thousands of people to seek refuge in other countries in Latin America, including Mexico.

However, according to Pascual Necochea Valdez, president of COPARMEX Costa de Chiapas, “the infrastructure is not prepared to provide them with the necessary protection.” “We know that nobody emigrates for their own pleasure, the situation in their country of origin is truly deplorable”, he said.

On the other hand, the National Migration Institute (INM) has simulated “deportations” from Tapachula to the Talisman border port from where people return on foot in search of continuing with their immigration regularization procedures. This simulation “exacerbates the humanitarian crisis on the southern border”, according to activists and human rights defenders.

Faced with this, on August 23rd, dozens of migrants protested in front of the Siglo XXI migration center “to demand the expediting of their permits to stay in Mexican territory.” Many have been waiting for more than a year for a response from COMAR.

In the presence of the protesters, National Guard officers with shields formed a barrier and stood in front of the building to prevent them from entering. However, the president of the Citizen Committee in Defense of the Naturalized and Afro-Mexicans, Wilner Metelus, said he supports the demonstration of the people “because they do not represent any threat to Mexicans.”

He also denounced that “the situation in Haiti is critical (…) The government of Mexico sent aid to Haiti and in Tapachula Haitians live in subhuman conditions.”

For more information in Spanish:

Desesperación y angustia, el día a día de haitianos en Tapachula, Chiapas(Milenio, 22 de agosto de 2021)

Simula el Instituto Nacional de Migración deportaciones de haitianos (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 22 de agosto de 2021)

El éxodo silencioso de los haitianos en América Latina (El País, 9 de agosto de 2021)

Protestan migrantes haitianos en Tapachula (La Jornada, 23 de agosto de 2021)

Comunidad Haitiana atrapada en Tapachula protesta por dilación en trámites de refugio (Chiapas Paralelo, 23 de agosto de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: United States and Mexico Violate Right to Asylum – UN and CSO (August 16, 2021)

Chiapas: Reports of Torture in Siglo XXI Migration Center (July 5, 2021)

Chiapas/National/International: INM and Officials Denounced for Harassment of Migrant Defenders (May 3, 2021)

National: Claim that CNDH Ignores Information on Cases of Migrant Human Rights Violations(February 10, 2021)

Chiapas: INM Suspends Migration Procedures Due to Lack of Secure Conditions (January 14, 2021)

International/National: NGOs Report Crimes against Asylum Seekers in US to FGR (December 20, 2020)

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