Chiapas/National/International: Investigations into Deaths of Migrants in Accident Begin 

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Following the tragic accident in which more than 50 migrants died on the Tuxtla – Chiapa de Corzo highway, the Mexican government announced that it had begun investigations to find the person or persons responsible. In joint efforts, Mexico and other countries in the region assured that “they will not allow impunity in the case of the accident (…)”, therefore, Marcelo Ebrard announced the creation of an action group against the network of human traffickers involved “to investigate, identify, apprehend and bring their members and commanders to justice.” He assured that multinational human trafficking networks are still responsible for the human losses.

For his part, Pedro Brolo, Guatemalan Foreign Minister called for “tougher penalties for human trafficking and smuggling” and to “homologate their immigration policies.”

However, more than 40 human rights organizations in Mexico and Central America denounced that this type of situation is due to “the adoption of failed migration policies” and that “the overcrowding in which they traveled shows the adversities faced [by migrants] and forced them to travel in conditions that are deadly”, for which they demanded that the authorities carry out a thorough investigation into the causes. They condemned that the Mexican government has accepted the Stay in Mexico US program adopted by Trump in 2018 and taken up by Joe Biden for violating the rights of migrants to be in the country they consider safe.

On the other hand, there has been talk of policies that push people to seek increasingly dangerous routes. Such is the case of the highland and mountain route adjacent to the Guatemalan Peten, a region controlled by organized crime groups, who dominate the roads and where “no migrant goes unnoticed, everyone must pay and agree on their route with a trafficker” a Pie de Pagina article notes.

There, the path that the migrants involved in the accident followed is delayed: “after crossing the border, “the coyote” got a group of about 12 people in collective transport units; they arrived in the municipality of Comitan, changed their vehicle to a larger truck, and arrived in San Cristobal de Las Casas. There, it states, they were put into a warehouse where they waited for a larger group to gather. Each “coyote” was taking his group, until around two in the afternoon they all put them on the trailer-type cargo truck.”

“In San Cristobal de Las Casas and neighboring municipalities such as San Juan Chamula and Teopisca, human trafficking has grown in recent years. Almost any inhabitant can indicate where there are “safe houses” or warehouses where they hide them until they are taken to transport to be transferred”, the article says.

For more information in Spanish:

Crean grupo para dar con responsables de tragedia en Chiapas (La Jornada, 10 de diciembre de 2021)

55 migrantes muertos en el más grave accidente registrado en Chiapas (Pie de Página, 9 de diciembre de 2021)

Exigen Ongs investigación profunda sobre accidente de migrantes (La Jornada, 9 de diciembre de 2021)

Zeta Transportes se deslinda de accidente donde murieron 55 migrantes (El Universal, 11 de diciembre de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Migrant Tragedy (December 14, 2021)

National: #ProtecciónNoContención Campaign Demands End to Repression of Migrants(October 28, 2021)

Chiapas/National: Migrant Caravan Advances through Chiapas without Major Incidents (October26, 2021)

Chiapas: Leader of Haitian Migrant Community in Tapachula Denounces Aggression by Immigration Agent (October 17, 2021)

Chiapas: OSC exigen cese de las agresiones a defensores de DH de migrantes en Salto de Agua (October 16, 2021)

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