National: Over 40 Organizations Demand Protection from the State for Migrants in the Pandemic

July 4, 2020


On July 1st in an online transmission, the report “Proposal of alternative routes to detention for the migrant population and asylum seekers in Mexico during the Covid-19 pandemic” was presented. In the event which was coordinated by the University Seminar for Studies on Internal Displacement, Migration, Exile and Repatriation of the UNAM, representatives from OXFAM Mexico, the International Detention Coalition, the Fray Matias de Cordova Center for Human Rights on the southern border, and Al Otro Lado Tijuana on the northern border participated.

The report reveals the conditions of risk of contagion and violation of rights faced by thousands of migrants in Mexico and calls on the responsible authorities and control and surveillance bodies to act urgently in order to guarantee that migrants in Mexico have access to their rights.

The report also emphasizes that children continue to be victims of arrests: “We are particularly concerned about the presence of thousands of accompanied children and adolescents, whose best interests are also permanently omitted in the considerations of the Mexican authorities.”

The report, backed by more than 40 civil society organizations, proposes 11 minimum lines of action for the implementation of emergency sanitary measures with the population on the move in the country, in order to reduce the risks of transmission of the virus in this sector, as well as for the officials who serve them and for the communities that host them.

In the presentation, it was repeatedly emphasized that it is not a matter of implementing a different policy but of ensuring that Mexico meets its responsibilities, which derive from international conventions that it has ratified.

More information in Spanish:

En México hay 100 mil migrantes en riesgo por Covid-19, alerta la UNAM (La Jornada 1 de julio)

“Propuesta de rutas alternativas a la detención para la población migrante y solicitante de asilo en México durante la pandemia del Covid-19”(Informe, julio 2020)

UNAM pide acciones para proteger de la pandemia a 100 mil migrantes. (ejecentral 2 de julio)


National/International: CNI Groups Organize as USMCA Comes into Effect

July 4, 2020


At the end of June, before the imminent entry into effect of the new free trade agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA), the Metropolitan Anticapitalist and Antipatriarchal Coordination and the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG) of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) called for a series of protest activities that will include: a virtual march “Against USMCA! No to the New Trade Agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico!”, On July 1st; a virtual Forum “Analysis and Perspectives: a Comparative Framework of NAFTA-1994 and its Contributions to Social Inequalities”, on July 16th; and a public presentation of the legal resources presented before national and international bodies against megaprojects, on July 30th and 31st.

On July 1st, the day the new trade agreement came into force, the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), also part of the CNI, published a statement denouncing that this type of agreements “cement the legal frameworks to use force by law in the imposition of megaprojects in Mexico, as well as a whole series of policies, laws and reforms that violate the human rights of indigenous peoples and the Mexican people.”

It declared that the wave of violence that plagues the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is “linked to the imposition of megaprojects and extractivist policies of the Mexican government”, in particular the Trans-Systemic/Interoceanic Corridor-Train, “a historic project that since the mid-19th century has been proposing using the geostrategic position of the Mexican Isthmus as a commercial node for global trade, this as part of the expansionist project of the US, which, by not achieving its objective in Mexico, gained control over the Panama Canal, a project that is currently obsolete compared to the demand from this rampant global market.”

It warned about the fact that “the Mexican Isthmus is seen as the primary node in these treaties, and with the discourse of emerging from the economic crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, national and international pressure is created in our region by capital to streamline the works and construction of this Trans-Systemic/Interoceanic Corridor-Train from the port of Coatzacoalco, Veracruz to the port of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, interconnected with Section 1 of the Maya Train, passing through the new Dos Bocas refinery and extending from Salina Cruz to Tapachula, Chiapas, to consolidate an energy, rail, port and industrial corridor, militarizing and reordering the entire south-southeast of Mexico and placing the new border with the US on the Tehuantepec Isthmus.”

Given this, the APIIDTT made a “call to organization, to resistance and to fight for the life and future of coming generations. The Isthmus is Ours, not the companies, nor the governments, it is of the indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, it is of the Mexican people and of any person who decides to defend it, take care of it, and respect it.”

For more information in Spanish:

Boletín completo (APIIDTT, 1ero de julio de 2020)

Tratados como el T-MEC «cimientan los marcos jurídicos para usar la fuerza» contra los pueblos: comunidades del Istmo (Desinformémonos, 1ero de julio de 2020)

Jornada de lucha contra el T-MEC y los megaproyectos (CNI, 30 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ: 

National/International: USMCA Comes into Effect with Mechanisms for Internet Censorship and Criminalization of Digital Locks Evasion (July 3, 2020)

National/International: United States Formally Approves USMCA Trade Agreement(February 2, 2020)

National/International: Mexican Senate Ratifies US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (July 4, 2019)

National/International: OSC Asks for Suspension of Agreement with US to Convert Mexico into “Migration Filter” in Return for Favors in Renegotiation of NAFTA (June 25, 2018)


National: Over 100 Deaths from COVID-19 in Mexican Prisons

July 3, 2020


At the end of June, several sources reported an alarming increase in infections and deaths from COVID-19 in prisons in Mexico, with 23 states of the country presenting cases.

The organization AsíLegal reported, through the COVID-19 Penitentiary Map, that up to that date they had already registered 718 people deprived of their liberty and 119 custodians confirmed cases, as well as 102 deaths in the prison population and 27 in prison staff. It warned of a “continuous increase” since the start of the pandemic, due to the lack of measures in the prison system to prevent outbreaks.

The same organization also recorded 16 violent incidents in prisons in the country with causes related to the health emergency: three in Chiapas, two in CDMX, Colima and Edomex, and with an incident in Guanajuato, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Puebla, Michoacan, Chihuahua and Veracruz.

AsíLegal also reported that 3,625 releases were granted, a figure that “increases slowly despite the mechanisms for early release of the prison population at risk or with the recently approved Amnesty Law.”

It reiterated that it is still urgent to reverse the conditions of overcrowding, and sanitation in the prison system. It also urged the authorities to redouble efforts in favor of this population and to seek measures that may allow a new, safe normality.

For its part and according to its count, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) confirmed that it has registered 656 confirmed coronavirus cases, 252 suspects and 103 deaths. Despite the slight difference with the AsíLegal data, the figure shows an acceleration in the lethality caused by the virus, as just two weeks earlier the number of deaths was 68.

For more information in Spanish:

Muertes en cárceles se triplicaron en mayo, en medio de emergencia por COVID (Animal Político, 1ero de julio de 2020)

Semáforo penitenciario en rojo: Contabilizan 131 muertes por Covid-19 en cárceles (SDP Noticias, 30 de junio de 2020)

Suman 625 casos de COVID-19 en cárceles de México (Enterate, 30 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Commission to Implement Amnesty Law Created (June 22, 2020)

National: “Due to Cuts and Bureaucracy, Amnesty Law Hasn’t Been Applied to or Benefitted any Prisoner” – Animal Politico(June 17, 2020)

Chiapas: CSOs Denounces Chiapas State Prosecutor’s Office Setting Conditions for Release of Prisoners Entitled to New Amnesty Law (April 28, 2020)

National: Amnesty Law Approved to Stop Spread of Coronavirus in Prisons (April 23, 2020)

National: Calls on Federal and State Authorities to Take Special Measures to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus in Prisons (March 25, 2020)


Guerrero: “Orange with Red Color” Light for COVID

July 3, 2020

mapa-semaforo-epidemiologico-semana-junio© Milenio

On June 29th, La Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center stated its opinion regarding the change in color, from red to orange, of the epidemiological stage declared by the Secretary of Health in Guerrero. In the text, he explained the difficulties of decreeing the orange phase, which indicates a high risk, in a state like Guerrero whose residents face not only the pandemic but also, among other things, the difficult search for missing relatives.

Undersecretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell affirmed that there was a decrease in cases in Acapulco, which motivated the municipal president Adela Roman to announce the reopening of the beaches, a decision supported by Governor Hector Astudillo who “has been announcing that this week they will restart tourist activities at 30 percent of their capacity.”

In addition, pressure from the business sector, as well as from the tertiary sector, has meant that, despite the fact that the number of infections in Acapulco has not been controlled, the intention is to reactivate economic activity. The perception of the population is that the pandemic continues to rise, especially in indigenous and rural communities that do not have the same media impact and are at the peak of infections. Tlachinollan pointed out that the cases are not being registered, in principle because tests are not being applied and also because of the fear that exists among the population of becoming infected if they go to hospital.

“We face a very difficult crossroads, because the pandemic has not yet been tamed in an entity made up of an extremely vulnerable population, due to its economic precariousness, difficult access to hospital centers and the lack of sanitary controls”, said Tlachinollan.

On that note, a call was made to the authorities to consider the consequences of the reopening of activities and, above all, to deal with them, especially if infections spread again, “the authorities have to carefully weigh the risks entailed by a partial opening, without assuring the mitigation of the contagion and attention to the population that requires hospitalization.”

For more information in Spanish:

Naranja con color rojo (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la montaña Tlachinollan, 29 de junio 2020)

Confía Astudillo que cambie a naranja semáforo sanitario de Guerrero (El Sol de Acapulco, 30 de junio de 2020)

Espera el gobierno de Guerrero pasar a semáforo naranja el miércoles (El Sur, 28 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Orange Light Despite Serious Doubts about Official COVID Figures (July 3, 2020)

Guerrero: 25th Anniversary of Aguas Blancas Massacre…No Justice (June 30, 2020) 

Chiapas: Violent Demonstrations and Damage in San Andres Larrainzar during Alleged Sanitation (June 30, 2020)

Oaxaca/National: 7.5 Earthquake in State Ravaged by Pandemic (June 24, 2020)

Chiapas: Health System in Chiapas Collapsed Due to Coronavirus (June 23, 2020)

National: First Report on Monitoring of Indigenous and Comparable Communities Published in Response to SARS-COV-2 Emergency (June 22, 2020)


Chiapas: Orange Light Despite Serious Doubts about Official COVID Figures

July 3, 2020

Photo: Chiapas Paralelo San Cristobal de Las Casas Cemetery, “Covid-19 Colony”

The Secretary of Health of Chiapas, Jose Manuel Cruz Castellanos confirmed that Chiapas went from a red to orange epidemiological stage, registering a reduction in the positivity of the virus.

“It is a reality that we have decreased the percentage of positivity, because we have adhered to an operational definition that fully aligns with the Federation; but the orange means adjustment and preparation for the new normality”, according to Cruz Castellanos

In the orange stage, non-essential economic sectors may partially reopen and respecting an occupancy percentage, as of July 1st. These include bookstores, restaurants, hotels and tourist accommodation but also cinemas, theaters, places of worship, churches, hairdressers, beauty salons and barber shops, gyms, swimming pools, sports centers, as well as spas and massage centers.

For June 28th, the State Health Secretariat presented the following figures: 281 deaths, 3,996 confirmed cases and 2,630 recovered. However, for the same dates, the figures from the federal government for Chiapas were 525 deaths (including 36 people from the medical sector), 4,339 accumulated confirmed cases and 2,624 people recovered.

The Secretary of Health of the State of Chiapas explained the discrepancy of almost 50% of deaths, referring to the fact that institutions such as the IMSS and ISSSTE “report directly to Mexico City, and are not necessarily registered here (in Chiapas).”

However, on a platform generated by various media, including Chiapas Paralelo, they question all these figures … “The reality manifested by the population is different, hundreds of people denounce the contagion and death of their relatives, in their homes, without medical attention, without having been tested despite having the symptoms of the disease.” In the case of deaths according to sampling, tests to detect the virus were not carried out in 64.3 percent of the 273 people who died. One in four deaths did not even have access to a hospital, they reported.

They related multiple examples of families who were looking for a hospital where they could receive their patients but were sent from one place to another without medical attention and with the resulting death of the sick person before being treated.

In an article they also reported that between June 24th and 25th, in the Municipal Cemetery of San Cristobal de Las Casas, six people were buried in what local workers call “COVID Colony”, a place intended for people who die as a consequence of the new coronavirus.

In the official figures of the Ministry of Health, there is only a record of two of these cases. So it can be said that in that city alone, conservative data indicates that at least two out of three people who die from the virus do not appear in the official figures, even though there is a certificate that indicates COVID as the cause of death.

In San Cristobal de Las Casas, the media explained that before the pandemic there was an average of 35 burials per month. As of March the figure shot up. That month it rose to 45, in April there were 65, in May 170 and until June 26th, they already had 100 funerals. In other words, there were 379 people who died during this period. The number of deaths multiplied but very few of them registered in official sources about the pandemic.

For more information in Spanish:

Chiapas pasa de semaforo epidemiologico rojo naranja, El Universal, 27 de junio de 2020

Chiapas podría pasar a semáforo naranja, Cuarto Poder, 28 de junio 2020

COVID-19, los muertos que no contaron, Chiapasparalelo, 29 de junio de 2020

En Chiapas han muerto 524 personas por Covid-19; cifras diarias del Secretario de Salud son de su dependencia, Chiapasparalelo, 29 de junio de 2020

Muertes en personal médico suman 36 en Chiapas; 4 en las últimas 24 horas, Chiapasparalelo, 29 de junio de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Violent Demonstrations and Damage in San Andres Larrainzar during Alleged Sanitation (June 30, 2020)

Chiapas: Health System in Chiapas Collapsed Due to Coronavirus (June 23, 2020)

Chiapas: Misinformation about COVID-19 Leads to Attacks on Hospitals and Staff (June 13, 2020)

Chiapas: por rumores por sanitización ante coronavirus, queman alcaldía y casas en Venustiano Carranza


Chiapas: Violent Demonstrations and Damage in San Andres Larrainzar during Alleged Sanitation

June 30, 2020

SAN-ANDRES1© En Cambio Quintana Roo

On June 27th, residents of the municipality of San Andres Larrainzar caused damage to vehicles, including two patrol cars and an ambulance; two houses of municipal authorities, as well as the Health Center, according to the prosecutor Jorge Llaven Abarca. According to the investigation, at 20:00 hours on that day, elements of the Municipal Police “carried out routine patrols in the Guadalupe neighborhood of the municipality when inhabitants assumed that they had formed to sanitize the surroundings, holding and then releasing them.”

Some sources indicate that the residents’ annoyance was because there had been no consultation with the community authorities to carry out the alleged sanitation. However, it is not the first time that disinformation has provoked violent demonstrations in Chiapas, since several groups of people in different municipalities have opposed the carrying out of fumigations against dengue or disinfection because of COVID-19. “These groups believe that in these ways the government is intentionally spreading the disease”, the state Secretary of Health said.

On that note, the prosecutor also called on citizens, especially indigenous communities, “not to be fooled by false leaders who are calling on the population to commit criminal acts” and reported that the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE), through the Indigenous Justice Prosecutor’s Office, opened an investigation for vandalism and guaranteed that the people who are calling this type of demonstrations would be investigated so that these events do not go unpunished and do not continue to be repeated.

For more information in Spanish:

Inicia FGE carpeta de investigación por actos vandálicos en Larráinzar: Llaven Abarca (Fiscalía General del Estado, 27 de junio 2020)

Investiga FGE actos vandálicos en Larráinzar (Fiscalía General del Estado, 27 de junio 2020)

Vandalizan hospital y queman casas en Chiapas tras oponerse a fumigación (ADN40, 28 de junio 2020)

Vandalizan San Andrés Larráinzar por falsos avisos sobre sanitización (El Sol de México, 28 de junio 2020)

CEDH y CNDH reprueba discurso violento del secretario de salud (NVI Noticias, 28 de junio 2020)

Vandalizan casas en San Andrés Larrainzar, Chiapas, en protesta por desinfección (27 de junio 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Health System in Chiapas Collapsed Due to Coronavirus (June 23, 2020)

Chiapas: Misinformation about COVID-19 Leads to Attacks on Hospitals and Staff (June 13, 2020)

Chiapas: por rumores por sanitización ante coronavirus, queman alcaldía y casas en Venustiano Carranza (29/05/2020)

Chiapas: Frayba Reports over 40 Torture Cases in One Year

June 28, 2020


On June 25th, in the framework of the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) held an online talk under the hashtag #StopTortura.

Three members of the organization announced that from January 2019 to March 2020 they received complaints of 41 cases of torture, of which they documented that 26 of them occurred within the framework of the adversarial system of criminal justice, that is, that the majority of the perpetrators are elements of the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE).

At the request of Frayba, the FGE reported that in 2018 31 investigation cases for the crime of torture were opened, of which 26 were pending, only one of these was linked to the trial and that there is no conviction of perpetrators in any of the cases, the organization stressed.

In Frayba’s bulletin “Torture is a Systematic and Widespread Practice in Mexico”, published the same day, it states that “this lack of effectiveness in the current judicial system maintains the patterns of non-access to justice for torture victims who are stigmatized and criminalized. The burden of proof continues with the questioning where the alleged culprits and the victims are not guaranteed protection and respect for human rights.” It adds that, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the legal processes of torture victims have been stopped, and thus the risks to the life, security and integrity of the victims have increased.

“Torture in Mexico is a mechanism that nullifies and terrifies the population, especially the excluded and marginalized. Added to the torture contexts are the internal forced displacements suffered by the communities of Original Peoples in Chiapas”, Frayba denounced in the June 25th bulletin and demanded that the Mexican state comply with the recommendations of the UN Committee against Torture.

More information in Spanish:

La Tortura es una práctica sistemática y generalizada en México. (Boletín Frayba, 25 de junio)

Documentan más de 40 casos de tortura (Diario de Chiapas, 26 de junio)

More information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National: “Denying the Existence of Torture in Mexico Encourages Impunity”, CSO (April 20, 2020)

Chiapas: Fiscalía de Alto impacto señalada como responsable de tortura contra estudiantes (February 26, 2020)

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Obstruction in Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (February 26, 2020)


Oaxaca/National: 7.5 Earthquake in State Ravaged by Pandemic

June 24, 2020

oaxaca-sismo© Forbes Mexico

On June 23rd, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake was registered in the town of Crucecitas, Oaxaca. As a result, several private and public buildings were damaged in more than 83 municipalities. However, the most regrettable thing is that, mainly due to roof and building collapses, seven people lost their lives. For this reason, the state governor, Alejandro Murat, decided to request an emergency declaration for all affected areas.

Other incidents caused by the tremor were also reported, such as a fire at the Salina Cruz refinery, which was immediately extinguished or some minor effects in hospitals such as the IMSS Hospital in Huatulco and in 15 other health centers. For its part, the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) activated the DN-III-E plan in its phase of assisting the population in Oaxaca with 2,356 members.

Saul Arellano Almanza, researcher at UNAM, explained that “the impact of an accident like this is greater for the Oaxaca region when there are precarious social and economic conditions.” This is due to the little evidence of reconstruction that there were after past earthquakes. In addition, the state of Oaxaca reports a strong impact in this pandemic situation since, along with Chiapas and Guerrero, it is 40% below the national average in the availability of doctors and health infrastructure.

As for the possible aftershocks, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador invited the population to be alert for the situations that can arise.

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca, estado vulnerable en jaque por el sismo y la pandemia (Forbes, 24 de junio 2020)

Sedena activa Plan DN-III-E en Oaxaca y la Ciudad de México tras sismo (El Universal, 23 de junio 2020)

Terremoto en México: un sismo de magnitud 7,5 y epicentro en Oaxaca deja al menos 6 muertos y se siente con fuerza en Ciudad de México (BBC, 24 de junio 2020)

Así quedó Oaxaca tras el sismo de 7.5 (Excelsior, 23 de junio 2020)

Suman siete muertos en Oaxaca tras el sismo magnitud 7.5 (ADN40, 24 de junio 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Detienen obras de remodelación para el Tren Transítmico en San Juan Guichicovi hasta llegar a acuerdos

Chiapas “Nos indigna que los desplazamientos forzados sean métodos de ‘castigo’ a las minorías”, Abejas de Acteal

Oaxaca: Violent Attacks in San Mateo del Mar Leave 15 Dead (June 23, 2020)

Oaxaca: After Four Years, Still No Justice for Nochixtlan Massacre (June 22, 2020)

Oaxaca: Death Threat at Door of Oaxaca Consortium Office (June 17, 2020)

International: World Refugee Marked

June 24, 2020

MONTERREY, NUEVO LEÓN, 13JUNIO2020.- Al menos treinta migrantes que acuden al albergue casa INDI, Parroquia Santa María Goretti dieron positivo a las pruebas por Covid-19, otras 500 personas están en espera de resultados. Los migrantes fueron aislados en las instalaciones del albergue. Nuevo León registra 4mil 781 contagios y 179 defunciones hasta el 13 de junio de 2020.FOTO: GABRIELA PÉREZ MONTIEL /CUARTOSCURO.COM@Cuartoscuro

World Refugee Day, established by the UN in 2001, was celebrated on June 20th. It is especially relevant in Mexico to commemorate this day, not only because it is the eighth country in the world with the highest number of asylum requests in 2019, but also due to the large number of internal displacements in this country. According to the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH), it is estimated that there have been at least 338,405 internally displaced persons from 2006 to date.

Regarding the flow of migrants that passes through Mexico from the Central American countries to the United States, there has been a strong increase in recent years: in 2015, only 3,442 people requested refuge in Mexico. That number gradually rose to 70,709 in the past year.

Since 2013, approximately 150 thousand people have requested asylum in Mexico in total, of which only a third of these cases have been resolved to date. Of these, a total of 29,132 were recognized as refugees, while the rest received Complementary Protection or a rejection. Most of the accepted refugees in Mexico come from Honduras, Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

For many years Mexico was only a transit country to the United States. But that has changed, especially due to the more restrictive immigration policy under President Donald Trump. Now the country is also becoming a destination for refugees, explains Andres Ramirez, general coordinator of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR).

However, the year 2020 broke with the trend of the migratory movement. Although in the first quarter of the year the number of applications increased compared to 2019, the emergence of the coronavirus completely cut off the flow of migrants. For as long as the inhumane conditions prevailing in the migratory stations in Mexico during the pandemic have been pointed out, they constitute a very high risk of contagion from the virus. Because of this, many refugees have even expressed the desire to return to their country of origin, but in more than one case they have found the borders of their countries closed by the same pandemic.

For more information in Spanish:

Desplazamiento interno forzado en México (CMDPDH)

Día Mundial de los Refugiados 20 de junio (Naciones Unidas)

Día del Refugiado: epidemia de COVID-19 frena llegada de solicitantes (Animal Político el 20 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: HRW Asks Mexico for “Immediate” Release of All Detained Immigrants Due to Coronavirus (April 19, 2020)

National: Migrant Dies in Protest at Migrant Center in Tabasco; INM Blamed (April 5, 2020)

International/National: USA Closes Southern Border to Asylum Seekers Due to Coronavirus (March 25, 2020)

Chiapas: National Guard and Police Oppression of Migrants Protesting over COVID-19 Fears (March 30, 2020)

National/International: Food Insecurity Increases for LGBTIQ+ Community in Pandemic

June 24, 2020


During the month of June, organizations and institutions have drawn attention to the specific situation of the LGBTIQ+ population, when this is usually the month when millions of people around the world take to the streets in “pride marches” to fight for their rights and highlight the discrimination that this population experiences.

In this context, on June 18th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) convened a webinar under the title “Situation of the Rights of LGBTI People in the Context of the Pandemic,” with the participation of human rights defenders and activists from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, the United States and Mexico.

The Commissioner and IACHR Rapporteur for the Rights of LGBTI People, Flavia Piovesan, was the first to speak, highlighting three structural challenges in the region: extreme inequality; discrimination (the virus does not discriminate but its impact is discriminatory); and the dilemmas of democratic institutions to combat the pandemic.

Those invited confirmed the challenges mentioned by the rapporteur and also pointed out how the new confinement regulations implemented by governments have given an excuse for security forces to commit more attacks on LGBTI+ people. They reported that many people in this sector who have lost their jobs cannot return to their homes because several of them fled domestic violence due to not being accepted into their homes. With various examples, they denounced that different discriminations are experienced by people with an intersectional perspective, stressing that it is not a homogeneous population. For example, the total invisibility of bisexual people in Latin America and the absence of documentation of their situation were mentioned. The complexity and double discrimination in cases of being trans, black and Latin American women in the United States were also highlighted.

Several people specifically pointed out the serious situation of violence that trans women experience, before the pandemic and now even worse, since a food emergency has been generated, since confinement implies that several cannot do their work, cannot return home, and they find it difficult to receive financial support from the government due to discrimination and mistreatment because their identity card shows their trans identity.

In the report “Amplified Vulnerability”, Kennedy Carrillo of OutRight Action International, Belize, shared the impacts of the pandemic on the global LGBTIQ + population. Increasing food insecurity was one of the most salient issues. Topics such as interruptions in access to medical care, abuse of power by the State, fear of social violence, stigma, discrimination, social isolation and increased anxiety, as well as concerns about organizational survival, also emerged.

More information in Spanish:

Situación de los derechos de las personas LGBTI en el contexto de la pandemia; (Webinar CIDH 18 junio 2020)

Vulnerabilidad amplificada. El impacto de la pandemia del COVID-19 en las personas LGBTIQ. (Outright Acion Internacional, 4 de junio 2020)

More information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: La comunidad LGBTTTI+ en México celebra el Día Internacional Contra la Homo-, Bi- y Transfobia (May 18, 2020)

Chiapas: Organización defensora de la diversidad sexual recibe amenazas por su trabajo en el marco del Mes de Orgullo LGBTTTIQA+ (June 27, de 2019)

Chiapas: Meeting of Citizens’ Observatory of LGBT+ Population Rights with Government Representatives (October 7, 2019)

Oaxaca: State Congress Approves Marriage Equality Bill (September 10, 2019)

Chiapas: Exigen verdad y justicia por el asesinato de Aylin, mujer transexual y 7 otros casos de odio (September 1, de 2019)