International/National: #DefensoresSinMuros-DefendersBeyondWalls Campaign Calls for End to Attacks against Defenders of Migrants’ Rights

July 8, 2019

MigrantsPhoto @ El Heraldo

The National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (Red TDT in its Spanish acronym), the Migration Issues Program (PRAMI in its Spanish acronym) of the Mexico City-Tijuana Ibero-American University and the international non-governmental organization Frontline Defenders launched the #DefensoresSinMuros – #DefendersBeyondWalls campaign. The new campaign aims to “highlight the valuable work of organizations, activists, groups and shelters, in the face of a report (August 2019) that documents and calls for an end to attacks against the defenders of migrants’ human rights along the migratory routes to the United States.”

“In the campaign, defenders who walked alongside the caravans, migrant homes, shelters and organizations that are on the road and carry out humanitarian work and defense of human rights are presented in a context in which criminalization is on the rise. The faces of the campaign are journalists and researchers who document the impacts with a gender approach of displacement and violence against migrants; humanitarian workers offering water and food to families traveling through the deadliest corridors of the Sonoran Desert; queer activists who create communities and physical spaces for undocumented queer and trans communities and attorneys who offer free legal assistance; among many other people who have fighting for a more just world with more solidarity for all in common.”

The new campaign began in the context of a hectic period on migration issues. Amnesty International (AI) reported that, “since 2018, the US government has carried out an illegal and discriminatory campaign of intimidation, threats, harassment and criminal investigations against people who defend the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on the border between Mexico and the United States.”

In relation to the new policy adopted by the US government that specifically returns certain immigrants seeking asylum to Mexico, in recent days the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that “those seeking asylum from Central America, Cuba and Africa – including 4,780 children – face ‘potentially dangerous and unsustainable conditions’ after the US authorities send them back to Mexico.”

“While waiting for the US government to accept their asylum claims, migrants and activists who support them are exposed to harassment, intimidation, insecurity, exploitation and overcrowded conditions, warned the HRW organizations, Amnesty International (AI) and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym).”

The CNDH noted that in Mexico the recent modification of migration policies has generated a greater presence of immigration authorities and security forces in the northern and southern borders of the national territory, as well as the detention of people in the context of migration in different cities of our country. The fifth visitor of the National Commission of Human Rights, Edgar Corzo, said that, “for all the euphemisms to be found, the government detains migrants in centers (…) than what happens with migrants who are taken to the migratory centers, there is deprivation of liberty, where the minimum conditions of survival or a decent treatment are not guaranteed.”

The CNDH said that “it is necessary that organizations and activists receive the full and permanent support of the authorities of the three levels of government and of society as a whole; that it does not discredit or criminalize their work, since contexts that are not conducive to the defense of fundamental rights are generated, and that the intervention of the authorities in the migratory issue does not affect, for any reason, the work of people and organizations dedicated to the defense of people in the context of mobility.”

For more information in Spanish:

Campaña #DefendersBeyondWalls/#DefensoresSinMuros (Frontline Defenders, 3 de julio de 2019)

Amnistía, HRW y CNDH reclaman a gobierno de AMLO trato a migrantes (Expansión Política, 2 de julio de 2019)

CNDH acusa al gobierno de AMLO de privar de la libertad a migrantes (Milenio, 2 de julio de 2019)

Pide CNDH respaldo de gobiernos a defensores de migrantes (La Jornada, 29 de junio de 2019)

La CNDH acusa a la Comar de incumplir con la protección de 112 solicitantes de refugio entre 2017 y 2018 (Sin Embargo, 2 de juliode 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants (July 2, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released (June 17, 2019)

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture” (June 9, 2019)

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National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants

July 2, 2019

Migration@Chiapas Paralelo

Since June 14th, the agreement between Mexico and the United States to contain the flow of migrants in recent months has involved a militarization of both borders, according to human rights organizations.

On the southern border, the arrival of six thousand elements of the National Guard (GN in its Spanish acronym) was announced. In addition, “elements of the 101st Infantry Battalion of the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym) stationed in the Chiapas sierra put on a black armband with the initials GN (National Guard) and began patrolling in the Comalapa Border municipalities and others of the sierra de Chiapas”, this occurring after “the number of migrants using this road multiplied, after the route that starts from the Suchiate River and runs along the coast of Chiapas became more difficult, with the integration of elements of the Military Police and the Marina in the checkpoints”, Chiapas Paralelo reported a few days after the signing of the agreement.

The civil organizations that work on behalf of the migrants expressed their concern about the “double discourse” of the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), which changed from a humanitarian policy to a militarist one. They accused the federal government of having let “the administration of Donald Trump, extend its border domain to southern Mexico.” They also indicated that the increase in police and military surveillance will not stop migration but will lead them to resort to more dangerous and risky routes for their security and integrity. They are also concerned about the tendency to stigmatize all civil society organizations, increasing the risks for migrant advocates and closing possible channels of dialogue. They warned that there is little clarity in the functions of the GN: “since March 2011, when migration was decriminalized as a crime, this was left as an administrative fault and the INM (National Institute of Migration) as the only authority empowered to detain migrants. However, now everyone is doing it doing, Marines, Army, Federal Police, state police bodies and even municipal police”, Chiapas Paralelo points out.

Another problem linked to the strategy of containment has to do with the saturation of migratory centers that are exceeded in their capacity by up to 400 percent with “overcrowded conditions, without health or adequate food or sufficient access to health services”. The fifth visitor of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Edgar Corzo Sosa, also pointed out the lack of personnel and infrastructure to process requests for refuge or regulation of migratory stay.

Civil organizations have also reported that the INM has asked transport companies to collaborate to prevent the entry of undocumented persons into their vehicles, which some of them agreed to do when the Institute threatened to sue them for crimes comparable to trafficking in persons, with penalties of between one thousand and ten thousand days penalty or up to 16 years in prison. The CSOs will question that the latter action hinders “free transit, not only for this population, but also for Mexican people” since there are “millions of people living in Mexico -who do not have these documents- and they travel on the roads of the country in different transportation systems: young people, agricultural day laborers -of which, many are indigenous, immigrants with immigration documents, thousands of Mexican returnees or deportees who do not have identity documents, and those who do not have their credentials from the INE because they were stolen, they have not updated it, etc.”

In the Northern Border, “we have a total deployment between the National Guard and army units of almost 15,000 men”, the Secretary of National Defense, Luis Cresentcio Sandoval, acknowledged during AMLO’s morning conference on June 25th. He affirmed that “considering that migration is not a crime, it is an administrative problem, so we only stop them and put them at the disposition of the authorities” of the National Institute of Migration. In this same framework, AMLO confirmed that the National Guard troops do detentions of migrants in aid of the INM authorities. He declared that, “there may be these excesses, but the instruction they all have is that the human rights of migrants be respected and that will continue that way.”

For more information in Spanish:

Organizaciones, activistas y defensores denuncian doble discurso del gobierno de AMLO en política migratoria (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de junio de 2019)

Por “contingencia migratoria”, personas sin identificación oficial no podrán abordar en ADO y ETN (Proceso, 18 de junio de 2019)

Acciones para contener migración en el país ponen en peligro libertad de tránsito de población mexicana (OSC, 19 de junio de 2019)

Organizaciones denuncian que medidas gubernamentales contra migrantes son anticonstitucionales (Desinformémonos, 20 de junio de 2019)

15 mil elementos de la Guardia Nacional impedirán el cruce de migrantes hacia EU (Animal Político, 24 de junio de 2019)

Puede Guardia Nacional detener a migrantes: López Obrador (Excelsior, 25 de junio de 2019)

For more information SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released (June 17, 2019)

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture” (June 9, 2019)


Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released

June 17, 2019

irineo-y-cristobal.png

In the early hours of June 12th, the migrants’ human rights defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, were released after a judge in Tapachula, Chiapas, determined not to put them on trial. A week earlier, they had been arrested accused by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR in its Spanish acronym) of the alleged crime of trafficking in persons, that is, of moving people without documents and supposedly for profit.

The People Without Borders Organization, of which Irineo Mujica is director, had denounced that the accusations against the two activists were “false, the product of a campaign to criminalize by the Mexican government under strong pressure from the US government,” such that in the days leading up to the hearing it was demanding that due process be respected, the right to the presumption of innocence, and that there be real justice for both defenders that it considered were ”scapegoats” of Mexico’s policy to be able to meet the newly signed agreement with the US government.

More than a hundred organizations, collectives and academics had made the same demands, considering that “the deprivation of freedom of both defenders represents a form of criminalization against migrants’ human rights defenders, which threatens the right to defend rights, which is even more worrying in a context as complex as that facing migration in the country.” They also expressed their concern that “from the recent agreements reached by the Mexican government with the United States, sending elements of the National Guard throughout the territory was announced, prioritizing the Southern Border, in order to “reduce irregular migration”, thereby advancing a militarization agenda on the southern border and criminalization of migrants and those who defend and accompany them.”

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a Irineo Mujica y Cristóbal Sánchez; no hay pruebas en su contra (Radio Formula, 12 de junio de 2019)

Liberan a Cristóbal Sánchez e Irineo Mujica defensores de migrantes (Político.MX, 12 de junio de 2019)

Infundadas, acusaciones contra defensores de migrantes: Pueblos Sin Fronteras (Proceso, 10 de junio de 2019)

Irineo Mujica se ofreció a colaborar con la Fiscalía y testificar dos meses antes de ser detenido (Animal Político, 10 de junio de 2019)

Juicio justo para Cristóbal e Irineo, exigen OSC; acusan militarización de la frontera (Animal Político, 10 de junio de 2019)

Criminalizan a defensores de migrantes, denuncian ONG (La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2019)

Irineo Mujica y Cristobal Sánchez: ¿los dos primeros presos políticos del Gobierno de López Obrador? (RT, 11 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:    

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)     

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”(June 9, 2019)

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

Chiapas: First Deployment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center (May 23, 2019)


National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs

June 17, 2019

realestate

@RealEstate

One week after the threat of US President Donald Trump to apply a 5% tax on Mexican products if Mexico did not curb irregular immigration, both countries reached an agreement on June 7th that “indefinitely” suspends these tariffs. In return, Mexico promised to take “strong measures” to contain the migratory flow, something that began the day before the agreement by announcing that the border with Guatemala will be strengthened by sending 6,000 members of the newly created National Guard.

The agreement also specifies that Mexico will take “decisive measures to dismantle the trafficking and smuggling organizations of people, as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks. In addition, the United States and Mexico are committed to strengthening bilateral cooperation, including the exchange of information and coordinated actions to better protect and secure our common border.”

It further details that “those who cross the southern border of the United States to seek asylum will be quickly returned to Mexico, where they can wait for the adjudication of their asylum applications” while “Mexico will authorize the entry of all those persons for humanitarian reasons, in compliance with its international obligations, while waiting for the adjudication of their asylum applications. Mexico will also offer employment, health and education according to its principles.” “The United States is committed to work to accelerate the adjudication of asylum applications and conclude removal procedures as quickly as possible,” the agreement also states.

It informs that in the event that the adopted measures do not have the expected results, they will take other measures “and will continue their discussions on the terms of additional understandings to address the flows of irregular migrants and asylum issues, which will be completed and announced within 90 days, if necessary.”

The pact does not include the controversial “third safe country” clause that the Mexican government had affirmed that it would not accept in any case. Finally, the United States supported the integral development plan for the region promoted by the Mexican government in coordination with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras: “The United States and Mexico will lead the work with regional and international partners to build a more prosperous and safer Central America to address the underlying causes of migration, so that the citizens of the region can build better lives for themselves and their families at home”, the statement concludes.

For more information in Spanish:

México enviará a la Guardia Nacional a la frontera sur y asilará a los migrantes que le devuelva EU (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2019)

Canciller de México detalla acuerdo entre México y EE.UU. con el que se evitaron los aranceles (CNN México, 7 de junio de 2019)

Suspensión de aranceles elimina afectación a exportaciones mexicanas (La Jornada, 7 de junio de 2019)

Guerra de aranceles: México enviará 6.000 efectivos de la Guardia Nacional a la frontera con Guatemala para tratar de contener la migración (BBC, 7 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:   

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)     

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”(June 9, 2019)

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

Chiapas: First Deployment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center (May 23, 2019)


National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested

June 11, 2019

Migrants@La Jornada

On June 5th, Irineo Mujica, director of the organization Pueblo Sin Fronteras (People Without Borders) and defender of the human rights of migrants for 15 years, and Cristobal Sanchez, the first in Sonora and the second in Mexico City, were arrested for “their probable participation in the commission of possible crimes in the matter of migration”, the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic (FGR in its Spanish acronym) reported. Both are accused of human trafficking under Article 159 of the Migration Law, allegedly for having introduced foreigners without documentation in Mexico and profiting from it.

For several years, the organization People Without Borders (PSF in its Spanish acronym), formed by Central American, Mexican and American lawyers and activists, supports migrants trying to reach the United States. It is not the first time that it has denounced an attempt of criminalization. The most recent was in February when the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, accused PSF of being one of those that “recruits” Central American migrants to participate in the caravans that have trie to cross Mexico to the United States since October 2018.

Human rights and support organizations for migrants, such as the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center and the Collective for Observation and Monitoring of Human Rights in Southeast Mexico, denounced that these arrests represent “a form of criminalization against defenders of the human rights of migrants persons, who have carried out activities in the context of the migrant Exodus and undermines the right to defend rights. The arrests are added to a series of criminalizing statements made by the federal government against the Caravans, as well as the defenders who accompany them and who have participated in the documentation of human rights violations against migrants, all of which occurred in the context of political and economic pressure that the US government makes against the Mexican government to use all its armed strategies to “stop” migration from Central America.” They demanded respect for the due process rights of the two defenders.

Meanwhile, under pressure from US President Donald Trump, detention and deportation operations continue to stop irregular migration in southern Mexico. In the month of May alone, Mexico arrested 22,694 undocumented migrants, and deported 15,654. This last figure represents an increase of 119% compared to May last year and up to 220% compared to the same month in 2017.

For more information in Spanish:

FGR imputa delitos en materia migratoria a Irineo Mujica y Cristóbal Sánchez (Aristegui Noticias, 6 de junio de 2019)

¿Por qué detuvieron a Irineo y Cristóbal, defensores de derechos de migrantes? (Animal Político, 6 de junio de 2019)

Denunciamos la detención arbitraria de defensores de derechos humanos de personas migrantes

(Colectivo de Observación y Monitoreo de Derechos Humanos en el Sureste Mexicano, 6 de junio de 2019)

Autoridades federales frenan a nueva caravana de migrantes; detienen a casi 400 personas en Chiapas (Animal Político, 5 de junio de 2019)

Presionado por Trump, México aumenta las detenciones y deportaciones de migrantes (The New York Times, 4 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”(June 9, 2019)

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

Chiapas: First Depolyment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center (May 23, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: OSC presentan el “Informe del monitoreo de derechos humanos del éxodo centroamericano en el sureste mexicano: octubre 2018 – febrero 2019” (May 3, 2019)

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

National/International: Contrasting Mexican and US Government Approaches to Central American Migration (April 2, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Secretaria de Gobernación se reúne con funcionarios del gobierno de Donald Trump para abordar el tema Migración (March5, 2019)

International/National: Registration of Humanitarian Visas for Migrants Closes (February 12, 2019)


Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”

June 9, 2019

BorderCivil Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in the Mexican Southeast (@RedTdT)

From May 29th to 31st, the “Civil Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in the Mexican Southeast” (MCO in its Spanish acronym), composed of 24 organizations from Mexico, Central America and the United States, including SIPAZ, academics and journalists, toured various control points and immigration authorities on the coast and southern border of Chiapas “in order to strengthen the documentation and support that local organizations have made in the face of Central American exoduses in recent months.”

In a press conference at the end of the mission, the organizations asserted that, “the southern border is silent torture.” They denounced that “a militarized security approach continues and is sharpening above the respect and protection of the human rights of people in movement. We documented multiple immigration control points with strong presence of state security forces, particularly federal police and military police, without clarity about their functions and powers in the context of migration“, something that was considered “incongruous with the official discourse of a migration policy that respects human rights.”

They also identified “a strategy of attrition and containment, which is intended to generate fatigue, demobilization and dissuasion of people before access to the right to seek refuge and regularization procedures, as well as to restrict and criminalize human mobility.”

They documented that “immigration detention serves as a strategy of repression and punishment” as “raids and migration control operations have intensified along the entire coast.” They pointed out that “the conditions of immigration detention, which are in themselves violating human rights, have intensified, amounting to forms of physical and psychological torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” In addition to racist and xenophobic practices towards specific groups, they expressed their concern when “families are separated in raids, during detention, release and deportation, thus violating the principle of family unity.” They were also outraged by “the deprivation of freedom of migrant children and adolescents and asylum seekers in detention centers, the lack of humanitarian aid and lack of general respect for their rights, contrary to their Higher Interest.”

The MCO pointed to several flaws in government attention, including “the lack of institutional coordination and co-responsibility among the different levels of government, as well as a lack of comprehensive care protocols on migration and humanitarian issues with a focus on human rights, prevailing improvised reactions, assistance and with an emphasis on security “; as well as the “limitation of human, financial and infrastructure resources.”

Finally, it noted “with particular alarm that the stigmatization and criminalization of migration is increasing, resulting in the denial of the right to due process and to have a defense in immigration procedures. As a result, solidarity and the work of defending human rights is hindered and criminalized.”

Interestingly, on May 30th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador came out in defense of the migrants through a letter stating that “human beings do not leave their villages for pleasure but for necessity”, which was directed to the US president, Donald Trump, who threatened to impose tariffs on domestic products (from five to 25%) if Mexico does not solve the phenomenon of irregular migration.

For more information in Spanish:

La frontera sur es una tortura silenciosa: Misión de Observación (Misión de Observación de la Crisis Humanitaria de Personas Migrantes y Refugiados en el Sureste Mexicano, 31 de mayo de 2019)

Protección migratoria no puede subordinarse a relación México-EU: ONG (La Jornada, 31 de mayo de 2019)

Trump advierte que los aranceles a México aumentarán si no se controla el flujo de inmigrantes ilegales (CNN México, 31 de mayo de 2019)

AMLO defiende a migrantes frente a Trump, pero las detenciones en México se disparan 100% (Animal Político, 1ero de junio de 2019)

Discurso oficial sobre migrantes difiere de la realidad, afirman ONG (La Jornada, 1ero de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

Chiapas: First Depolyment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center (May 23, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: OSC presentan el “Informe del monitoreo de derechos humanos del éxodo centroamericano en el sureste mexicano: octubre 2018 – febrero 2019” (May 3, 2019)

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

National/International: Contrasting Mexican and US Government Approaches to Central American Migration (April 2, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Secretaria de Gobernación se reúne con funcionarios del gobierno de Donald Trumpf para abordar el tema Migración (March5, 2019)

International/National: Registration of Humanitarian Visas for Migrants Closes (February 12, 2019)


International: The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and The Mexican Government Announce Plan for Gas Pipeline Connecting Mexico and Central America

June 4, 2019

Pipeline@Tiempo Digital

At the beginning of May, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) proposed to the president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), an electricity network and a gas pipeline to connect Mexico with Central America.

The plan would connect the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmus Corridor with these new projects. ECLAC stated that the proposal will promote development in the region, and would be a response to the structural causes behind migration from Central America to the North, which include slow economic growth and lack of employment.

On May 27th, the Mexican government and ECLAC announced a gas pipeline project, from Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico, to Puerto Cortes, in northern Honduras. The gas pipeline would also cross Guatemala and El Salvador.

At a press conference, President AMLO and the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Barcena Ibarra, explained that the project will cost 19 billion dollars, which they hope to cover between public and private investments.

For more information in Spanish:

Proponen conectar Tren Maya y Corredor Transístmico hasta Centroamérica Educa, 27 de mayo de 2019.

De Salina Cruz, gas y energía vital para Centro América NVI Noticias, 27 de mayo de 2019.

Propone Cepal impulsar Tren Maya hasta Centroamérica Tiempo Digital, 5 de mayo de 2019.

Para más información de SIPAZ:

National: Bidding Process Begins for Maya Train without Previous Consultation with Indigenous Peoples (May 10, 2019)

National: AMLO Announces Consultation for the Construction of the Maya Train (November 14, 2018)

Mexico: proposal from future AMLO government – Mayan Train to tour the southern states of the country and attract more tourism  (September 15, 2018)