National/International: “When Words Are Not Enough” – Amnesty International Report almost One Year after AMLO Takes Office

December 4, 2019

AI

On November 27th, almost one year after the inauguration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) as the new president of Mexico, Amnesty International (AI) presented a report entitled “When Words Are Not Enough” in which it takes stock of progress made on the human rights crisis in the country.

“The government of President Lopez Obrador has shown a willingness to move forward partially on some initiatives, especially on the issue of disappearances in the country. However, after a year of his government, there are no substantial changes in the lives of millions of people facing a very serious human rights crisis that has lasted for more than a decade. The very high levels of violence that undermine the right to life, the torture that is still widespread, the alarming rates of violence against women, and a militarized security strategy more alive than ever, are a sign of the tragic reality in Mexico,” Erika Guevara Rosas, director for the Americas of Amnesty International, said.

Refarding advances, she considered that the decision of the government in August to recognize the competence of the Committee against Enforced Disappearances of the UN to review communications on individual cases, gave a solution to one of the repeated demands of relatives of missing persons and human rights organizations. “However, this measure has not yet been implemented.”

AI said it sees “a huge incongruity between what the government says and what it then does. It promises a more humane treatment for migrants and in need of international protection, but sends the National Guard to persecute and detain them. It says he will protect human rights defenders and journalists, but publicly discredits them. It is worrisome that human rights violations remain the rule in Mexico and not the exception,” Erika Guevara Rosas added.

Amnesty International concluded that “in order to achieve a substantial change in human rights, the government must stop blaming previous administrations for the situation and, instead, accept responsibility for what is happening in the present and seek solutions to address the serious debts pending in the matter, making sure that any policy of the current administration has human rights and its international obligations as a fundamental basis.”

For more information in Spanish:

Cuando las palabras no bastan (Amnistía Internacional, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

México: Amnistía Internacional alerta sobre la falta de avances en derechos humanos después de un año del nuevo gobierno (Amnistía Internacional, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

“Las palabras no bastan”, la evaluación de AI al gobierno de AMLO en materia de derechos humanos (Proceso, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

México mantiene crisis de derechos humanos en gobierno de AMLO según Amnistía Internacional (El Sol de México, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

Amnistía Internacional califica de “incongruente” la política de derechos humanos de López Obrador (El País, 28 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National: Un Human Rights Committee Issues 48 Human Rights Recommendations for Mexico (November 12, 2019)

National/International: Attacks on Migrant Defenders in Central America, Mexico and U.S. Increase (October 1, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Expresses Concern over Unresolved Issues in Mexico (September 22, 2019)

 


Chiapas: Civil Organizations Report on Observation Mission in Tapachula

November 24, 2019

Tapachula@Frayba

On November 21st, members of the Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in southeastern Mexico convened a press conference at the facilities of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) in San Cristobal de Las Casas to report on the impacts of Mexico’s migration policy at the southern border.

They pointed out that “the asylum system in Mexico faces a growing collapse” because the immigration authorities fail to give a quick response to all applicants.

“The office of the Mexican Commission for Assistance to Refugees (COMAR in its Spanish acronym), based in Tapachula, has collapsed, which has caused migrants seeking asylum to have to stay longer in that place without work and in conditions of helplessness.”

According to Brenda Ochoa, director of the Fray Matias de Cordova Human Rights Center, immigration policy is a social criminalization policy. In Tapachula, migrants are subject to detention by the National Guard because they do not have the possibility of leaving the city. They reported abuse and arbitrary detention of both families and minors.

They also mentioned that while they were at the immigration station in Tapachula they experienced harassment from security agents who took the photos and names of members of the Mission.

Another aspect discussed at the press conference is the change in the profile of migrants due to the arrival of many people from several countries in Africa. Angeles Mariscal, also a member of the Mission, highlighted the vulnerability of around 1600 African migrants. “They had their passports confiscated, they have a hard time understanding Spanish,” said the journalist. He said his situation is much more difficult because “they had no way of communicating, they were not allowed to leave.”

The representatives of the Mission reported a very tense climate in the migratory station due on the one hand to temperatures of up to 40 degrees causing dehydration, and on the other, due to the lack of restroom and food services. Another aspect that plays a very harmful role in the context is the participation of media that send xenophobic, racist and discriminatory messages against the migrant population, for example accusing them of being carriers of diseases such as Ebola.

A woman from Nicaragua who was forced to flee her country because of political persecution also attended the press conference. She said that she arrived in Mexico on June 9th together with her husband and 15-year-old son and that she was detained at an immigration checkpoint in Tuxtla Gutierrez. Although COMAR approved her refuge request, she has not received a response to date. “We are unemployed, renting a house and my son without access to education. […], If you don’t have the conditions to house the migrants, don’t stop us and let us continue”, she also asked the Mexican government.

For more information in Spanish:

Sistema de asilo enfrenta colapso (Cuartopoder el 22 de noviembre de 2019)

Conferencia de prensa en vivo (Frayba el 21 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Autoridades migratorias frenan a caravana de migrantes en Tapachula (14 de octubre de 2019)

Chiapas: Migrantes africanos chocan con Guardia Nacional en Tapachula (4 de octubre de 2019)

Internacional/Nacional: El Alto Comisionado de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR) termina gira en México, mientras protestan migrantes africanos en Tapachula (1 de octubre de 2019)

Chiapas: Elementos de la Policía Federal Agreden a Migrantes y Periodistas en una Estación Migratoria en Tapachula (28 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas: Organizaciones de DDHH piden alto a las detenciones de niños, niñas y adolescentes migrantes (23 de mayo de 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: CNDH solicita medidas a favor de personas migrantes (16 de abril de 2019)


National/International: Caravan of Mothers of Disappeared Migrants 2019 Tours Country

November 24, 2019

Disappeared@MMM

On November 15th, the Caravan of Mothers of Disappeared Central American Migrants in Mexico 2019 entered the country to travel the migratory route in search of their relatives. Together and until next December 3rd, it is expected to travel about 4,000 kilometers and 13 states that are on the way to the United States. The caravan is made up of mothers from Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The Mesoamerican Migrant Movement (MMM) said that “the 2019 slogan, Fifteen Years of Resistance, forces us to think historically about the caravan and place the mothers’ struggle in a broader context. Not only do they embark on their pilgrimage during a migration crisis in Mexico, where Chiapas figures prominently as a place where migrants are detained, deported and trapped in limbo, but the forces that impel migrants to leave their homes are deeply rooted in a history of the Americas of disappearances and state violence. The caravan is a consequence of an immigration crisis never resolved in the hemisphere.”

In addition to highlighting the problems faced by migrants, the caravan also seeks “the emerging organizations of relatives, mothers in particular, who share the struggle to find their loved ones and reunite their families broken by the phenomenon of forced displacement, share search and healing experiences, feed hope and recognize that the problem of disappearances of people on the move is global and extremely complex.”

It should be mentioned that in the 14 caravans carried out to date, 310 migrants have been located, while “the government has not located any.” The MMM said that “it is no consolation in statistical terms, but something is being done and we have relative success.” Indeed, it is estimated that 70,000 to 120,000 missing migrants are to be found in Mexico: “Many are in mass graves, others in clandestine graves, others in morgues and others are hiding somewhere in Mexico making their lives more or less normal, working, but they have not been able to have communication with their relatives again.”

For more information in Spanish:

Madres de migrantes desaparecidos parten de Chiapas a Veracruz (La Jornada, 19 de noviembre de 2019)

Llega a México caravana de madres centroamericanas que buscan a sus hijos desaparecidos (CNN México, vídeo, 19 de noviembre de 2019)

Caravana de madres de migrantes reúne a hermanas hondureñas en Chiapas (La Jornada, 19 de noviembre de 2019)

Sin pistas aún, caravana de madres de migrantes cumple 4 días en México (La Jornada, 18 de noviembre de 2019)

Caravana de madres de migrantes buscará a desaparecidos en México (La Jornada, 15 de noviembre de 2019)

Comunicado y ruta de la Caravana de Madres de Migrantes Desaparecidos 2019 (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 12 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Forman en México Red Mundial de Madres de Migrantes Desaparecidos (7 de noviembre de 2018)

Nacional/Internacional : llega a México Caravana de madres de migrantes desaparecidos (24 de octubre de 2018)

Nacional/Internacional: Llega a México la “Caravana de Madres de Migrantes Desaparecidos” (7 de diciembre de 2017)

México : Caravana de Madres de Migrantes Desaparecidos “buscando vida en caminos de muerte” (25 de noviembre de 2016)


International/National : Un Human Rights Committee Issues 48 Human Rights Recommendations for Mexico

November 12, 2019

UN

On November 7th, at the end of Mexico’s sixth periodic review of the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations (UN) issued 48 recommendations.

Among the main ones, the Committee gave the Mexican State a period of two years to “advance in the process of formation of the National Guard as a civil institution.” It expressed concern “for the militarized nature of law enforcement in general, including the National Guard, and for the lack of a clear timetable on the withdrawal of military force in civic security tasks.”

On the other hand, it lamented the lack of progress in the case of the forced disappearance of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa (Iguala, Guerrero, 2014) and urged to “strengthen the research capacity and independence of all the actors involved in the investigation, including prosecutors and experts, as well as ensuring the consolidation of the accusatory system and the autonomy of the institutions of law enforcement.”

A third recommendation, also with a period of two years to assess progress, is the situation of vulnerability of journalists and human rights defenders. The Committee requested that more resources be allocated towards the prevention of aggressions towards these two sectors as well as an exhaustive investigation in case they occur.

Another concern raised is the mistreatment of migrants, including cases of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, enforced disappearances, extortion, trafficking, murder and other crimes, in a context of increased migration flows from Central America to the United States and pressures from US government to the Mexican government to stop them. It expressed concern about the widespread use of detention many times by force. It also said it was concerned about the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols, which require that asylum seekers in the United States remain in Mexican territory during their processing.

On a positive note, it valued the approval of laws such as the Law to Prevent, Investigate and Punish Torture or the Law on the Forced Disappearance of Persons (both from 2017), although it regretted their slow application. In the case of the General Victims Law, it considered its implementation “insufficient” and therefore urged “the State party to provide the bodies responsible for applying the General Victims Law with the necessary resources, adequate training and effective control mechanisms so that victims of human rights violations promptly receive comprehensive reparation… The State party must also ensure, even through legislative reforms, a fast and efficient procedure to achieve legal recognition of the quality of victims.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comité de Derechos Humanos Observaciones finales sobreelsexto informe periódico de México (CCPR, 7 de noviembre de 2019)

Señala ONU violación de derechos de migrantes en México (La Jornada, 7 de noviembre de 2019)

ONU le da dos años a México para desmilitarizar la Guardia Nacional y resolver caso Ayotzinapa (Animal Político, 7 de noviembre de 2019)

La ONU-DDHH pide desde Ginebra a México desmilitarizar la Guardia Nacional y apurar caso de los 43 (Sin Embargo, 7 de noviembre de 2019)

Desmilitarizar la Guardia Nacional y resolver caso Ayotzinapa pide ONU a México (Radio Formula, 8 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

Internacional/Nacional: Alta Comisionada de la ONU para Derechos Humanos expresa preocupación ante varios pendientes en derechos humanos en México (5 de septiembre de 2019)

National/International: UNO Presents Diagnostic of Protection Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (September 2, 2019)

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)


National/Chiapas: INM offers public apology to four indigenous migrants from Chiapas

November 11, 2019
whatsapp-image-2019-11-07-at-13.38.03

@Proceso

On November 7, in the Hall of Fine Arts in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the National Institute of Migration (INM) offered a public apology to four Tzeltal indigenous people from Chiapas who were detained, tortured and almost deported by INM elements. In 2015, the two men and two women were on their way north, looking for work in one of the country’s several industrial crops. Presenting their birth certificates and their electoral identification at a checkpoint in San Juan del Río, Querétaro, “INM agents told them they were false, took them to a migratory station and told them they were Guatemalans; they mistreated them so that they would admit to being from Guatemala”, explained María Fernanda Pincus, director of the Legal Clinic of the University program of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). One of the victims was still a minor at the time of the arrest.

Accompanied by the Municipal President of San Cristóbal, Jerónima Toledo Villalobos, Francisco Garduño Yáñez, commissioner of INM, apologized to the legal representative of the victims, Gretchen Kuhner, for the violation of their human rights and the “damage to the image, honor and dignity“, of the 4 people. “They were not present at the ceremony because they want to maintain a private life, but it was very important that a public apology be made because it is not something that happens only to them; they said we don’t want it to happen to us, but neither to other people”, said María Fernanda Pincus. According to Gretchen Kuhner, the victims accept the apology.

As consequence and in an administrative process, two deputy directors, an agent, a coordinator and two heads of department were punished with suspensions between 15 and 30 days. “Through me, the Institute is committed to guaranteeing measures of non-repetition, so that the acts that violated the human rights of these people do not happen again”, Garduño Yáñez said. He added that the end of non-repetition “translates into prevention through the sensitization of public servants attached to the INM, on issues related to indigenous communities and the urgency of its members to migrate to other parts of the country.” According to María Fernanda Pincus, in addition, there will be “reparation of the damage in economic terms, because they were going to work in the north of the country as agricultural day laborers and they will be paid what they missed earning in those days.”

Mario Peña, also from the Legal Clinic of the UNAM’s University Program on Human Rights, pointed out that “there are no conditions to know who are Mexicans and who are foreigners. We have noticed that people in vulnerable conditions with little command of Spanish are more affected and that they are not provided with an interpreter of their language in migration procedures”.

For more information:

Pide el INM disculpas a indígenas tzeltales por agresión en retén (La Jornada, November 7, 2019)

El INM ofrece disculpa pública a indígenas chipanecos confundidos con migrantes (El Proceso, November 7, 2019)

Ofrece INM disculpa pública a 4 indígenas de Chiapas (El Heraldo de México, November 7, 2019)

Ofrecen disculpa pública a tzeltales torturados en 2015 (EL Universal, November 8, 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Effort to Protect Migrants “Lasted a Few Months”, UNHCHR (November 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Migration Authorities Stop Migrant Caravan in Tapachula (October 17, 2019)

National/International: CSOs Denounce Poor Conditions in Provisional Migration Centers in Chiapas (October 13, 2019)

Chiapas: African Migrants Clash with National Guard in Tapachula (October 8, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

National/International: Mexico and US Reevaluate Migration Agreement after Three Months; Disagreement over Desired Outcomes (September 23, 2019)

International/National: UNO Calls for Evaluation of National Guard as Migratory Control in Mexico (September 2, 2019)


Chiapas/National/International: Overcrowding at Huixtla Migration Detention Center Denounced

November 9, 2019

Migrants@Cuarto Oscuro

In a statement published on November 4th, the Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Collective in Southeast Mexico reported that, after conducting several monitoring visits in the central migration corridor of Chiapas, it confirmed “a series of conditions and events of great concern”, among them, the overcrowding of 66 people in the Huitxtla Migration Detention Center (center initially planned for a maximum of 30 people) while “food, access to drinking water and health care are deplorable.”

“The situation of the Detention Center in Huixtla is not an isolated event,” they said, but similar cases occur in Tuxtla Gutierrez and Comitan de Dominguez.

They also observed cases of family separation after the mass detention of October 12th on the coast of Chiapas and an increase in the detention of unaccompanied children and adolescents despite the fact that they should not legally remain in detention centers.

More broadly, they expressed that “there is particular concern about the dynamics that have been consolidated since the signing of the Mexico-United States agreement on the indefinite detention of people who are“ rescued “by police forces and who must then remain in detention until the prosecution determines the cases, without any guarantee of access to the recognition of victims and information on the judicial and administrative processes of migration.”

For this reason, they demanded that the National Migration Institute suspend “the prolonged and indefinite detention to which it is subjecting people”, respect for the right of asylum, attention to the needs of physical and mental health care and respect for “the standards of treating people deprived of their liberty, completely eliminating the practices of keeping people overcrowded, without adequate food, water or health care, and without considering due process.”

For more information in Spanish:

EL INM MANTIENE HACINADAS A 66 PERSONAS EN EL CENTRO DE DETENCIÓN MIGRATORIA DE HUIXTLA (Colectivo de Observación y Monitoreo de Derechos Humanos en el Sureste Mexicano, 4 de noviembre de 2019)

Colectivo denuncia violaciones a derechos de 66 migrantes en Chiapas (La Jornada, 4 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Effort to Protect Migrants “Lasted a Few Months”, UNHCHR (November 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Migration Authorities Stop Migrant Caravan in Tapachula (October 17, 2019)

National/International: CSOs Denounce Poor Conditions in Provisional Migration Centers in Chiapas (October 13, 2019)

Chiapas: African Migrants Clash with National Guard in Tapachula (October 8, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

National/International: Mexico and US Reevaluate Migration Agreement after Three Months; Disagreement over Desired Outcomes (September 23, 2019)


National/International: Effort to Protect Migrants “Lasted a Few Months”, UNHCHR

November 7, 2019

JanJan Jarab (@Rompeviento)

On October 28th, in the framework of the inauguration of the 5th Regional Forum on Migration and International Protection, the representative in Mexico of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), Jan Jarab, said he sees setbacks in the initial efforts of the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to protect the guarantees of migrants: “I want to acknowledge that such an attempt was made, but given the international situation it survived a few months, and today we have detained migrants again”, he said.

Deploying the return to a containment policy, Jarab expressed concern about the health and overcrowding conditions that persist in some of the migration centers: “Today we see a situation where we again even have children in detention, where there are difficulties in access to the right to health, and also the precarious conditions of extra-continental people who are on the southern border”, he said.

“When there is a policy focused on containment, on immigration control, what happens is that migrants in irregular conditions look for increasingly dangerous routes and face increasingly dramatic risks from organized crime, not only extortion but disappearances”, he also warned.

Within the framework of this same event, the president of the organization Without Borders, Ana Saiz, said that the number of detainees at the 53 immigration stations across the country is estimated at 150,000, plus another 50,000 returnees from the United States as part of the “Stay in Mexico” program. Saiz said that, “Mexico has never had such a violent policy against migrants.”

On this same date, the National Migration Institute (INM in its Spanish acronym) announced that it will strengthen the training, monitoring and evaluation of public management in immigration offices and centers in the country in order to sensitize its officials on the respect and safeguard of human rights, a program that will be carried out in coordination with the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED in its Spanish acronym).

For more information in Spanish:

Jan Jarab: sólo duró unos meses la política migratoria enfocada en derechos humanos (Proceso, 28 de octubre de 2019)

Retroceso de actual gobierno en protección de migrantes: ONU-DH (La Jornada, 29 de octubre de 2019)

INM refuerza acciones para el respeto a derechos humanos de migrantes (Regeneración, 29 de octubre de 2019)

INM sensibilizará a funcionarios para prevenir discriminación (La Jornada, 29 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Migration Authorities Stop Migrant Caravan in Tapachula (October 17, 2019)

National/International: CSOs Denounce Poor Conditions in Provisional Migration Centers in Chiapas (October 13, 2019)

Chiapas: African Migrants Clash with National Guard in Tapachula (October 8, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

National/International: Mexico and US Reevaluate Migration Agreement after Three Months; Disagreement over Desired Outcomes (September 23, 2019)

International/National: UNO Calls for Evaluation of National Guard as Migratory Control in Mexico (September 2, 2019)

Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula (September 2, 2019)

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

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