National / International: Caravan of mothers of disappeared migrants arrives in Mexico

November 1, 2018
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Ruben Figueroa, Mesoamerican Migrants Movement


On October 23, in the midst of the exodus of thousands of Hondurans who entered Mexico to reach the United States, the XIV caravan of Central American mothers who seek their missing children in this same attempt also arrived in Mexico.

The Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, which has been supporting this process, estimates that more than 70,000 people from Central America, including Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans, disappeared in Mexican territory. The violence and human rights violations to which they may be exposed have been widely documented by various human rights organizations, including the United Nations (UN), which have documented the risks of migrants in Mexico and the crimes they may face.

The women who participate in the caravan this year integrate several search groups in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. They will be in Mexico from October 23 to November 7, “carrying out actions of research, communal living and protest in 12 states of the Mexican territory covering almost 4,000 kilometers in length and with the confidence of impacting the Mexican society to which they ask for solidarity with their cause”, the statement announcing the activity informed.

The same statement emphasized that “in this edition, one of the purposes of the caravan is to arrive at Mexico City in time to participate in the World Summit of Mothers of Missing Migrants, which will take place in parallel and as a part of the World Social Forum on Migration. on November 2, 3, and 4 of this year, where for the first time there will be a historic meeting between mothers from Maghreb countries: Mauritania, Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, in addition to Italy, areas of the Asian Pacific, the United States, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and also Mexican mothers. “

The objective of this summit is “to link emerging organizations of family members, mothers in particular, who share the struggle to find their loved ones and reunite their families broken by the phenomenon of forced displacement, to share experiences of search and healing, to feed the hope and to recognize that the problem of the disappearances of people in movement is global, diverse and extremely complex “; as well asto send a strong message of repudiation to the world powers, governments and institutions, to tell them that their migration management models, instead of solving what they erroneously assume as a problem, criminally aggravate the situation they cause in this era of capitalist accumulation by dispossession and violence, and that they will not succeed, no matter how many dead they produce, to “order” and control the migratory flows ».

For more information (In Spanish)

Inicia Caravana de migrantes desaparecidos 2018 – vídeo (La Jornada, 23 de octubre de 2018)

Llegará a México caminata de madres de migrantes desaparecidos (La Jornada, 23 de octubre de 2018)

Madres centroamericanas llegan a México este martes en busca de sus hijos desaparecidos (Animal Político, 23 de octubre de 2018)

Madres centroamericanas avanzan hacia México buscando a sus parientes migrantes desaparecidos (CNN México, 20 de octubre de 2018)

COMUNICADO: XIV Caravana de Madres de Migrantes Desaparecidos 2018 (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 5 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English) :

National/International: “Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants” Arrives to Mexico December 27, 2017

Mexico: Mothers of Disappeared Migrants “Looking for Life on Roads of Death” November 28, 2016

Chiapas: Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice Reaches San Cristobal de Las Casas April 10, 2016

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National: XI Caravan of Mothers of Central American Migrants seeking out their sons in Mexico

December 26, 2015

@ Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano

@ Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano

On 30 November 39 mothers of disappeared Central Americans migrants began their XI caravan through Mexico. Using slogans like “We are missing everyone” and “A mother never tires of looking,” these women from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua left from the “72” migrant home in Tenosique, Tabasco, for Villahermosa. Subsequently they were received in Palenque, from where they continued to Veracruz and Puebla before arriving to Mexico City. From there they continued on to Oaxaca, concluding their caravan on Saturday 18 December in Hidalgo, Chiapas. Dressed with shirts that identify the caravan and showing photos of their lost relatives, they demanded “Not another disappearance!” and held expositions in public plazas, visiting different migrant homes, prisons, and hospitals, among other sites. Accompanied by human-rights defenders and civil national and international organizations, they followed migratory routes, performed ceremonies on railways, and consulted officials from the three levels of government to request their assistance in the search. All of this they expressed with the hope of finding their sons. According to the coordinator of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement and of the caravan itself, Martha Sánchez Soler, this caravan is “something special” because it is the first time that they have submitted denunciations before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) against the Mexican State for forcible disappearance. For her, the phenomenon is that “migrants arrive in Mexico, disappear, and the authorities make no investigations. It’s a perfect crime.” Another participant in the caravan demanded that the Mexican government not discriminate or stigmatize migrants, for this is a demand that they have made “each year we have visited Mexico. We seek our sons and we are gladdened whenever one of us does find her loved one.” During the last 10 years of caravans, there have been more than 200 reunions between mothers and sons. In the caravan of this year a mother has found her sound in Tabasco. It is because of such experiences that the women continue to search with hope.

It bears mentioning that Mexico is considered one of the countries in which the question of migration is especially complicated. It has high internal migration and besides that, it is crossed by migrants emanating from Central America en route to the U.S. Although there are no official statistics, the United Nations International Organization for Migration said that “every year some 150,000 people cross the southern border of Mexico illegally.” A 2011 report from the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) indicates that there at least 20,000 kidnappings of Central American migrants in Mexico every half-year.

These data strengthen the women from the caravan to continue with their search. For the priest Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, founder of the migrant home “Brothers on the Path” in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, “this struggle is the work of women who for 11 years have been seeking out their children. Some of them have not known about their fate for the past 20 years, and still they have not tired of looking for them. It is a great hope that this caravan represents.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Entregar vivos a sus hijos, exigen madres centroamericanas al gobierno mexicano (La Jornada, 14 de diciembre de 2015)

Mujeres centroamericanas que buscan a sus hijos visitan penales del Istmo (La Jornada, 13 de diciembre de 2015)

Madres de migrantes centroamericanos inician búsqueda de desaparecidos (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Inicia la XI Caravana de Madres Migrantes Centroamericanas (El Economista, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA – INICIA LA XI CARAVANA DE MADRES CENTROAMERICANAS #NosHacenFaltaTodos (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 26 de noviembre de 2015)

Columna: La dolorosa travesia de la caravana de madres centroamericanas (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal (16 December 2014)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children(2 November 2012)

Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)


Chiapas: Salvadorean migrant denounces human-rights violations

July 23, 2015

@ChiapasDenunciaPública

@ChiapasDenunciaPública

On 17 July, an open letter was published on the Chiapas Public Denunciation webpage, authored by Alejandro, a Salvadorean migrant who finds himself “in prison #14, El Amate, in Chiapas State, since 3 April 2014, accused of the crime of damages against health in transport.”

In his letter, Alejandro relates how he was arrested as he was driving the car in which he works. He was thereafter kidnapped, tortured, and subjected to extortion by Mexican State agents, he claims, and finally transferred to the Amate prison, where he was formally charged with damages against health via kidnapping. In the letter, Alejandro observes that “I am unjustly being held, as I did not commit this crime. On 1 April 2014 I was intercepted by a vehicle without license at the entrance of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, on the highway to Chiapa del Corzo. Said vehicle carried five individuals, three up front and two in back. Upon overtaking me, the three subjects riding in the front blocked my exit, raised their firearms against me, and told me I was under arrest. Another subject then got out of the truck, identifying himself as commander of the Federal Ministerial Police. He ordered me to be taken from the taxi, as my job is to be a taxi-driver, and then one of them opened the driver-seat door and removed me violently, all the while pointing guns at me.”

The Salvadorean migrant affirms that he is being held in El Amate for “a crime that I did not commit. I am ill, and I have problems with my knees, as well as high blood pressure, all of this as a result of the tortures carried out by men who take advantage of their authority to invent charges and so justify their work, or to incarcerate innocent persons instead of actual criminals […]. I request protection for my family, since, if these men are capable of inventing crimes, what else can be expected of them?”

For more information (in Spanish):

Migrante salvadoreño denuncia fabricación de delito, tortura, encarcelamiento y extorsión (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 17 de julio de 2015)

Migrante salvadoreño denuncia fabricación de delito, tortura, encarcelamiento y extorsión (Regeneración, 18 de julio de 2015)


National/International: Presentation of the report on “Childhood and migration in Central and North America”

July 22, 2015

Niñez y migración

In observance of the thirtieth meeting of the Coordination Table on Migration and Gender, the report on “Childhood and Migration in Central and North America—Causes, Policies, Practices, and Challenges” was presented with the participation of Mesoamerican Voices, the Fray Matías de Córdova Center for Human Rights, the Pop No’j Association, and the organization Children in Need of Defense (KIND). This study was directed by the Center for Studies on Gender and Refugees at the Law School of University of California Hastings and the Progam on Migration and Asylum from the Center for Justice and Human Rights from the National University of Lanús (Argentina), and it involved the participation of civil organizations from the U.S., Mexico, and Central America, including Mesoamerican Voices and the Fray Matías de Córdova Center for Human Rights.

The document is the result of a regional investigation of two years in length regarding the treatment of Honduran, Salvadorean, Guatemalan, and Mexican children, as well as citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. who have been affected by migration, and it exmaines the structural causes that force children to migrate through the Central America-Mexico-U.S. Corridor. Furthermore, an evaluation is made of the policies, practices, and the conditions in countries of origin, transit, and arrival, and it investigates the effects on children from throughout the region, particularly with respect to the violation of children’s rights as well as the corresponding regional and bilateral accords, resulting in a series of recommendations for the governments of the countries in question.

In the presentation, it was recalled that “a year ago, the humanitarian crisis experienced by migrant children and adolescents worsened, leading 56,000 children to be arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border between October 2013 and July 2014. Of equal importance is to be aware that on 7 July, a year passed since the implementation of the Southern Border Program, which represents the strategy of externalizing the borders of the U.S. State to control migratory flows from Central and South America, leaving Mexico to function as police against migrants in transit.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Niñez y migración en América Central y América del Norte: Causas, políticas, prácticas y desafíos (febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/international: The IACHR expresses concern before hardening of Mexican authorities toward migrants (30 June 2015)

Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of migration agents, says La 72 (March 22, 2015)

Chiapas/National: Bishops of southern Mexico pronounce themselves on the “drama of migration”(February 8, 2015)


Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal

December 16, 2014

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Banner from the mothers’ caravan.  Photo@Voces Mesoamericanas

On 3 December, the “Bridges of Hope” Tenth Caravan of Central American Mothers passed through San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  From Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, the mothers are carrying out this journey on migrant routes to seek out their disappeared migrant children.  On their trajectory through 10 Mexican states, the caravan succeeded in reuniting 3 mothers with their families: one woman found her brother after 17 years, and two mothers found their children after 15 and 10 years, respectively.  In San Cristóbal a Mayan ceremony was held, in addition to a march during which the mothers demanded truth, justice, and respect for the human rights of migrants.  Furthermore, they denounced what is happening in Europe with migrants from Africa and the Middle East, and they expressed their solidarity with the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa and their families: “Mexico is full of clandestine graves, but there are not just migrants there; instead they are full of Mexicans.  It is not just a question of 43.  There are many more who have been disappeared.”

The caravan has been supported by organizations based in San Cristóbal like Mesoamerican Voices – Action with Migrant Peoples and the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights.  Though the Mexican government officially counts only 157 foreigners as disappeared, the civil organizations estimate at least 70,000 disappeared migrants in Mexico.  As the migrants traverse the country toward the end of arriving in the U.S., the criticism goes beyond just Mexican migratory policy: “the worst thing is that it is these same countries repressing migrants that have created the conditions for which there now is brutal forcible displacement in Central America.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Las políticas económicas y de seguridad nacional sacrifican a miles de migrantes: 10a Caravana “Puentes de Esperanza” en San Cristóbal(Voces Mesoamericanas, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

“Puentes de Esperanza”: Caravana de Madres Centroamericanas, transformando el coraje (Koman Ilel, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Madres de migrantes centroamericanos exigen detener plan Frontera Sur(La Jornada, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

Caravana de madres de migrantes halla a tres desaparecidos (Excelsior, 1 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children(2 November 2012)

Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)

 


The II Hemispheric Meeting Against Militarization takes place in La Esperanza, Honduras

October 16, 2008
II ENCUENTRO HEMISFÉRICO FRENTE A LA MILITARIZACIÓN

Slideshow of the II Hemispheric Meeting Against Militarization

The II Hemispheric Meeting Against Militarization took place between 3 and 6 October, 2008 in La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras. The meeting saw the participation of some 800 individuals and 175 organizations from 27 different countries including: Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, the United States, Canada and five European countries.

During the 4 day gathering 19 regional based cases of “solidarity/urgent actions” were presented in which participants denounced the current militarization status of Haiti, Colombia, The United States, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the Triple Border (between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay), Honduras, Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia, Uruguay, Guatemala y Paraguay.

On October 3 and 4 workshops were presented on several diverse theme including: Indigenous Peoples, Afro-Americans and Campesinos; Immigration; Social Movements; the Criminalization of Social Struggle; the Fourth Fleet; the Triple Border; Military Bases; the Military Industrial Complex; the SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America); Free Trade Agreements; the Mesoamerican Project (formerly the PPP, Plan Puebla Panama); IIRSA (Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America), the Merida Initiative and Plan Colombia. The reflection on possible plans of action was divided into regions: South America, Mesoamerica (including southern Mexico), the Caribbean and the North (including northern Mexico).

At the closing of the meeting the Final Declaration was read to the participants and later made public (in Spanish, see below). On the morning of the 6th, the gathering was concluded with a march and subsequent demonstration held in front of the United States military base located in Palmerola, Comayagua, Honduras.

Final Declaration of the II Hemispheric Forum Against Militarization (Spanish)

More information:

Hundreds Gather to Confront Militarization of the Americas (Americas Policy Program, 05/10/08)

More Information (in Spanish):

Sitio del II Encuentro Hemisférico contra la Militarización

Campesinos e indígenas protestan en base de Palmerola y exigen su cierre (Proceso, 06/10/08)

Campaña por la Desmilitarización de las Américas