National/International: WOLA presents new report: “Human-rights violations against migrants continue”

December 27, 2015

On 18 Novembrer 2015, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) published a report on the human-rights situation of migrant and refugee persons in Mexico from 2014 to present, with a focus on the changes implemented since the start of the Southern Border Program.  Compiled by nine civil organizations based in Mexico and the U.S., the report “An uncertain path: Justice for crimes and human-rights violations against migrants and refugees in Mexico” exposes the problem of security and access to justice for migrants.  Since the implementation of the Southern Border Program, the operations, arrests, and deportations of migrants in Mexico have increased significantly, and so have human-rights violations.  Migrant homes have observed a rise in the abuses and crimes committed by organized and State agents against this population, including kidnapping, robbery, extortion, and trafficking of persons.  In the case of girls and women, more sexual violence has been reported.  As a result of these measures, the number of arrests of foreigners rose 73% between July 2014 and June 2015, relative to the same period the previous year.  “If the indicator for the Southern Border Program is the arrest of persons, obviously it has been very successful, but if it is placed within the context which it was developed, that is to protect the human rights of migrants, it has failed […].  In Mexico, where there are migrants, there is violence,” observed Maureen Meyer, member of WOLA. Beyond this, the civil groups have demanded that the Mexican State “guarantee access to justice, compensation for damages incurred, humanitarian visas, and refuge for the migrant population.”

According to the report, the U.S. government has offered political and economic support for Mexico to carry out the Southern Border Program since the burgeoning number of arrivals of unaccompanied children and adolescents to the U.S. border.  This support has to do with especially with activities related to border security in southern Mexico.  In light of this situation, the civil organizations made nine recommendations to the U.S. and Mexican governments to address the problem.  Among these is one directed at the National Institute for Migration, calling on it to strengthen internal control and to prevent violations of human rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe “Un camino incierto. Justicia para delitos y violaciones a los derechos humanos contra personas migrantes y refugiadas en México” (Oficina de Latinoamérica en Washington, WOLA, 18 de noviembre de 2015)

Sin desagregar por sexo denuncias de agresiones a migrantes (Cimac Noticias, 18 de noviembre de 2015)

Siguen violaciones a DH de migrantes: WOLA (El Universal, 18 de noviembre de 2015)

ONG: crecieron detenciones de migrantes, pero también abusos (La Jornada, 18 de noviembre de 2015)

“Un camino incierto: Justicia para delitos y violaciones a los derechos humanos contra personas migrantes y refugiadas en México” (Fundar, 11 de noviembre 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 (22 March 2015)

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

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Chiapas: Center for Women’s Rights in Chiapas denounces threats

December 26, 2015

CDMCh

On 2 December, the Center for Women’s Rights in Chiapas, A.C. (CdmCh) publicly denounced threats it had received. That same day, “at 4:20pm, we received a telephone call from a man calling himself ISIDRO LARA or NICANDRO DÍAZ, who identified himself as commander of the Zetas cartel and extorted the General Coordination, adding that he knew where we live, and that if we did not pay there would be consequences, and that the workers and their families would be targeted.”

The CdmCh added that “this incident joins other acts of intimidation that have occurred in the last month, given that on 26 November, around 1:00pm, one of the comrade defenders received a call to her cell phone from a woman who extorted her by saying she had kidnapped one of her relatives. Beyond this, it has been observed that outside the central office […] two vehicles without licenses patrol the zone. One of the vehicles was carrying three men who hid their faces.”

One element that worsens alarm amidst these threats has to do with the fact that, as the CdmCh affirmed, those who have made the calls have known the private information of workers at the organization.

Since 2004, CdmCh has been working to advance human rights, without discrimination based on gender, class, or ethnicity, and it has investigated and analyzed the human-rights violations of women.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia completa del Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas (2 de diciembre de 2015)

Denuncian defensoras en Chiapas intento de extorsión (CIMAC Noticias, 3 de diciembre de 2015)

Boletín: Preocupación por la intimidación, vigilancia y amenazas al Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas (CDHFBC, 4 de diciembre de 2015)

Exigen protección para Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas (La Jornada, 5 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: During International Women’s Day on 8 March, a meeting, a march, and a rally (10 March 2015)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)


Oaxaca: New attack on members of the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec

October 1, 2014

Foto @ Albergue Hermanos en el Camino

On 18 September, agents of the National Institute on Migration (INM) and the Mexican Army physically and verbally assaulted members and human-rights defenders associated with the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, as the latter were carrying out their work in the Chivela community, located in the northern zone of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  The attacks took place as the workers were traveling in the train that leaves Ixtepec for Medias Aguas, Veracruz.  In response to the attacks, the workers submitted a penal denunciation before the Ixtepec Prosecutorial Office on Migrants against the INM and also submitted complaints to the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH).  They indicated that while they were documenting attacks against migrant persons, they observed the presence of three INM vehicles and three Army convoys.

It should be noted that, following the federal government’s implementation of the Southern Border Plan (PFS) two months ago, 57 persons have been victims of grave crimes, such as robbery, extortion, rape, and assault, according to the findings of the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home.  Attacks on migrants have increased 90% during this period.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Albergue Hermanos en el Camino (19 de septiembre de 2014)

INM y Ejército agreden a defensores de migrantes; les decomisan material documentado (Centro ProDH, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

Agrede INM a defensores de Derechos Humanos (Noticias Net, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

Testimonio narra agresiones de agentes del INM a activistas en Oaxaca(Animal Político, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

El Plan Frontera Sur: violencia institucionalizada (Más de 131, 21 de septiembre 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: “La 72″ migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM (30 March 2014)

National: Collaborators of the “72″ migrant home abandon work due to threats (24 June 2013)

Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)