Chiapas / National / International: Migrant Caravan about to enter Oaxaca

November 3, 2018
photo_2018-10-26_12-28-05-800x400

@Radio Zapatista


On October 27, it is expected that the majority of the Migrant Caravan-Exodus will cover the Arriaga-Juchitán of Zaragoza section, leaving Chiapas to enter Oaxaca. It is estimated that there are still more than 6000 people. “Community support, from civil, grassroots and religious organizations continues to be the main source of life and hope for the people on their journey. Also, some governmental bodies and international organizations continue to follow the Exodus and greater action was observed by the Municipal Councils of Mapastepec, Pijijiapan and Tonalá, providing medical care and food”, said the Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Group in Chiapas. .

In recent days, the reinforcement of immigration and police control in the border area has been confirmed. On October 26, a group of at least 150 migrants (some speak of 300, others of 450), composed of Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans, who walked from the municipality of Suchiate to Tapachula, Chiapas, to join the migrant caravan was detained by the Federal Police and personnel of the National Institute of Migration (INM). They were transferred, in trucks and vans, to the Siglo XXI migration station, located in Tapachula. At the time of the arrest, “panic spread when they were forced to get into the vans; Most people were able to flee in the bushes, but again families, children and adolescents were trapped. On this occasion, different media were witnesses and circulated videos that show the violence of the operation and the separation of children from their parents”, said the Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Group in Chiapas.

For his part, the Ambassador of Honduras in Mexico, Alden Rivera Montes, said that of those who entered the first wave so far, 500 migrants have approached him to be repatriated and that 1,900 submitted their request for refuge before the Mexican Commission of Assistance for Refugees (COMAR).

The Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Group in Chiapas reported that “persons and families who decided to return due to exhaustion, disinformation and the difficult environmental and institutional conditions of the exodus, are exposed to the absence of accompanying protocols for repatriation by town halls, consulates and institutions responsible for the attention to vulnerable groups, as is the case of children. This absence translates into long waits in spaces without guarantee of safety, food and health”.

The same 26, almost a week after the Caravan entered Mexico, the president Enrique Peña Nieto announced a program for the attention to migrants called “You are in your house” that seeks to provide medical care, education, temporary employment and an identification to those who have recently entered the South border. It raised some restrictions to access these benefits: applicants must be in Oaxaca or Chiapas and must have registered their entry or their request for refuge with the INM. The procedures will be free, said the Ministry of the Interior

“Ninety-nine percent of the members of the caravan rejected the offer because it is specific to Chiapas and Oaxaca, states in a similar condition to the countries from which we come,” the organization of Peoples Without Borders told the media.

The migrants have requested a meeting with Peña Nieto and his successor, Andrés Manuel Andrés López Obrador, in Mexico City where the caravan could arrive on November 2. From there, some migrants could choose to stay and work in Mexico, but several continue to pretend to reach the US. The president of this country, Donald Trump, has described the passage of the caravan as a “national emergency” and warned that he will mobilize 800 soldiers to the border along with two thousand elements of the National Guard to contain the Caravan.

For more information (in Spanish) :

Migrantes rechazan oferta de Peña (La Jornada, 27 de octubre de 2018)

Actualización del Éxodo Migrante (OSC, 27 de octubre de 2018)

México ofrece trabajo y atención médica a la caravana migrante para frenar su paso a EE UU (El País, 27 de octubre de 2018)

Peña Nieto trata de evitar que la Caravana de Migrantes llegue a EEUU (El Mundo, 27 de octubre de 2018)

ACCIÓN URGENTE-ÉXODO MIGRANTE (OSC, 27 de octubre de 2018)

Policía Federal y agentes del INM detienen a 150 migrantes en Chiapas; intentaban unirse a la caravana (Animal Político, 26 de octubre de 2018)

Interceptan a hondureños que querían sumarse a la caravana (Proceso, 26 de octubre de 2018)

EPN anuncia plan “Estás en tu Casa” dirigido a migrantes en México (La Jornada, 26 de octubre de 2018)

ACTUALIZACIÓN ÉXODO MIGRANTE (OSC, 26 de octubre de 2018)

Caravana de migrantes a su paso por Pijijiapan y Tonalá, Chiapas (Radio Zapatista, 26 de octubre)

ACTUALIZACIÓN DEL ÉXODO MIGRANTE(OSC, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Pueblos migrantes organizados rompen las fronteras y muros impuestos por los gobiernos (OSC, 25 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National / International: Caravan of migrants from Honduras arrives in Mexico October 22, 2018

National / International: Mexico, migration filter? September 21, 2018

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

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Oaxaca/National: authorities attempt to repress “Migrant Way of the Cross”

April 23, 2015

Ciudad Ixtepec (@SIPAZ archivo)

Ciudad Ixtepec (@SIPAZ archive)

The “Migrant Way of the Cross,” comprised of about 400 Central American migrants and activists, began on 24 March in Chiapas and arrived a week later in Oaxaca.  After spending five days at the Migrants’ Home in Ciudad Ixtepec, it planned to leave on 9 April toward Mexico City.  The plan there was to meet with human-rights organizations and a group of senators toward the end of denouncing the human-rights violations that undocumented migrants, principally Central American in origin, face while traversing the country en route to the United States.

However, the migrants were not allowed to leave Ciudad Ixtepec, as units from the federal police and the National Institute on Migration (INM) erected three checkpoints in the zone and threatened the bus operators, warning that they would arrested for human trafficking.  For this reason, the operators refused to transport the migrants.

The priest Alejandro Solalinde denounced these actions as a “boycott” and a demonstration of what migrants suffer.  A dialogue table was then agreed to that would include Ardelio Vargas Fosado, head of the INM, to negotiate the transit of the 400 migrants to Mexico City.  Nonetheless, to date no agreement has been come to, and the risk continues that the members of the caravan will be deported.

For more information (in Spanish):

Fracasan negociaciones para continuar Viacrucis del Migrante (La Jornada, 11 de abril de 2015)

Viacrucis del Migrante parte de Oaxaca rumbo al DF (El Universal, 9 de abril de 2015)

El Viacrucis del Migrante avanza rumbo al DF (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2015)

Impiden salida del Viacrucis del Migrante encabezado por Solalinde (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2015)

INM boicotea vía crucis migrante, denuncia Solalinde (SDP Noticias, 9 de abril de 2015)

Sale Viacrucis del Migrante hacia el DF pese a operativos del INM (Agencia Quadratin, 9 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas/Oaxaca/Tabasco: Founding of the Collective of Defenders of Migrants and Refugees (23 April 2015)

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

Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Fray Tomás González(13 November 2014)

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

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


Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of migration agents, says La 72

March 22, 2015

Fray Tomás González en Acteal. Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Fray Tomás González in Acteal. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 17 March, “La 72, Home and Refuge for Migrant People,” located in Tenosique, Tabasco, directed by the human-rights defender Fray Tomás González, released an Urgent Action (UA) due to events “that leave us absolutely indignant,” with reference to the death of a Honduran youth.  On 6 March, agents of the National Migration Institute (INM) working with federal police in Tenosique stopped a freight-train at the Chacamax station, 60 kilometers from Palenque, where they began a search.  Among the hundreds of persons traveling atop the train, the Honduran youth in question suffered a panic attack, jumped off the “Beastly” train, and entered the river, where he began to drown and then requested assistance.  In the end, the youth died.  According to the man who gave witness, the INM “agents said: ‘leave that fucker,'” as the UA claims.

In addition, the UA indicates that the migrants who had been witnesses “both of the savage raid as well as death of the youth and what followed [noted] that the persecution by the migration agents lasted more than 2 hours.  Once they saw that the youth was drowning, they withdrew and provided no assistance; the corpse remained for 10 hours on the river bank, cared for by the other migrants who witnessed the acts.  People from the local community also testified and told us of many crimes and human-rights violations that the INM agents commit.”

Lastly, the document ends with a call “on national and international human-rights organizations” to express themselves “in light of these lamentable acts and others that have been caused by the Southern Border Program.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: El INM Y La PF a través del Programa Frontera Sur provocan la muerte de  personas Migrantes Centroamericanas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 18 de marzo de 2015)

El Programa Frontera Sur no cesa la represión en contra de personas migrantes (La 72 – Refugio para personas migrantes, 12 de enero de 2015)

Agentes de Migración y de la PF dejan a hondureño ahogarse (Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Fray Tomás González (13 November 2014)

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

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)


Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Father Tomás González

November 13, 2014

© Amnestía Internacional

Fray Tomás González © Amnesty International

In a communique published on 7 November, Father Tomás, founder of the migrant home “La 72” in Tenosique, Tabasco, denounced the persecution and criminalization carried out by the National Migration Institute (INM) against him.

An INM agent notes that “upon cordially greeting Fray Tomás González, who was in his car, the priest grabbed his hand and started the engine, thus dragging him for more than 100 meters,” with this being the reason that he demands prosecution of Fray Tómas.

The communique from the migrant home categorically denied the INM’s claim: “This false denunciation is part of the alarming increase in the persecution and violent criminalization of the INM toward migrants and those who assist them in humanitarian terms at the ’72’ migrant home.  The attacks began in 2011, when the home was founded, and today they reach the extreme of using the penal system against the director of this center, thus criminalizing our work in defense of human rights.

For ten years, the systematic participation of INM agents in criminal enterprises has been documented, including extortion, robbery, assault, and other crimes against migrants committed by the very officials themselves in actions that have greatly threatened the life and integrity of those who cross through this country.  These actions have worsened following the implementation of the Southern Border Plan by the federal government.”

Dozens of national and international civil organization have expressed their solidarity with Fray Tómas and  warned that “just in 2014, there have been no fewer than five attacks on ‘La 72.'”

For more information (in Spanish):

Agente del INM demanda al defensor de migrantes Fray Tomás González, Proceso,  5 de noviembre de 2014

Comunicado de solidaridad con Fray Tomás y el albergue de La 72 frente al intento de criminalizar su labor de defensa de derechos humanos, Voces MesoAmericanos,  6 de noviembre de 2014

OSC se solidarizan con Fray Tomas; exigen cese de hostigamiento y ataques contra la 72 (Sididh, 11 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):


Chiapas: Mutiny at Migrant Center in Tapachula “a reflection of policies of control that do not guarantee human rights,” claim civil society organizations

November 13, 2014

Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI (@presidencia.gob.mx)

Migratory Station XXI Century (@presidencia.gob.mx)

On 29 October, close to 300 Honduran migrants engaged in a mutiny at the Century XXI Migrant Station (EMSXXI) located in Tapachula. Fifteen migrants succeeded in escaping, but 10 were captured in an operation carried out by different security forces, while five escaped the police siege.

Jazmin Yaneth Cabrera Lopez, regional director of the National Migration Institute (INM) at the XXI Migrant Station, reported that the mutiny had to do with the fact that the migrants had been held for more than 10 days, given that the Honduran consulate was on vacations, thus making impossible progress in terms of documents needed for their return.

In a communique released on 30 October, the Fray Matía de Córdoba Center for Human Rights indicated that “the event that took place last Wednesday within the detention center for migrants in Tapachula […] shows the consequences generated by the repressive policy of control, detention, and deportation that the Mexican State has implemented in recent months.  It confirms that the kidnapping of migrants, instead of protecting them and guaranteeing their basic rights, affects their physical and emotional integrity and the basic rights of men, women, children, and adolescents.”  The Center also noted that “the strengthening at the border, that is to say the armor and application of strategies for security and militarization under the Southern Border Plan, as implemented by the federal government, is causing backup at the EMSXXI, the principal center for deportation in Latin America.  This comes in addition to the poor living and hygienic conditions inside and the lack of protective consular assistance, which are the principal demands of those who rose up, who clearly are deprived of their liberty, without having committed any crime.  They were also confined to cells and had their food rationed.  This is a clear manifestation of what happens when the social reality of migrants is addressed only with the focus of criminalization and control, without consideration that the causes of migration are multiple and complex.  Many are fleeing the social and political violence that exists in their countries.  They require true protection.”

For more information (in Spanish):

MOTÍN EN EL CENTRO DE DETENCIÓN “ESTACIÓN MIGRATORIA SIGLO XXI”, REFLEJO DE UNA POLÍTICA DE CONTROL QUE NO GARANTIZA DERECHOS HUMANOS FUNDAMENTALES (Boletín del CFH Fray Matía de Cordobá, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Huyen 15 hondureños de estación migratoria en Chiapas (El Universal, 29 de octubre de 2014)

Motín en estación migratoria de Tapachula; hay 5 prófugos (OEM, 29 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: creation of mechanism for human-rights observation amidst the militarization of the Southern Border (2 September 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)


National: Four years after the San Fernando massacre, “La 72” denounces new operations against migrants

September 2, 2014

Albergue "La 72", Tenosique (@SIPAZ)Migrant Home “La 72″, Tenosique (@SIPAZ)

At the end of August, there was a commemoration held of the four years since the San Fernando massacre (August 2010), which took place in Tamaulipas. A group of armed persons belonging to the Zetas cartel kidnapped and murdered 72 migrants (58 men and 14 women), most of them originally from Central or South America. It is suppsoed that the kidnapped migrants were executed because they did not pay extortion fees and refused to join the criminal group. In Tenosique, Tabasco, the following year, to commemorate the 72 who were murdered, the “La 72” Migrant Home was established, being a center that offers hospitality and rest to migrants en route to the United States.

Members of “La 72” denounced that on 12 August, the National Institute on Migration (INM) and the federal police carried out an operation at the Tenosique station against migrants who had crossed into Mexico through the Tabasco border. Once the train arrived, “72” staff report that approximately 20 federal police and 10 INM agents “attacked many verbally and others were followed on the train tracks,” adding that that a half hour later, they saw INM patrols full of “arrested” migrants in the cabs. In light of this incident, the staff of “La 72” declared that “we newly repudiate the return by the INM and federal police to these sorts of detention operations, since rather than provide security to migrants, they expose fleeing migrants to risk of mutilation and death by passing trains. The so-called ‘rescues’ of migrants that the INM likes to say it carried out are in reality bold persecutions in which there is extreme verbal and psychological violence.” Furthermore, they stressed that in the INM operations the Beta group had also participated, having changed from its previous role of “protector of migrants […] into a type of intelligence [agency] for the INM delegation in Tabasco.”

On 15 August, Fray Tomás González Castillo, director of “La 72,” declared that a permanent operation had been activated in Tenosique, and he denounced the attempt by the INM (with assistance from the federal police) to dismantle the refuge by means of “comfort” operations in the migrants’ home and in the city, instead of targeting areas in which criminal groups act. These operations are “comfortable,” says Fray Tomás, because “the INM does not carry out its operations in rural areas, there where the human-traffickers are capturing migrants. These are practically the bases on which the groups work with impunity to ‘cross’ Central Americans from Guatemala to Mexico.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alerta urgente: Operativos INM y PF en Tenosique (“La 72″, 13 de agosto de 2014)

Federales y Migración aniquilarán refugio La 72 (Proyecto Ambulante, 18 de agosto de 2014)

De la fosa clandestina a la fosa común (Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de agosto de 2014)

Impunidad, a cuatro años de la masacre de San Fernando (Red Política, 25 de agosto 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)

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