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)

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Oaxaca/National: Arrests of migrants at close of “Allied Borders” Way of the Cross

April 24, 2015

Viacrucis Migrante (@Centroprodh)

Migrant Way of the Cross (@Centroprodh)

Following several episodes of obstruction of their progress and path, the “Allied Borders” Way of the Cross succeeded in arriving on 18 April to Mexico City.

The Way of the Cross group was made up by 300 Central American migrants accompanied by the priest Alejandro Solalinde, in an attempt to make visible the rise in human-rights violations of migrants in transit following the implementation in Mexico of the Southern Border Program.

There were two moments in which the path of the migrants was impeded.  The first took place, according to the organizers of the action, due to a police blockade of the exit from the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, together with electronic jamming of cell phones, local phone lines, and the Internet.  Beyond this, the bus-drivers who had been hired for transport refused to continue their services after the federal authorities threatened to charge them with human trafficking.  The second police blockade occurred in El Espinal in Oaxaca, which was overcome thanks to a human chain that was comprised of activists and teachers from Setcion 22.

Upon arrival in Mexico City, the migrants visited the Basílica of Guadalupe, met with the president of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), and concluded the action with a public event at the Mexico City Human Rights Commission (CDHDF).  After this, each of the migrants continued on their journeys, promised protection from arrest or deportation.  Nonetheless, at least 30 migrants who participated in the action have been arrested in Guanajuato and Querétaro.  In response, close to 80 comrades from the “Way of the Cross” installed a sit-in before the Mexico City branch of the National Migration Institute (INM) to demand the release of those arrested.  Some of the incarcerated migrants have declared themselves on hunger strike, and their sympathizers at the sit-in have warned that they will adopt this tactic if the detained are not released immediately.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian detención de 30 migrantes del Viacrucis; estaban amparados(Proceso, 21 de abril de 2015)

Migrantes que participaron en “viacrucis” son detenidos en Querétaro (CNN México, 21 de abril de 2015)

Viacrucis Migrante llega a su fin con acto en la CDH (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2015)

Preocupa a AI la seguridad de integrantes del Viacrucis Migrante en Ixtepec, Oaxaca. (Amnistía Internacional, 10 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/National: authorities attempt to repress “Migrant Way of the Cross” (23 April 2015)

Nacional/Chiapas/Oaxaca/Tabasco: Conforman el Colectivo de Defensores de Migrantes y Refugiados (Codemire) (9 de abril de 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)


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/Oaxaca: Father Solalinde declares that migrant flows will not diminish amidst imposition of new federal measures

August 5, 2014

Padre Alejandro Solalinde (@MPJD)

Padre Alejandro Solalinde (@MPJD)

If the number of undocumented migrants who have boarded the “Beast” (this being the train that travels from Arriaga, Chiapas, to Ixtepec, Oaxaca) seems to have diminished since the declarations made by the federal Secretary of Governance, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, that migrants would not be allowed to travel this way, Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, priest and recognized rights-defender for migrants, assured for his part that said policy would only increase the risks of travel without inhibiting migratory flows.

According to a report in La Jornada, Solalinde denounced that “Osorio Chong seeks to suppress the human rights of migrants; he is digging their graves even before they leave their countries.  He will be the only one responsible for whatever happens to the Central Americans.”

For his part, Alberto Donis Rodríguez, who heads the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, affirmed that the number of migrants continues steady, as train travel has now been replaced by overland routes on the highways.

Carlos Bartolo Solís, director of the Migrant Home of Compassion in Arriaga, Chiapas, affirmed that according to testimony from Central American migrants, masked armed men dressed in civilian clothes (presumably federal police) travel on the trains to persecute and detain migrants.

For more information (in Spanish):

Cava Osorio Chong tumbas de migrantes al impedirles viajar en La Bestia: Solalinde (1ero de agosto de 2014)

Sacerdote mexicano critica decisión contra viajes en la Bestia (Prensa Latina, 1ero de julio de 2014)

Flujo migratorio continuará pese a amenazas de Osorio Chong, asegura Solalinde (Página3.mx, 31 de julio 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)


Oaxaca: Different versions regarding future departure of Father Solalinde from migrant home

August 27, 2012

Alejandro Solalinde @ Página3

Alejandro Solalinde @ Página3

During the first week of August, different stories were published regarding the future departure of Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra from the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec.  The priest, interviewed in media, commented that Óscar Armando Campos Contreras, bishop of the Tehuantepec diocese to whom Solalinde Guerra is subordinated, asked him to resign his post as director of the migrant home, so as to “put an end to conflicts,” as Father Solalinde put it.  This claim was later denied by Campos Contreras, who indicated that he had had a conversation with Solalinde regarding the possibility that he leave the home.  In any case, this question will be addressed again in November.

It was subsequently reported that Solalinde had to be taken to hospital, because he apparently suffers from dengue.  On 13 August, he was released in accordance with media reports so as to return to Ixtepec, but no mention was made of his specific condition.

For more information (in Spanish):

Página 3: Pide obispo de Tehuantepec a Solalinde dejar el albergue; es protagonismo, dice (07/08/2012)

La Jornada: Puedo luchar contra cárteles, pero no contra mi Iglesia: Alejandro Solalinde (08/08/2012)

La Jornada: Niega el obispo de Tehuantepec haberle pedido a Solalinde renunciar a albergue (09/08/2012)

Radio Red 1110 AM: Entrevista con Solalinde Guerra (en Youtube.com)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde returns to Mexico (20 July 2012)

Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde leaves the country temporarily due to death-threats (21 May 2012)

Oaxaca: Aggressions continue against migrants and Father Solalinde (19 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Father Solalinde denounces detention by local cacique (16 January 2012)


Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde returns to Mexico

July 20, 2012

Padre Alejandro Solalinde (@ EDUCA)

In mid-May, Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, who was responsible for the migrant-home “Brothers on the Path,” found it necessary to leave Mexico, following the death-threats directed against him and his team, reportedly from the Los Zetas criminal group.  Despite the fact that the situation of insecurity that led him to leave the country has not changed in significant terms, father Solalinde declared in a press-conference that he will return to his pastoral work, although he recognized that the risks he confronts are real and continue being present.  “The mission is a risk, when it is taken seriously,” he noted.

Upon returning to Mexico, Solalinde warned that his position is non-partisan, but he commented also that the PRI has to date not given him reason to have faith in its governments, especially when “on the route of the kidnappings of migrants are found PRI state-governments: Tabasco, Veracruz, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. They are not hopeful signs,” he observed.  Furthermore, the priest recalled that the governments of the state of Mexico have been particularly hostile toward migrants.

This has been the case moreso during the government of Peña Nieto, said the priest, given the attack in 2010 by federal police on the San Juan Diego migrant home, and in light of the various attempts in 2011 to burn down the installment.

During the press-conference, Alberto Herrera Aragón, director of Amnesty Internacional México, lamented the “very insignificant advances” and the lack of investigations into the death-threats against Solalinde, a situation he claims to be “inexplicable.”  He indicated that “to guarantee the security of human-rights defenders, it is necessary to have adequate ministerial investigations that hold the aggressors responsible.”

In light of the persistence of the situation of risk lived by Solalinde and his work-team, Alberto Herrera demanded that the Mexican State observe the precautionary measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), some of which, in his view, “have taken more than 2 years to be implemented, increasing the risks that are experienced by Father Solalinde permanently.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Vuelve Solalinde a Oaxaca; “me preocupa el regreso del PRI”, dice(Página 3, 11 de julio de 2012)

Vuelve padre Solalinde a México para retomar actividades; expresa que le preocupa el regreso del PRI (EDUCA, 11 de julio de 2012)

Regresa padre Solalinde a México para retomar actividades (La Jornada, 10 de julio de 2012)

Regresa padre Solalinde a Oaxaca (Noticiasnet.mx, 10 de julio de 2012)

Exige Amnistía Internacional garantizar seguridad a Solalinde (Proceso, 5 de julio de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde leaves the country temporarily due to death-threats (21 May 2012)

Oaxaca: Aggressions continue against migrants and Father Solalinde (19 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Father Solalinde denounces detention by local cacique (16 January 2012)


Chiapas/Oaxaca: #WeMigrantsAre132

June 20, 2012

From 12 to 14 June 2012, human-rights activists and dozens of undocumented Central Americans carried out a series of activities “with the intention of focusing national attention on the question of migrants, something that has not been profoundly examined by those aspiring to the presidency of the Republic.”  They took the train from Arriaga, Chiapas, to Ixtepec, Oaxaca, this route being one that unites the two cities that is one of the principal means by which undocumented workers enter Mexico.  Under the protection of security forces from the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, federal corporations, the Mexican Army, the CNHD, and the Beta Group, the protestors carried out a mobilization and march through the streets and train-tracks of Arriaga, the route of “the Beast” from Arriaga to Ixtepec, a stop in Ixtepec, and a meeting with the Coordination of #IAm132 Central Office of the Isthmus.

The human-rights defenders and Central American migrants created the movement #WeMigrantsAre132 and requested the support of the national movement #IAm132 so that the latter include the question of migration in its petitions to the presidential candidates.  Rubén Figueroa from the Mesoamerican Movement recalled that “More than 60% of the migrants who cross through Mexico are youth between 15 and 30 years of age, and they suffer persecution, abuses, murder, sexual exploitation, kidnapping, and rape at the hands of organized crime with the complicity of the authorities.  From this is seen the need for the vital energy of this movement of youth to adopt the cause of the migrants, both Mexicans abroad as well as those migrants who arrive here to Mexico, as central to the platform on human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de prensa del Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano (15 de junio de 2012)

Protesta #YoSoy132 en Chiapas; se unen activistas e indocumentados(Milenio, 12 de junio de 2012)

Activistas piden a candidatos presidenciales pronunciarse sobre migración(CNN México, 14 de junio de 2012)

Crean en Chiapas el movimiento #LosMigrantesSomos132 (Proceso, 12 de junio de 2012)

Candidatos, sin abordar tema de migrantes (La Jornada, 15 de junio de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Tabasco: “The forgotten border” press-conference (13 December 2011)

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)