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):


National: creation of mechanism for human-rights observation amidst the militarization of the Southern Border

September 2, 2014

(@fronterasurmx.wordpress.com)On 19 August, organizations from southeastern Mexico decided to “launch coordinated actions for monitoring, so as to demand the observance of responsibilities amidst the possible increase in human-rights violations” due to the “Southern Border Program” which was announced by the federal government on 7 July. These organizations foresee the program as including “the construction of more border infrastructure. Beyond this, there will be greater border control due to increased coordination among authorities of different State agencies, in addition to a greater presence of Army and Navy units. There will also be founded Centers for Comprehensive Attention to Border Transit.”

The organizations denounced that “this plan contains numerous ambiguities and retains a vision of natural security, prioritizing the control and flow of migration above human security” as well as the “lack of a Mexican migratory policy based in human rights that promotes the non-discrimination and multiculturalism implied by migratory flows.”

These organizations affirm that “since 2013 there have been observed numerous movements along the southern border which seek to increase its militarization, augment the presence of federal police, and re-enforce customs and biometrical controls. This militarization continues apace today, whether with the Southern Border Program or not, as we see in the constant and violent operations suffered by migrants in Tabasco and the coastal region of Chiapas.”

The organizations which are participating in this initiative include the following: the Migrant Home “la 72” in Tenosique, Tabasco; the San Francisco de Asís Migrant Home in Huixtla, Chiapas; the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas; the Fray Matías de Córdova Center for Human Rights in Tapachula, Chiapas; and Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación in Comitán de Domínguez, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Instalan mecanismo de observación con visión de derechos humanos ante la militarización de la Frontera Sur (boletín del Observatorio, 19 de agosto de 2014)

Estas son las principales acciones del Programa Frontera Sur para proteger a migrantes (Animal Político, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Critican Plan Frontera Sur; ven riesgos para migrantes (El Universal, 26 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Four years after the San Fernando massacre, “La 72” denounces new operations against migrants (26 de agosto de 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)


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)


National: “La 72” migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM

March 30, 2014

Foto @ Zapateando

Photo @ Zapateando

Fray Tomás González Castillo, director of the migrant home “La 72,” denounced that on 10 March a truck belonging to the National Institute on Migration (INM) from the Tenosique delegation stopped before several migrant persons.  “They took them into the vehicle and transferred them to a place very close to the jungle.  There, they released two persons, threatened them, took the only money they had (2700 pesos), threatened them once again, tortured them psychologically, and finally released them,” as the public denunciation notes.

He added that “this description is of a kidnapping comparable with the kidnappings carried out by organized crime in the zone, given that they deprive migrants of their liberty, take them to the jungle, extort them, torture them verbally, psychologically, and physically, and finally charge them for letting them go.”

It should be noted that two months prior, the federal police “arrested, beat, and threatened two migrants staying in ‘La 72’ with death.”  It should also be stressed that “La 72” is a beneficiary of the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights-Defenders and Journalists, in addition to precautionary measures awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Agentes del INM en Tenosique, secuestran migrantes (Frontera Sur, 24 de marzo de 2014)

También INM secuestra migrantes: La 72 (Noticias sin Fronteras, 25 de marzo de 2014)

Agentes del Instituto Nacional de Migración secuestran, extorsionan y amenazan de muerte a dos personas migrantes en Tenosique, Tabasco (Centro de Medios Libres México, 24 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

National: New death-threats directed against Fray Tomás, director of “La 72″ (27 March 2013)

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

 


Chiapas: Announcement of candidates for the 2014 “jTatic Samuel, jCanan Lum Recognition”

January 1, 2014

logo-2014

The organizing committee for the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Recognition” reported on 15 November their proposals as candidates to receive this award in 2014.  The persons and collectives which are to receive the recognition in 2014 include:

  1. The Migrant Home “Home of the Wandering jTatic Samuel Ruiz García of Pakal-na,” based in the Palenque, Chiapas.

  2. The Ecumenical Group of Organic Farming of Pablo L. Sidar, based in Chicomuselo, Chiapas.

  3. Fray Tomás Gonzales Castillo, responsible for the “72” migrant home in Tenosique, Tabasco.

The award ceremony will take place on 21 January in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to mark the anniversaries of the death and ordination of jTatic Samuel Ruiz García.

For more information (in Spanish):

Tres distinciones jCanan Lum para el 2014 (24 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Launch of call for 2014 jTatic Samuel Jcanan Lum (31 de enero de 2013)

Chiapas: First anniversary of the death of bishop Samuel Ruiz García; third award of the Jtatik Samuel jCanan Lum recognition (2012) (8 February 2012)

Chiapas: presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award during the assembly of the Believing People (7 March 2011)

Chiapas: Presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award to the Coordination of Indigenous Social Organizations XI’NICH (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: celebration and presentation of 2011 jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award (31 January 2011)

Chiapas: visit to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor denied (30 July 2010)


National: Collaborators of the “72” migrant home abandon work due to threats

June 24, 2013

Foto @ Kaos en la Red

Fray Tomás González @ Kaos en la Red

Despite the fact that on 19 April the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) awarded precautionary measures to Fray Tomás González, Rubén Figueroa, and the personnel and migrants housed in the Migrant Rest Home “la 72” in Tenosique, Tabasco, these measures (according to recent denunciations) have not been efficient toward the end of guaranteeing the security of the rest home, leading part of the work-team indefinitely to decide to abandon its work there, out of fear for their lives and physical integrity, following recent death-threats.  On 8 June personnel from the migrant-home received a new death-threat from a person who approached the home, warning Rubén Figueroa to stop erecting obstacles in the path of organized crime.  If he did not, the threat continued, he would be “embalmed,” as human-rights groups have claimed.  This person was arrested for the death-threat, together with three others implicated in the kidnapping of migrants, but these three were released on 10 June, just as the State Attorney General’s Office began to procure evidence tying them to crimes committed against migrants.

In a meeting carried out between authorities and members of the rest-home on 17 May, there was agreed that the Tabasco state government would commit itself to implementing different protection mechanisms, including “accompaniments of Fray Tomás González Castillo to guarantee his integrity, both in the home as in his movements,” by the federal police.  However, the federal police suspended its patrols this past week without explanation.  Following a letter campaign and pressure in the media, the patrols returned on 11 June.  “This situation leaves migrants even more vulnerable, given that they are the object of brutal acts of violence that go unpunished,” they noted.

For more information (in Spanish):

Por amenazas, personal de “La 72” deja de laborar (Diario Rotativo, 13 de junio de 2013)

México: Ante incumplimiento de medidas cautelares personal del refugio para migrantes “La 72″ abandona Tabasco (Kaos en la Red, 12 de junio de 2013)

CIDH otorga medidas cautelares a integrantes del refugio para personas migrantes “La 72″ – Tenosique, Tabasco (Cencos, 30 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: New death-threats directed against Fray Tomás, director of “La 72″ (27 March 2013)

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)

Mexico: Caravan for Peace concludes after journeying to Tabasco, Veracruz, and Puebla (28 September 2011)