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):

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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)