National/Chiapas: INM offers public apology to four indigenous migrants from Chiapas

November 11, 2019
whatsapp-image-2019-11-07-at-13.38.03

@Proceso

On November 7, in the Hall of Fine Arts in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the National Institute of Migration (INM) offered a public apology to four Tzeltal indigenous people from Chiapas who were detained, tortured and almost deported by INM elements. In 2015, the two men and two women were on their way north, looking for work in one of the country’s several industrial crops. Presenting their birth certificates and their electoral identification at a checkpoint in San Juan del Río, Querétaro, “INM agents told them they were false, took them to a migratory station and told them they were Guatemalans; they mistreated them so that they would admit to being from Guatemala”, explained María Fernanda Pincus, director of the Legal Clinic of the University program of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). One of the victims was still a minor at the time of the arrest.

Accompanied by the Municipal President of San Cristóbal, Jerónima Toledo Villalobos, Francisco Garduño Yáñez, commissioner of INM, apologized to the legal representative of the victims, Gretchen Kuhner, for the violation of their human rights and the “damage to the image, honor and dignity“, of the 4 people. “They were not present at the ceremony because they want to maintain a private life, but it was very important that a public apology be made because it is not something that happens only to them; they said we don’t want it to happen to us, but neither to other people”, said María Fernanda Pincus. According to Gretchen Kuhner, the victims accept the apology.

As consequence and in an administrative process, two deputy directors, an agent, a coordinator and two heads of department were punished with suspensions between 15 and 30 days. “Through me, the Institute is committed to guaranteeing measures of non-repetition, so that the acts that violated the human rights of these people do not happen again”, Garduño Yáñez said. He added that the end of non-repetition “translates into prevention through the sensitization of public servants attached to the INM, on issues related to indigenous communities and the urgency of its members to migrate to other parts of the country.” According to María Fernanda Pincus, in addition, there will be “reparation of the damage in economic terms, because they were going to work in the north of the country as agricultural day laborers and they will be paid what they missed earning in those days.”

Mario Peña, also from the Legal Clinic of the UNAM’s University Program on Human Rights, pointed out that “there are no conditions to know who are Mexicans and who are foreigners. We have noticed that people in vulnerable conditions with little command of Spanish are more affected and that they are not provided with an interpreter of their language in migration procedures”.

For more information:

Pide el INM disculpas a indígenas tzeltales por agresión en retén (La Jornada, November 7, 2019)

El INM ofrece disculpa pública a indígenas chipanecos confundidos con migrantes (El Proceso, November 7, 2019)

Ofrece INM disculpa pública a 4 indígenas de Chiapas (El Heraldo de México, November 7, 2019)

Ofrecen disculpa pública a tzeltales torturados en 2015 (EL Universal, November 8, 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Effort to Protect Migrants “Lasted a Few Months”, UNHCHR (November 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Migration Authorities Stop Migrant Caravan in Tapachula (October 17, 2019)

National/International: CSOs Denounce Poor Conditions in Provisional Migration Centers in Chiapas (October 13, 2019)

Chiapas: African Migrants Clash with National Guard in Tapachula (October 8, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

National/International: Mexico and US Reevaluate Migration Agreement after Three Months; Disagreement over Desired Outcomes (September 23, 2019)

International/National: UNO Calls for Evaluation of National Guard as Migratory Control in Mexico (September 2, 2019)


International/ National: Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets Used Against Migrants at U.S. Mexico Border

November 27, 2018
tijuana-border-crossing-for-sipaz-blog

(@Ramon Espinosa / Associated Press)

November 25, 2018, Tijuana- U.S. Border patrol agents fired tear gas and rubber bullets at migrants after individuals threw rocks at border agents and attempted to enter the United States.

Children and adults fainted from the effects of tear gas, as hundreds of peaceful protesters were caught in the violence.

A peaceful protest in response to the slow processing of asylum requests was being held next to the border by migrants that day. Mexican federal police attempted to break up the protest and detained dozens of migrants. U.S. Border patrol agents detained individuals who attempted to cross the border. In response to the attempted crossings, the U.S. closed the San Ysidro border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana for hours.

It is unclear what level of coordination there was and is between U.S. and Mexican authorities in response to the caravan, but there appears to be some level of cooperation between the law enforcement agencies.

U.S. President Donald Trump took advantage of the days events to push his narrative of the caravans as “an invasion”, calling migrants “stone cold criminals” on twitter.

Meanwhile, at least 4,700 migrants from Central America are sheltered in a sports complex in the city of Tijuana, where negative sentiment against migrants appears to be growing.

 

For more information in Spanish:

Estados Unidos rocía gases en territorio mexicano para contener a migrantes (En El Camino, 26 de noviembre de 2018)

EU arrestó a 42 migrantes tras incidente fronterizo (La Jornada, 26 de noviembre de 2018)

Protestan en Tijuana contra los migrantes hondureños (La Prensa, 18 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National / International: First Migrant Caravan advances in Mexico; a person dies in the second caravan trying to enter; Trump announces operation «Faithful Patriot» to close US border (November 3, 2018)

Chiapas / National / International: Migrant Caravan about to enter Oaxaca (November 3, 2018)

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

 


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)


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)


Mexico: 5 years since the massacre of 72 migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas

September 11, 2015

La 72 Hogar Refugio Para Personas Migrantes @VICE “La 72,” Refuge Home for Migrants @VICE

Five years ago, on 23 August 2010, 72 bodies of migrants appeared in San Fernando, Tamaulipas. 58 men and 14 women, principally from Central and South America, were kidnapped and executed in a ranch in San Fernando, close to the border with Texas. The indignation over the case was immediate. San Fernando recalled all those who are made invisible during their passage through Mexico in search of a new life. Since that time, the authorities have arrested a number of individuals but have not published information regarding whether anyone has been sentenced. Amnesty International (AI) has warned that the lack of investigation in the case “gives a green light to the criminal groups that terrorize and murder those who cross Mexico in search of security and a better life.” AI also hypothesizes that those responsible belong to criminal gangs, and it suspects that many of these worked in collusion with local security agents.

In Tenosique, Tabasco, the year after these events transpired, in honor of the 72 victims, there was founded the “72 Refuge Home for Migrants,” which provides housing for migrants en route to the U.S. AI specified that, since the massacre in San Fernando, hundreds of other men, women, and children who sought to reach the United States via Mexico have been harassed, disappeared, kidnapped, raped, forced into sexual slavery, and massacred.

For more information (in Spanish):

La historia de la 72: Un mensaje de esperanza frente a masacres de migrantes (VICE, 25 de agosto de 2015)

Masacre en San Fernando: lo que la PGR le oculta a las familias (Proceso, 22 de agosto de 2015)

A 5 años de masacre de 72 migrantes en San Fernando, caso sigue impune: Amnistía Internacional (Animal Político, 22 de agosto de 2015)

Falta de justicia a cinco años de una masacre convierte a México en una ‘zona de riesgo’ para migrantes (Amnistía Internacional, 21 de agosto de 2015)

Denuncia Amnistía impunidad a cinco años de la masacre de San Fernando (Proceso, 21 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Four years after the massacre of San Fernando, “La 72” denounces new operations against migrants (2 September 2014)


Chiapas: Salvadorean migrant denounces human-rights violations

July 23, 2015

@ChiapasDenunciaPública

@ChiapasDenunciaPública

On 17 July, an open letter was published on the Chiapas Public Denunciation webpage, authored by Alejandro, a Salvadorean migrant who finds himself “in prison #14, El Amate, in Chiapas State, since 3 April 2014, accused of the crime of damages against health in transport.”

In his letter, Alejandro relates how he was arrested as he was driving the car in which he works. He was thereafter kidnapped, tortured, and subjected to extortion by Mexican State agents, he claims, and finally transferred to the Amate prison, where he was formally charged with damages against health via kidnapping. In the letter, Alejandro observes that “I am unjustly being held, as I did not commit this crime. On 1 April 2014 I was intercepted by a vehicle without license at the entrance of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, on the highway to Chiapa del Corzo. Said vehicle carried five individuals, three up front and two in back. Upon overtaking me, the three subjects riding in the front blocked my exit, raised their firearms against me, and told me I was under arrest. Another subject then got out of the truck, identifying himself as commander of the Federal Ministerial Police. He ordered me to be taken from the taxi, as my job is to be a taxi-driver, and then one of them opened the driver-seat door and removed me violently, all the while pointing guns at me.”

The Salvadorean migrant affirms that he is being held in El Amate for “a crime that I did not commit. I am ill, and I have problems with my knees, as well as high blood pressure, all of this as a result of the tortures carried out by men who take advantage of their authority to invent charges and so justify their work, or to incarcerate innocent persons instead of actual criminals […]. I request protection for my family, since, if these men are capable of inventing crimes, what else can be expected of them?”

For more information (in Spanish):

Migrante salvadoreño denuncia fabricación de delito, tortura, encarcelamiento y extorsión (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 17 de julio de 2015)

Migrante salvadoreño denuncia fabricación de delito, tortura, encarcelamiento y extorsión (Regeneración, 18 de julio de 2015)


National/International: Presentation of the report on “Childhood and migration in Central and North America”

July 22, 2015

Niñez y migración

In observance of the thirtieth meeting of the Coordination Table on Migration and Gender, the report on “Childhood and Migration in Central and North America—Causes, Policies, Practices, and Challenges” was presented with the participation of Mesoamerican Voices, the Fray Matías de Córdova Center for Human Rights, the Pop No’j Association, and the organization Children in Need of Defense (KIND). This study was directed by the Center for Studies on Gender and Refugees at the Law School of University of California Hastings and the Progam on Migration and Asylum from the Center for Justice and Human Rights from the National University of Lanús (Argentina), and it involved the participation of civil organizations from the U.S., Mexico, and Central America, including Mesoamerican Voices and the Fray Matías de Córdova Center for Human Rights.

The document is the result of a regional investigation of two years in length regarding the treatment of Honduran, Salvadorean, Guatemalan, and Mexican children, as well as citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. who have been affected by migration, and it exmaines the structural causes that force children to migrate through the Central America-Mexico-U.S. Corridor. Furthermore, an evaluation is made of the policies, practices, and the conditions in countries of origin, transit, and arrival, and it investigates the effects on children from throughout the region, particularly with respect to the violation of children’s rights as well as the corresponding regional and bilateral accords, resulting in a series of recommendations for the governments of the countries in question.

In the presentation, it was recalled that “a year ago, the humanitarian crisis experienced by migrant children and adolescents worsened, leading 56,000 children to be arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border between October 2013 and July 2014. Of equal importance is to be aware that on 7 July, a year passed since the implementation of the Southern Border Program, which represents the strategy of externalizing the borders of the U.S. State to control migratory flows from Central and South America, leaving Mexico to function as police against migrants in transit.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Niñez y migración en América Central y América del Norte: Causas, políticas, prácticas y desafíos (febrero 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 (March 22, 2015)

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