National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders

May 3, 2014

Foto @ La Jornada Zacatecas

Photo @ La Jornada Zacatecas

On 30 April, close to 300 migrants, including three pregnant women, an elderly woman, and several children, were arrested and assaulted by agents of the Federal Police (PF) and the National Institute on Migration (INM) as they were marching on the federal highway from Tenosique to Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco.  The human-rights defenders Rubén Figueroa, Fray Tomás Castillo, and Fray Aurelio Tadeo, who were carrying water and food to support the migrants, were beaten by the federal police close to the community of Chancamac, Tabasco.

Figueroa, a representative from the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, declared that “the response of the Mexican State before the increasing social mobilizations demanding the universal right of free transit has been this brutal operation.  It is evident that the position of authority is to continue entrenching its prevailing migratory policy.”  Furthermore, he indicated with regard to the arrested migrants that “they came alone and for that reason their rights were trampled”; the train companies Ferrosur and Kansas City Southern decided not to allow them to board their trains.  The director of the “La 72” migrant home in Tenosique, Fray Tomás González, called the violence with which federal police and migratory agents met migrants as lamentable, as “they did not understand the reasons, they just got on top of us, first kettling us and then beating and kicking us […].  We provided no resistance so that they would not hurt us.”

Beyond this, on the night of 1-2 May there was a second mass-raid against migrants, and close to 150 persons who were sleeping in the train station of Palenque, Chiapas, were detained by INM agents together with federal police.  Nearly a hundred migrants succeeded in evading arrest by taking refuge in the migrant home in Palenque.  The detained were taken to the migrant station in Palenque, and it is feared that they will be deported.

For more information (in Spanish):

Riesgo inminente de deportación desde Tapachula de personas migrantes agredidas en operativo del Instituto Nacional de Migración en coordinación con Policía federal, estatal y municipal de Tabasco (Agencia Intermedios, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Migrantes denuncian agresión de agentes del INM al detenerlos(Informador, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Agreden a defensores de migrantes en Tabasco (Proceso, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Elementos de INM y PF agreden a grupo de migrantes centroamericanos(AGN Veracruz, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Denuncian agresión a migrantes que caminan hacia el norte del país por parte de elementos de la PF e INM (Plumas Libres, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Nueva redada: detienen a 150 migrantes más que pernoctaban en Palenque (La Jornada Zacatecas, 1 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

National/International: Nueva Esperanza community returns, but in critical conditions, notes civil society

March 20, 2013

Pobladores de Nueva Esperanza en retorno a su tierra @ Frontera Sur

Residents of Nueva Esperanza returning to their lands @ Frontera Sur

Following a year and half, the residents of Nueva Esperanza returned on 28 February to their country, Guatemala, following their displacement in 2011 by the Army toward the border with Mexico.  The relocation took place in Petén, in a territory recalled “The triumph of Nueva Esperanza,” this following the arrival of an agreement with the Guatemala government.  “Regardless, the residents continue to experience critical conditions, being homeless and without water,” denounced a Civil Mission that accompanied them during their return.

By means of a communiqué, the Civil Mission expressed its concern regarding the conditions in which the displaced found their land, “given that they now no longer have shelter, ground, or any place to sleep, which violates the obligations of the governments in cases of resettlement and reinstallation, especially considering that the majority of the displaced are children.”

It should be recalled that personnel from the 72 Hogar Refuge for Migrant Persons and Rubén Figueroa, member of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement who works with this migrant home, received death-threats at the beginning of March on the part of peoples identified “as the criminals who request quotas and control migratory flow from Tenosique to Coatzacoalcos,” as indicated by a communiqué from Fray Tomás, director of the migrant home.

For more information (in Spanish):

Desplazados retornan a Guatemala, pero continúa en condiciones críticas (Centro ProDH, 6 de marzo de 2013)

Comunicado conjunto: retorno Nueva Esperanza a Guatemala (Red por la Paz Chiapas, 7 de marzo de 2013)

A una semana de las amenazas. La 72 (Frontera Sur, 11 de marzo de 2013)

Amenaza de muerte por defender a migrantes (Frontera Sur, 12 de marzo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: Nueva Esperanza community returns to Guatemala after a year and a half (5 March 2013)

National: “Nueva Esperanza: displaced for a year, and in critical conditions”: Civil Mission (16 August 2012)

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)