Mexico national guard shows lighter touch with migrants after president’s warning

6/25/19 – Reuters

By Anthony Esposito

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Photo courtesy of lopezobrador.org.mx

Mexico’s National Guard, accused of being heavy-handed in its efforts to curb migrant flows, employed a lighter touch on the U.S. border on Tuesday after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said they did not have orders to detain migrants.

Earlier on Tuesday, Lopez Obrador faced repeated questions at a news conference about photographs that emerged last week of the National Guard catching Central American and Cuban women in Ciudad Juarez, which borders El Paso, Texas.

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Mexico’s Crackdown at Its Southern Border, Prompted by Trump, Scares Migrants From Crossing

6/24/19 – New York Times

By Maya Averbuch and Kirk Semple

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The Aguilar family had been preparing since February to migrate north. They borrowed $2,600, made a down payment to a smuggler and set off from their home in northern Guatemala last week.

But at Guatemala’s border with Mexico, their smuggler had some bad news: Crossing into Mexico was too risky. A June 7 deal between the Mexican authorities and the United States to reduce migration had brought extra security forces to the border.

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Mexico Vows to Identify Thousands of Remains,’ Worst Legacy’ of Violence

6/24/19 – New York Times

By Lizbeth Diaz

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Mexico’s government vowed on Monday to identify thousands of human remains that have accumulated in morgues and mass graves during more than a decade of gang violence and stirred anger among bereaved families.

The government said it would initially commit 400 million pesos ($21 million) to work through the backlog, including updating forensic databases, establishing five new forensic centers, bringing in experts and using new technologies.

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Fatal Shooting of Migrant in Mexico Prompts Government Investigations

6/21/19 – New York Times

By Kirk Semple and Paulina Villegas

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The Mexican authorities are investigating the death of a teenage migrant from El Salvador who was shot and killed after the truck she was in ran a government checkpoint.

Witnesses have told investigators in the state of Veracruz, where the shooting happened last Friday, that a truck carrying the 19-year-old woman and other migrants bound for the United States border passed through a government checkpoint and that people wearing police uniforms gave chase in a police car and shot at the truck, said Jorge Winckler Ortiz, the attorney general of Veracruz.

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Two more border cities added to U.S.-Mexico asylum program: sources

6/23/19 – Reuters

By Lizbeth Diaz

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U.S.-bound asylum seekers will be sent back to at least two additional Mexican border cities later this week to wait for their claims to be processed, officials said, with one of the cities in a region that is among Mexico’s most chaotic and violent.

The policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or Remain in Mexico, will be implemented later this week in Nuevo Laredo in the northern state of Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, said two Mexican officials with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified.

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Mexico’s Other Border Is Rattled by Armed Crackdown Along River

6/22/19 – Bloomberg

By Eric Martin

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The rafts, made of plywood planks lashed to fat inner tubes, float back and forth all day, piloted by camareros who push poles deep into the riverbed to guide their vessels in a rough echo of Venetian gondoliers.

The cargo depends on the direction. From Mexico to Guatemala, it’s usually cans of cooking oil or bags of rice, cases of Corona and cartons of eggs. It’s mostly people going the other way, many headed for the U.S. All of it, technically speaking, is illegal, but the customs and immigration officials on the international bridge never paid much mind, allowing the Suchiate River crossings to build into the cornerstone of a thriving economy in an impoverished region.

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Migrants say police in Mexico opened fire on their truck, killing a 19-year-old woman

6/18/19 – Washington Post

by Kevin Sieff and Gabriela Martinez

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Mexican authorities are investigating reports that police opened fire on a group of migrants from El Salvador last week, killing a 19-year-old woman and wounding two men.

The confrontation in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz on Friday comes as Mexico expands immigration enforcement at the behest of the United States, creating new checkpoints and deploying thousands of national guardsmen across the country. Human rights advocates have expressed concern that those actions could lead to violence against migrants.

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