Latin Dispatch News, 4/30/2015
Ciudad Tecún Umán is sweltering. All of the town’s households and its handful of ramshackle cantinas still use wood-burning stoves, their sweaty attendants braving the compounded afternoon heat. The smoke trails out into the few dusty streets, unpaved, potholed and barely stretching to the edge of the Rio Suchiate, which divides Tecún Umán and the rest of Guatemala from Mexico.
It was at the river that on March 24 a small group of migrants’ rights organizers launched the Viacrucis Migrante, an activist pilgrimage centered around Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the religious Mexican ritual of the “viacrucis,” in which worshipers reenact Jesus’ last steps before his crucifixion. Now in its fifth year, the Viacrucis Migrante serves as a platform for activists to highlight their grievances, as well as to give migrants direct access to reporters and scholars traveling with them.
Pew Research Center, 4/28/2015
The Mexican government has deported a record number of Central American children traveling without a guardian since last fall, which President Obama and other U.S. officials say has contributed to a significant drop in children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mexico’s 3,819 deportations of unaccompanied minors from Central America during the first five months of the fiscal year represent a 56% increase over the same period a year earlier, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Mexican and U.S. government data. The stepped up security was a result of a plan by Mexican officials to address the record surge in child migrants last year.
Federal police arrested three suspected gang members during the raid on the building where the migrants, hailing from Cuba, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, were being held, the National Security Commission said in a statement.
International Business Times, 4/6/2015
Central American families — and children without families — are still flowing north by the thousands, but the United States is seeing far fewer migrants at its southern border this year. That’s in part because Mexico has stepped up deportations — and recently released figures show a major crackdown.
Fewer migrants tend to cross the U.S. border from Mexico during the winter due to harsher weather conditions. But according to statistics from Mexico’s migration agency, deportations and detentions increased by more than 100 percent in January and February compared to the same period a year ago.
Fox News Latino, 4/6/2015
U.S. authorities deported 3,824 Hondurans by air in the first quarter of 2015, Willeman said.
Mexico, for its part, has deported about 12,000 Hondurans by land, the CAMR director said.
By Duncan Wood, Christopher Wilson, Eric L. Olson, Brenda Elisa Valdés Corona, and Ernesto Rodríguez Chávez
April 1, 2015
In early March, 2015, a small group of researchers from the Washington-based Wilson Center and from Mexico’s Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas traveled to the southwestern section of the Mexico-Guatemala border to observe developments in migration, various types of illicit trafficking, trade, and border management. While there, we met with a wide range of government and non-governmental actors. We crossed the border and visited the official and irregular installations at Ciudad Hidalgo-Tecún Umán and Talisman-El Carmen. We met with officials from Mexico’s SRE (Foreign Ministry), SEMAR (Navy/Marines), the Interior Ministry’s Coordinación para la Atención Integral de la Migración en la Frontera Sur, and INM (National Immigration Institute); including a visit to the migrant holding center Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI in Tapachula. We were able to dialogue with a range of Chiapas state officials in charge of law enforcement and economic development in the border region. We visited two migrant shelters run by Scalabrini priests, one on each side of the border, and held meetings with NGO representatives and academics working on issues of human rights protection in relation to migrants, migrant workers, sex workers and victims of human trafficking. Finally, we met with Guatemala’s interagency border security task force, Fuerza de Tarea Interinstitucional Tecun Uman, including personnel from several Guatemalan government agencies.
In this brief publication, each of the five researchers participating in the visit presents a short reflection based on several of these encounters.