‘I don’t feel safe’: Migrants face attacks, threats in Mexico

04/21/2021

Source: Aljazeera

“Every time I see my daughters suffering here, I feel a lump in my throat. I cry during the nights.”

That is how a mother from Honduras describes her life in Piedras Negras, a Mexican city across the border from the US state of Texas, after she was expelled from the United States last month with her two- and seven-year-old daughters and other members of her family. Members of a gang she had testified against in Honduras tracked her to Mexico, she said, fuelling fears of violence.

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Mexico dispatches troops to southern border to rein in migrants

03/22/2021

Source: Aljazeera

Mexico reinforced its southern border with Guatemala with immigration agents and national guard troops after the country announced it would limit all non-essential travel between the two countries.

Local media reported that the Suchiate River which separates Guatemala and Mexico was being lined with an enhanced security presence to contain a growing flow of immigrants heading to the United States.

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Trump’s angry tweet about a common border incident prompts a Mexican investigation

4/25/2019 – Los Angeles Times

soldiersBy Patrick J. McDonnell

On April 13, a Mexican military patrol spotted an unmarked vehicle on the south side of the border fence outside El Paso, and confronted the two people inside.

They turned out to be U.S. Army soldiers, and the spot where they were parked was U.S. territory.

 

The two sides talked, the Mexican military contingent left, and the U.S. soldiers went on their way.

 

That’s the story according to official statements from Mexico and the United States.

 

Then there is President Trump’s version.

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Migrant caravan detained in old factory, across from Texas

2/6/2019 – Associated Press

2wntabrd5ii6tlktqjcimkadceA caravan of 1,600 Central American migrants is surrounded by Mexican authorities in an old factory a short distance from Texas, where they hope to seek asylum but appear to have a faint chance.

The migrants arrived on buses Monday in Piedras Negras, Mexico, across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas. The caravan is the first in recent months to head toward Texas instead of California.

President Donald Trump in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night accused Mexican cities of busing migrants to the border “to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection has bolstered staffing and conducted exercises with officers in riot gear, and the Defense Department said Wednesday that it would send 250 soldiers to Eagle Pass in a support capacity.

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Baker Institute paper: Mexico’s efforts to secure southern border falling short

08/11/2016 Rice University

children-northern-mexico-credit-kelly-donlan2_0Mexico launched the Comprehensive Plan for the Southern Border (CPSB) in 2014 in an attempt to manage increased migration flows from Central America. But two years after the plan’s implementation, it has yet to accomplish its goals of securing Mexico’s southern border, according to an issue brief from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

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Mexico Steps Up Deportations Of Central American Migrants

International Business Times, 4/6/2015

5990205485_f200fbde57_oCentral 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.

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NEW PUBLICATION: Reflections on Mexico’s Southern Border

By Duncan Wood, Christopher Wilson, Eric L. Olson, Brenda Elisa Valdés Corona, and Ernesto Rodríguez Chávez

April 1, 2015

Puente Dr. Rodolfo Robles Ciudad Hidalgo Chiapas - Tecún Umán Guatemala  DSC_0914 Ernesto (2)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.

Click here to read the publication. 

Exploitation awaits migrant children on Mexico’s southern edge

08/02/14 Los Angeles Times

Street childrenThey are called canguritos, little kangaroos, because of the plastic trays of candy, cigarettes and other goods strapped across their bellies.

There is Juan Gonzalez, 10, selling gum for pennies. There are Humberto Vazquez, 11, and Wilmer Hernandez, 13, shining shoes.

And a few dark-skinned girls, none taller than 4 feet nor older than 12, wrapped in colorful indigenous cloth as skirts and offering tired pastries.

The northward passage of Central American children, many without their parents, is a familiar sight along Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. Though the exodus has been dominating U.S. headlines of late, tens of thousands of youngsters have waded the Suchiate River or floated across it on inner-tube rafts annually for many years.

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Anarchy along Mexico’s southern border crossings

mexican immigrantLos Angeles Times, 8/3/2013

The Mexican government is pledging to bring order to its wild southern border. The stakes couldn’t be higher, and the job couldn’t be more difficult.

The proof lies in this dusty border town of 14,000 people. Here, unmonitored goods and travelers float across the wide Suchiate River — the boundary between Guatemala and the Mexican state of Chiapas — on a flotilla of inner-tube rafts. They cross all day long, in plain sight of Mexican authorities stationed a few yards upriver at an official border crossing.  Some of the Central Americans are visiting just for the day. Others are hoping to find work on Mexican coffee plantations or banana farms. But many will continue north toward the United States.

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Document: Mexico can’t control Southern border

El Paso Times, 12/13/2010

The Mexican government has no control of its 577-mile border with Guatemala, where arms, drugs and immigrant smugglers appear to have free rein, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable disclosed recently by WikiLeaks.

The document says that Mexico does not have enough resources to patrol the border.

“Limited resources also undermine the effort: while there are 30,000 U.S. CBP officers on the 1,926-mile Mexican/U.S. border, only 125 Mexican immigration officials monitor the 577-mile border with Guatemala,” the document states.

“The weakness of the state (Guatemalan government), the pervasive violence, the widespread corruption, and the country’s strategic location for drug trafficking are creating a very dangerous cocktail.”

The state of lawlessness in Guatemala is such that residents rely on the Zetas instead of police to provide security, the released documents say. The Zetas, who formerly worked for the Gulf cartel, are reported to be making inroads in Chihuahua state.

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