In Mexico, migrants are also persecuted and mistreated

Paradoxically, the Mexican government acts against Central American citizens in the same way that the United States does

The policy of zero tolerance of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has generated worldwide repudiation for the cruelty exercised against the Latin immigrants who arrive in this country. The separation of entire families and children away from their parents have been the facts that show the treatment that the US government gives to these people.

Leer en español: En México también se persigue y se maltrata a los migrantes

However, although the situation of migrants in the United States is the one that has had more echo and more indignation has generated, Mexico has not been alien to this situation. President Enrique Peña Nieto, in the style of his counterpart Donald Trump, has also implemented policies that have led to abuses and persecution of migrants from Central American countries.

It is known that Mexico is a country in which citizens of countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua make transit to reach the United States and seek there the opportunities they do not have in their nations. However, the passage through Mexico implies facing a series of difficulties very similar to those faced by those arriving in the United States.

A report prepared by the Citizen Council of the National Institute of Migration of Mexico (CCINM), mentions 152 observations that account for the deficiencies and violations of Human Rights against Central American migrants, who are taken to immigration detention centers of the National Institute of Migration (INM).

Also read: Migration: Mexico deports more undocumented immigrants than the United States

Among the deficiencies and abuses evidenced in the report are overcrowding and the precarious and unhealthy conditions in which migrants remain in detention. In addition, the separation of families is also detailed, which, although not the same as in the United States, is based on exclusionary criteria such as the age and gender of the people, generating psychological and moral damage, mainly to children and teenagers

The situation in Mexico is no less serious than that of the United States

"Among the most alarming problems detected within the INM stations, it has been documented that there are cases of children who do not even have a space in the open air, they are in conditions of permanent confinement. The testimonies are from children and entire families who had more than 4, 5, 6 or more days and did not know what it was like to see the light of day or take a breath," explained Miguel Paz, Coordinator of the Child Labor Group of the CCINM , regarding the report prepared by this organization.

2016 was the year in which more migrant minors were detained in Mexico. With a figure close to 40,000, 22,000 were accompanied by their parents or an adult, while another 18,000 were not accompanied. During 2012 and 2018, more than 138,000 migrant children and adolescents have been detained.

Other information revealed in the report of the CCINM:

  • There were numerous episodes of violence and excessive use of force by agents of the INM and other security forces in the control and detention operations.
  • There is a systematic practice of verification and deprivation of liberty of people who lack regular migration documentation throughout the country. During the monitoring, an increase of events of verification and detention of migrants was detected, with short or long stay in Mexico, in areas such as Monterrey, Torreón, Saltillo and Tapachula, through operatives established in urban areas, particularly hotels.
  • During the monitoring period, the operations were constant and regular, carried out by the INM in the company of other security bodies of the states and municipalities. These supposedly are made for security reasons. In the files it was found that these operations were generic, without detailed legal basis. The files also evidenced that the operations were ordered for several days and weeks, where the participation of the INM was generally requested.

Speaking to BBC World, Dora Giusti, representative of Unicef ​​in Mexico, referred to the impact of Mexican migration policies on children and adolescents, noting that a good percentage of these are being detained in the migratory stations, and subjected to a situation that has psychological consequences in them, despite the improvements that the INM is trying to mitigate.

Although several Mexican citizens have suffered the mistreatment and abuses of the US government towards migrants, paradoxically the Mexican government acts in the same way against Central American citizens, while rejecting the actions of its northern neighbor and demands solidarity from the international community.

LatinAmerican Post | Samuel Augusto Gallego Suárez
Translated from “En México también se persigue y se maltrata a los migrantes”

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