On January 31, 2022 family and friends of detained migrant Jauna Alonzo Santizo traveled from San Mateo Ixitán to Guatemala City to present a petition letter to the Mexican Consulate. This letter–signed by 5,135 individuals and 43 organizations–demands the immediate release of Santizo, who has been detained in Tamaulipas, Mexico for seven years for a crime she and her family maintain that she did not commit. In an attempt to migrate to the United States in search of better economic opportunities in 2014, Santizo was kidnapped in Mexico and forced to work for her captors. When police arrived on the scene, they accused Santizo of being a trafficker, but because Santizo–a Maya Chuj woman–did not speak Spanish at the time, she was unable to defend herself. Without legal counsel, consulate support, or even an interpreter, Santizo was forced at gunpoint to sign a document incriminating herself. US Border Patrol and Customs has reported an increased need for interpreters that speak languages like Chuj; the number of migrants that speak only Mayan Indigenous languages apprehended at the US Southern Border doubled from 2020 to 2021.
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