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Mexico: News & Updates

Mexico shares a 2,000-mile border with its neighbor to the north. The US has played a significant role in militarizing the nation in misguided and ineffective policies to stop the flow of drugs and immigrants.  Human rights abuses are prevalent throughout Mexico but especially in the southern, mostly indigenous states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas.  Human rights defenders and indigenous community leaders—working to protect their ancestral lands and heritage—are targeted with threats, assaults, abductions and assassinations. Their struggles for peace and liberation are linked with those of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples throughout the hemisphere. 

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The FANG Collective and Detention Watch Network are celebrating the news that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will cut the contract at the Bristol County Detention Center in Massachusetts. Along with the end of the Irwin Detention Center contract in Georgia, also announced today, this is the first time ICE has cut a contract for a detention center in recent years. The announcement signals a major win for people who’ve been detained at the facility and bravely spoken out against its abuses and for local organizations who have long fought to shut it down. The announcement comes five months after the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office found that the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office violated the civil rights of currently detained people in ICE custody
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*Thanks to The Associated Press for the article*

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has struck an agreement with Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala to temporarily surge security forces to their borders in an effort to reduce the tide of migration to the U.S. border.

The agreement comes as the U.S. saw a record number of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the border in March, and the largest number of Border Patrol encounters overall with migrants on the southern border — just under 170,000 — since March 2001. 

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Despite the language coming from the administration, these children are facing a terrible and possibly illegal situation. In 1997, a class-action lawsuit settlement established standards for the detention and release of unaccompanied minors taken into custody by the authorities. According to the Flores Settlement Agreement, the federal government must transfer these unaccompanied children to a non-secure and licensed facility within days of being in custody. In an emergency, the government can keep the children for up to 20 days while seeking to reunite them with family members or place them with a sponsor. Meanwhile, the Carrizo Springs site is a secure site (the kids can’t leave), is unlicensed by the state of Texas (it’s operated by a government contractor for the Office of Refugee Resettlement), and is expected to hold children for 30 days, as reported by the Washington Post, which is obviously longer than the 20 days dictated by the Flores Agreement. The detention is also very expensive, coming in at a cost of $775 a day per child compared with $290 a day for permanent centers.
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From No More Deaths: Part 2 of the Disappeared series concluded that the culture and policies of the US Border Patrol as a law-enforcement agency both authorize and normalize acts of cruelty against border crossers. On February 3 we will be releasing Part 3 of Disappeared, called Left to Die: Border Patrol, Search & Rescue, and the Crisis of Disappearance. The report explores the discriminatory and inadequate search and rescue practices for those presumed to be undocumented in the borderlands, and the systemic interference by Border Patrol of family and community search efforts.
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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s president said on Thursday that women should decide whether the country should legalize abortion, but he declined to take a position on the issue, which is still opposed by many Mexicans.

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We continue to organize our communities in support and defense of immigrants, especially those in vulnerable situations. Connect with Immigration Working Group CLE, a collaborative of community advocates and organizations across NE Ohio. Ask about the group’s Immigrant Defense Fund, Rapid Response Team, Bond Reduction Project, volunteer needs, legislative advocacy, vigils, rallies, marches, and more. Contact iwgcle@gmail.com or see www.facebook.com/iwgCLE
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Despite having promised to demilitarize public security, during his two years in office President López Obrador (widely known as AMLO) has instead expanded the powers of the Mexican armed forces in an unprecedented manner, beyond national security tasks. The first emblematic event of what was to come for the armed forces came during AMLO’s first year in office with the creation of the Mexican National Guard. Despite being constitutionally a civilian-controlled security force, the guard is controlled by a military operational command, sources recruits primarily from the armed forces, uses military weapons and training, and has members accused of crimes taken to military prisons rather than civilian ones. As an institution, the guard holds a troubling amount of power, maintaining 44 vaguely-worded attributions that range from “crime prevention” and “interception of communications” to “the detention of migrants and inspection of their documents” and “participation in joint operations.” Placing these functions in the hands of the military, a body that does not adhere to transparency rules or even respect civil jurisdiction when a member of its ranks takes a civilian’s life, is cause for grave concern.

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