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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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Gender & Sexual Solidarity: Veracruz Decriminalized Abortion, but Activists Remain Crucial in Ensuring Access
June 25, 2022
Migrant Justice: Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: Migrant death toll, Remain in Mexico, Paroles and caravan arrivals, security in Mexico
June 24, 2022
- Several data points across border sectors—including a shocking 10 drownings in El Paso’s irrigation canals since June 9—point to a historically high number of migrants dying in the Rio Grande and on U.S. soil this year, mainly of drownings, dehydration, and falls from tall segments of the border wall.
- The Supreme Court was expected to issue a ruling this week on the Biden administration’s effort to end the “Remain in Mexico” program, but no decision came. Media reports this week revealed that one woman assigned to Remain in Mexico attempted suicide in June, and three men were kidnapped in April.
- Migration levels remain very high in June across the border. A court filing showed that CBP is increasingly granting parole—which doesn’t include an assigned immigration court date—while releasing migrants with tracking devices. Remnants of an early June caravan are arriving near the U.S. border, though Mexican states have been preventing the mostly Venezuelan migrants from boarding buses.
- Mexico sent hundreds more troops to the border cities of Tijuana and Matamoros in response to outbreaks of violence. A document from Mexico’s Defense Department shows the current extent of the military’s border-security and migrant-interdiction mission.
June 21, 2022
Three asylum seekers were kidnapped in April while in a U.S. migration program that had placed them in the care of Mexican officials in the city of Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Texas, one of the victims and the U.N. migration agency said. The case is the first known kidnapping under the revamped MPP, said Dana Graber Ladek, Chief of Mission in Mexico for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a United Nations agency that helps transport people under the program. U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, ended MPP soon after taking office last year as part of a push to reverse the hardline immigration policies of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, but was forced to reinstate it in December under court order. In re-implementing the program, the Biden administration promised new measures would enhance protection for migrants.
June 16, 2022
The judicial system in Chiapas fabricates crimes as a method of repression. Authorities are currently fabricating charges against Tzeltal human rights and environment defenders because of their opposition to the militarization of their territory and construction of infrastructure for mega-tourism projects.
Manuel Santiz Cruz, president of the Human Rights Committee of San Juan Evangelista Catholic parish in San Juan Cancuc, was falsely arrested on May 29 for drug possession. He was released and re-arrested a day later for aggravated homicide. By June 4, a total of eight Tzeltal defenders had been arrested: Manuel Santiz Cruz, Agustín Pérez Velasco, Martin Pérez Domínguez, Juan Velasco Aguilar, Agustín Pérez Domínguez, and three more persons (names withheld for their personal security).
These arbitrary detentions take place in a context in which inhabitants of San Juan Cancuc have opposed the military presence in their territory and the construction of a highway project that would connect San Cristóbal de las Casas with the region of Palenque. The highway is part of the development of mega-tourism projects in the region that have been promoted by the government without free, prior informed and culturally appropriate consultation with impacted Indigenous communities.
We are deeply concerned about the ability of Indigenous communities and leaders to carry out their legitimate activities in defense of their peoples’ territories and waterways. Last year we wrote to authorities about the about the assassination of Tzeltal human rights defender Simón Pedro Pérez López, age 35, in the Los Bosques de Chiapas region of Chiapas State (cf our letter July 6, 2021).
June 13, 2022
As the largest caravan of migrants so far this year journeys into central Mexico, the continued enforcement of a public health order barring their admission into the United States threatens to exacerbate already deteriorating humanitarian conditions on the southern border. The caravan, largely composed of asylum seekers from Venezuela, could add as many as 11,000 people to the population of migrants currently stuck in limbo near the U.S.-Mexico border—estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands. Many of them have been living in dangerous conditions for months or longer awaiting the final repeal of Title 42, the public health order that has effectively halted asylum admissions into the United States from Central and South America.
June 6, 2022
As delegations from countries in the Western hemisphere are set to arrive in Los Angeles, California for the Summit of the Americas, Mexico’s president said Monday he would not attend the gathering at which the administration of US President Joe Biden will try to advance a vision of a “secure, middle class and democratic” region, according to the White House. The ambitious, if broad, agenda – which is expected to include efforts to boost US leadership through economic cooperation, combating public health crises, countering climate change and stemming migration – has been overshadowed for weeks by rumblings that Washington planned to exclude Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela from the event, citing human rights concerns and lack of democratic rule. On Monday, the Reuters news agency reported that the White House had finalised the guest list excluding the three countries. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced soon after he would boycott the summit because it did not include all countries in the Americas.
June 6, 2022
Mexico's ruling party won four of six state elections held on Sunday, preliminary results showed on Monday, strengthening President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's grip on power ahead of the contest to succeed him in 2024. Lopez Obrador's leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and its allies captured the governorships in the states of Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Hidalgo and Tamaulipas, according to preliminary vote counts by electoral authorities. Meanwhile, opposition candidates had big leads in the central state of Aguascalientes and Durango in the north, broadly in line with results anticipated by opinion polls. All six states holding elections began Sunday in opposition hands.
June 2, 2022
Seeking asylum is never an easy process. Families, children, and adults forced to flee their homes experience the trauma of violence or other life-threatening circumstances at their place of origin, the rupture of leaving their past lives behind, and the uncertainty of where and how to find refuge. But in recent years, this already difficult path has become increasingly fraught with obstacles for the rising population of protection-seeking people arriving at Mexico’s southern border, the majority of whom make their asylum claims in the city of Tapachula, Chiapas.
May 24, 2022
More than a dozen gunmen opened fire in two bars in the central Mexican city of Celaya late on Monday, killing at least 11 people in an apparent gangland shooting, local officials and media said. Seven women and three men were killed at the scene in shootings in two bars, according to a statement by security officials in Celaya, Guanajuato state, which said the attack happened in the Valle Hermoso neighborhood. An eleventh victim, a woman, later died at the hospital, according to a state government spokesperson. Two other people were wounded.
May 24, 2022
Mexico’s immigration enforcement is increasingly militarized with the armed forces and National Guard now accounting for more migrant detentions than immigration agents, according to a report published Tuesday by six nongovernmental organizations. The human rights and migrant advocacy groups, among them the Foundation for Justice and the Democratic State of Law, say that many of the detentions are also arbitrary, based on racial profiling and have led to abuses. The armed forces are supposed to just be supporting immigration agents in their work, but the organizations found that they are now responsible for the majority of detentions.