AMERICA/MEXICO - Persecution against migrants increases, Mgr. Arizmendi’s complaint

Monday, 6 May 2013

San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Agenzia Fides) - "In these last days the persecution of migrants has intensified by organized crime in the area of Palenque" denounces His Exc. Mgr. Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, Bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
Mgr. Arizmendi Esquivel reads as reported by the pastor of Palenque, Father Alberto Rafael Gomez, according to whom "the kidnappings are committed in broad daylight, on the highway by criminal gangs who kidnap young immigrants, as happened at the station in Pakalná in Palenque on Sunday, April 28. Criminal gangs kidnapped several girls and boys, and no one knows exactly how many people they kidnapped."
The bishop, in a note sent to Fides, reported that on April 28, members of the Mexican Army, Navy and the state and federal police conducted a joint operation immediately and were able to save some girls. Mgr. Arizmendi Esquivel also added that the majority of immigrants are forced to pay the criminals $ 100 only to be able to get on the train without documents. The immigrants pay knowing that they are not guaranteed by the robberies and kidnappings committed by other criminal groups during their journey.
The bishop finally stressed that the Mexican government should try "to prevent such abuses against immigrants, not only against those who manage to get on the train, but also in defense of those who live among us every day, and are also victims of criminal groups. " (CE) (Agenzia Fides 06/05/2013)