AMERICA/MEXICO - "Violence against the latest caravan of migrants", denounces a priest

Monday, 27 January 2020 human rights   migrants   violence   hunger  


Tapachula (Agenzia Fides) - About 500 Central American migrants of the caravan of migrants in the first group of 2020 took refuge in the diocesan "Belen" home-refuge in the diocese of Tapachula (Mexico).
In a note sent to Fides, Fr. César Augusto Cañaveral Pérez, diocesan coordinator of the pastoral dimension of human mobility, stigmatizes the mental association "migrant equals criminal".
"I would like to know why the National Guard does not deal with organized crime; migrants come because of necessity, they are not criminals, and Mexico does not respect the right to free transit", says Fr. Pérez, who denounces: "Mexican society helps to criminalize migrants: human wall is worse than a material wall".
The priest recalls that the Catholic Church is building solidarity bridges to assist migrants, as the help that the government has promised has not yet come. Caravans of migrants pass through Mexico trying to reach the United States. Along the way, migrants suffer all kinds of abuse, especially the weakest, women and children.
Fr. Cañaveral Pérez says that the refuge welcomes between 200 or 300 people every day. This is the constant flow throughout the year, but now, after the caravans have dispersed, the number of people seeking shelter has increased considerably, several people have had to look for other reception facilities. The priest reports that on the day of January 24, 120 migrants arrived, almost all in need of medical and psychological care due to the violence and mistreatment inflicted on them by the National Guard. Fr. Cañaveral Pérez reprimanded the Mexican authorities for behaving worse than the United States.
The capacity of the hostel is 140 people, but the number has now tripled. In addition to this, there are other parish centers that have welcomed migrants in the municipalities of Costa, Soconusco y Sierra de Chiapas.
In recent days there have been violent attacks on members of the last caravan of Central American migrants heading towards the United States by law enforcement officers who accuse them of not having respected the indications regarding the number of people who could access the different places of border. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 27/1/2020)