90 Miles From Tyranny : Report: Mexico Using ‘Racist Criteria’ to Expel Massive Number of Central American Refugees

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Report: Mexico Using ‘Racist Criteria’ to Expel Massive Number of Central American Refugees

Mexico has militarized immigration enforcement efforts that primarily target Central Americans fleeing violence in their home countries while refusing to invest in programs to guarantee their safety, various news reports reveal.

Asylum-seekers, including women and children, are facing torture at the hands of Mexican authorities, the reports suggest.

With the looming Mexican presidential elections on July 1, candidates like the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador — who is expected to win — vows to demilitarize the immigration enforcement, National Public Radio (NPR) reports.

In a speech last Tuesday, Obrador declared:

After the victory of our movement, we will defend all migrants in the American continent and all the migrants in the world. … Military and police force will not be used to repress the [migrant] population. We will primarily use diplomatic channels with the origin countries of these migrants to reach some kind of agreement.

Until then, Central Americans seeking refuge in Mexico are facing various human rights violations not only by criminal groups who demand payment just for passing through but also at the hands of immigration officials accused of using “a secret quota system” to increase the number of deportations.

The Guardian reported in April:
A growing number of indigenous Mexicans are being detained and threatened with expulsion by immigration agents looking for undocumented Central American migrants. The trend comes amid a crackdown on migrants driven in part by political pressure and financial aid from the US.

Deportations have already risen exponentially since summer 2014 when Barack Obama declared the surge in Central American child migrants a humanitarian crisis. Campaigners say that Mexico migration officials are running a secret quota system to increase the number of expulsions.

Activists say that Mexico’s National Immigration Institute is increasingly operating like an unchecked police force – and say that that like the country’s security forces, it appears to be systematically using torture against detainees.

Gretchen Kuhener, director of the Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI), described the quota system allegedly employed by immigration agents as “racist.”

While Mexico blasted U.S. President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy on undocumented as “cruel and inhuman,” Mexican immigration authorities were engaging in various human rights violations when dealing with prospective refugees from Central America, human rights NGOs report. Mexico has also “improperly” returned “asylum seekers to their countries of persecution” in violation of international law and suppressing asylum claims by Central American, the Guardian and Human Rights...Read More HERE

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