National guard harasses migrant shelter
Since the National Guard was deployed in Mexico with a new role addressing migration-related issues, Amnesty International has seen concerning behaviours that could put as risk the rights of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and human rights defenders.
On 23 June, 6 officers attempted to raid, without warrant or legal cause, the migrant shelter CAME, in the northern state of Sonora, and harassed human rights defenders working there. It is urgent to put a stop to a situation that threatens the rights of people working at and being protected by migrant shelters across the country.
On 30 May 2019, US President Trump announced that the United States would impose a 5% tariff on all goods coming from Mexico unless the flow of migrants arriving to the United States´ southern border decreased. This provoked a series of bilateral negotiations that continue to date in which the United States continues to threaten an increase in tariffs in coming months if the flow of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border does not decrease.
In days following the US President´s announcement, Mexican authorities have implemented a series of measures aimed at deterring migrants and asylum seekers to enter through Mexico´s southern border, including the mass detention and deportation of at least 400 migrants, in violation of Mexican and international law.
On 6 June, the Mexican government deployed 6,000 National Guard elements to its southern border to respond to the entry of migrants and asylum seekers. Local media also reported that over 15,000 elements of different security forces including national Guard were deployed across the Mexico/US border to stop people from reaching and crossing the border.
The government has publicly confirmed that the National Guard can detain undocumented immigrants at Mexico’s northern and southern borders to reduce the migration flow and turn them in to the National Institute of Migration (INM).
This is not the first time that Human Rights Defenders are questioned or even criminalized for the work they do in Mexico. We are concerned that this may increase in Mexico as we see the practice of criminalization of migrant human rights defenders becoming more common in the USA.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 people enter irregularly through Mexico’s southern border each year, and at least half of these people could need international protection as refugees. Many of these people come from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, some of the most dangerous countries in the world, given the situations of violence and lack of government protection in their countries.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Presidente Constitucional de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Dear Mr. President,
We have been made aware that on 23 June 2019, six elements of the National Guard attempted to raid, without warrant or legal cause, the migrant shelter Centro de Atención al Migrante Exodus (CAME) in Agua Prieta, Sonora state. They also harassed the human rights defenders working there.
We urge you to order the immediate removal of the National Guard of duties related to migration and to ensure the protection of all rights of migrants and asylum seekers in Mexican territory and of the human rights defenders that keep them safe.
Vetoomuksen vastaanottajina presidentin lisäksi:
Olga Sánchez Cordero
Minister of Interior
Lic. Alfonso Durazo Montaño
Secretario de Seguridad Pública y Protección Ciudadana