Mexicans discriminate too

The arrival of thousands of Hondurans on their way to the U.S.reveals the contrasts in the collective imaginary

Mexicans discriminate too
The Honduran caravan has arrived into Mexico - Photo: Edgar Garrido/REUTERS
English 23/10/2018 09:02 Mexico City Newspaper Leader Actualizada 09:06
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Historically, Mexico has been considered as a destination country for groups who were forced to leave their countries. Thanks to an open borders policy, from the 19th century and until today, our nation has welcomed thousands of people from all over the world that, for different reasons, left their homes.

In the current context, when the strength of democracies is tested because, to a large degree, social groups are critical of the benefits of globalization, when nationalism is emphasized. Those who are wary of the idea of sharing the world with others who are different are strengthened by these views.

The arrival of thousands of Hondurans on their way to the U.S., who are traveling to the neighbor country in search of a better life, reveals the contrasts in the collective imaginary. On one hand, there is empathy towards the Honduran migrants and their living conditions; on the other hand, Mexicans have clearly expressed their prejudices against the undocumented migrants from Central America.

According to a survey carried out by EL UNIVERSAL, with the purpose to learn the perception about the Honduran migrant caravan that arrived to the country, almost half of the population agrees that authorities should allow them to cross into Mexico and offer them asylum, and over 60% of the population perceives a hypothetical arrival of undocumented migrants from Central America to their communities as negative.

The issue polarizes the views among Mexicans. While almost half of the population agrees with allowing to enter Mexico, and for them to be sheltered, almost four out of ten are against this. Meanwhile, almost 50% agrees with the measure taken by the Mexican government, who prevented undocumented migrants from entering the country, and a similar number is against this measure.

A large number of Mexicans hate Central Americans the same way in which Donald Trump, and his supporters, hate our compatriots. In the U.S., this issue has divided those who reject and those who accept migrants, also, racism and discrimination cases have evidently multiplied against the Latin American that lives there. Is our nation going through a similar situation?

All of this shows that we still have a long way to go for Mexico to become tolerant and respect the newcomers, despite the advances achieved in regards to human rights and the fight against discrimination. The authorities could be the first one to show empathy towards migrants. In the end, ours is a country built by foreigners.


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