Migrants denounce physical abuse and mistreatment in Mexico

Migrants from Haiti, Africa, and Asia tried to flee from a migrant holding center in Tapachula

Migrants denounce physical abuse, mistreatment, and poor conditions in Mexico
A Haitian woman asks for help while detained by Mexican authorities - Photo: María de Jesús Peters/EL UNIVERSAL
English 26/06/2019 14:24 Newsroom Mexico City María de Jesús Peters, Óscar Gutiérrez Actualizada 14:41

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Yesterday, migrants from Haiti, Africa, and Asia tried to flee from a migrant holding center in Tapachula, in the state of Chiapas. Nevertheless, elements from the Federal Police, the National Guard, migration officers, and private security guards prevented them from leaving the facilities.

Women were screaming for help and said that their children had been sick for days because of the humidity and mosquitoes present in the facilities.

They also claim they had been physically and verbally attacked by the officers, as well as discriminated.

Witnesses, who asked not to be named, said that private security guards dressed in white had taken their belts off and used them to hit some of the migrants.

“The ones in white were hitting the black people with their belts. I am a foreigner but what they do to them is wrong (sic),” said a Honduran migrant who was present during the protest.

Migrants were protesting the lack of food, medical attention, and the delay in their process to obtain a permit to transit Mexico legally.

EL UNIVERSAL was able to talk to a Haitian woman detained at the migration center. The woman was in tears while she explained that her son had been sick for days, that there was very little food, no water, and a lot of mosquitoes.

Help me! Many people here are suffering, our children are sick, no food, help me, I have suffered a lot,” the woman said.

The woman said that she had been “suffering for 10 days, help me, the police beat me!” while police officers and security guards tried to block the camera using rocks and branches.

Other women also screamed for help and denounced the lack of diapers and medicines.

Several hours later, after talking to authorities, the migrants were granted their permits and they were allowed to leave. Nevertheless, other 300 people are still at the migrant holding center.

Francisco Garduño Yáñez, the head of the National Migration Institute (INM) said that despite the efforts, “the humanitarian crisis caused by massive migration has exceeded the infrastructure and the resources required to give migrants a dignified treatment (sic).”

Garduño Yáñez also explained that authorities will continue to provide work permits for Central American migrants but that these won't be granted to people from other continents: “That permit that they used to migrate to the United States is suspended, it created problems for us; it won't be possible to continue with that policy.”
 

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