WOLA: Human Rights Violations Against Migrants in Transit

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“This report analyzes the rise in kidnappings of migrants who travel through Mexico and the apparent indifference of the Mexican government to address the multiple abuses they suffer.”

From the Introduction:

The journey of most migrants to the United States is not easy. For residents of South and Central America it usually involves traveling through several countries, particularly Mexico, before reaching the U.S.-Mexico border which represents the last stage of a treacherous and harrowing journey. Because of their undocumented status, migrants traveling through Mexico have long been subject to abuse by criminal groups and Mexican authorities. In recent years, the expansion of organized criminal groups in Mexico has added one additional layer of danger to the trip. Migrant shelters, civil society organizations, Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, CNDH) and others have witnessed and documented how the kidnapping of migrants is on the rise in the country. Despite warnings about the humanitarian crisis facing migrants in transit, the Mexican government has been slow to act to protect this vulnerable population and investigate those responsible for these abuses, including their own immigration and police agents. 

This report analyzes the rise in kidnappings of migrants who travel through Mexico and the apparent indifference of the Mexican government to address the multiple abuses they suffer. It also examines the initiatives launched by the Mexican government in the aftermath of the massacre of the migrants in Tamaulipas which, if fully implemented, would lay the groundwork for greater protection of migrants in the country. As a way to give voice to the migrants who are victims of these abuses, the report includes testimonies of migrants in transit through Mexico who were kidnapped by organized criminal groups, often working in collusion with migration authorities and Mexican police agents. They are excerpts of some of the roughly 60 testimonies of kidnapped migrants compiled in recent years by the migrants’ rights organizations Border with Justice and Humanity Without Borders that work in the migrants’ shelter Belen, in Saltillo, Coahuila, located along the migration route.

Read Full Report: English (pdf)

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