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Border War

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UN Committee Scolds Mexico for Lack of Progress in Protecting Migrants

April 6th 2011

Latin American Topics - Massacred Migrants in Tamaulipas Mexico
Murdered migrants in Tamaulipas, Mexico

According to the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, “it’s obvious that in Mexico the so-called ‘migration business’ exists and it is very worrying that the government has made no significant progress in prosecuting those responsible for human trafficking,” criticizing Mexico for its apparent inability to catch and prosecute human traffickers. “Migrants traveling across Mexico are prone to extortion and kidnapping by criminal organizations associated with drug trafficking,” commented Francisco Carrion Mena, a member of the committee meeting in Switzerland on April 4.

“It’s obvious that in Mexico the so-called ‘migration business’ exists and it is very worrying that the government has made no significant progress in prosecuting those responsible for human trafficking,” he said.

“There is a flourishing ‘migration business’ and despite government efforts, we see the problem growing like a cancer. And officials at the local level take advantage of the situation,” agreed Ana Elisabeth Cubias Mena, another committee member.

Carrion said that criminal gangs - such as Mara Salvatrucha, based in Central America - circumvent government interdiction, but that this does not excuse the government from its responsibility of adequately addressing the problem. The fear are afoot in the US that south-of-the border criminal gangs may be facilitating not only the entry of Latin Americans, but also terrorists from Mideast jihadist organizations.

Carrion recalled the “ghastly milestone” in August 2010 when 70 migrants from South America and Central America were massacred in the state of Tamaulipas near the US border. Demanding better police work, Carrion said “We notice a recurring lack of coordination among the different levels of the administration.” A similar lack of coordination, and corruption, has been noted among Mexico's military and various state and local police forces as they address the ongoing war with drug traffickers.

Mexican Immigration Commissioner Salvador Beltran del Rio told the meeting in Geneva that “the action of organized crime has become the chief threat to migrants traveling across Mexico.”

Beltran said that faced with this situation, migrants’ access to justice has become “essential,” adding that “a number of mechanisms have been set up to make reporting crime easier, such as ‘humanitarian visas’ issued to migrants who are either victims or witnesses of criminal acts.” Mexico has 1 million foreign-born residents and some 150,000 migrants traveling through the country each year.

The committee is an organization attempts to ensure that the 44 signatory nations that ratified the July 2003 Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families are in compliance with the treaty.

Cutting Edge Senior Correspondent Martin Barillas also edits Speroforum.com

 

 


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