African Migrants Assembly Created in Chiapas

Assembly urges Mexican authorities to assist migrant communities in matters of food, health, hygiene and housing.

Photo: Cuartoscuro
Translated by Sam Stoker.

More than three thousand migrants from Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Conaky, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Sierra Leone Togo created the first Assembly of African and African Migrants in Tapachula, Chiapas, to demand respect for their rights, and that the Mexican authorities cease violence and repression against migrant communities.

The members of the assembly explained that they were forced to leave their countries of origin for either political, ideological, or religious persecution, or for belonging to a particular social group, as well as denouncing that the majority were detained at the 21st Century station and never had translators to read the immigration documents.

The assembly urged the Mexican authorities to assist migrant communities in matters of food, health, hygiene and housing.

Following is the communiqué of the assembly and the organizations that accompany it:

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Militarization in Mexico Advances with a Red Zone in the South-Southeast

Militarism in Mexico is increasing. President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, along with the commander of the National Guard Luis Ramirez Bucio, at an August 13th press conference shared a document titled “The Situation of the National Guard” detailing the process and deployment of troops within the newly created National Guard.

By Eugenia Lopez
Translated by El Enemigo Común.

Militarism in Mexico is increasing. President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, along with the commander of the National Guard Luis Ramirez Bucio, at an August 13th press conference shared a document titled “The Situation of the National Guard” detailing the process and deployment of troops within the newly created National Guard.

More than 230,000 total troops

Federal officials announced that the new military police has been deployed throughout the entire Mexican territory, with 58,602 troops under the command of the new force, distributed to 150 General Coordinations.

In addition to these troops are 123,465 military troops from the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), 13,461 from the Marine Secretariat (SEMAR) in permanent deployment for public security tasks, 14,852 troops from the Federal Gendarmerie Forces and 20,584 troops from the Federal Police in “voluntary” transition to the National Guard.

The total amount will be 231,964 troops which will be patrolling throughout the entire nation.

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Four years without justice “in this country that is no longer ours”

Four years ago, they insidiously took your life. Are our words any use in the face of their bullets?

Four years ago, on July 31, 2015, Nadia Vera Pérez, Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro, Mile Virginia Martin, Alejandra Negrete Avilés, and Rubén Espinosa Becerril were murdered in a Mexico City apartment. Nadia, a social justice activist and human rights defender, and Rubén, a photojournalist, had both fled Veracruz after receiving death threats for their work. Before her murder, Nadia stated that if anything should happen to her, it would be Javier Duarte who was responsible. Duarte was then governor of Veracruz, renowned for his corruption and human rights abuses, including the deaths of 17 journalists during his rule. The state’s investigation into the murders has been condemned as full of irregularities. Nadia’s mother, Mirtha Luz Pérez Robledo, wrote the following two pieces on the fourth anniversary of her daughter’s murder. Translated by Scott Campbell, the original texts in Spanish can be found here and here.

In my name and on behalf of my family, I send my deepest thanks to all those who have supported us with your kindness and solidarity from every corner of the world, through your messages, your political protests, your artistic protests.

Because without you, without your solidarity, without your art, without your protest, without your demand for justice, this tragedy that has touched us would have passed unnoticed, like so many others in this country.

At four years without justice, we are not the same, and we need to continue supporting ourselves with your kindness. For those of you who have embraced us, we embrace you now, after four years of our Nadia Dominique Vera Pérez’s absence, because thanks to you, her voice and protest continue to be heard.

To those who murder, to those who order the murders, to those who violate due process, we say: There are dead who will never be silenced.

Mirtha Luz Pérez Robledo

July 2019

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Torture, Tears, and Desperation in Mexico’s Migrant Jails

Lizzi was detained for 45 days, during which time she says she suffered physical and psychological torture. “The treatment we received the entire time was disgraceful.”

By Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano
Translated by Scott Campbell

“‘You’re going to die! Sign your deportation and go back to your country!’ was what I heard as I struggled to recover from the asthma attack I suffered in the migrant detention center. I felt cornered by the guard and considered doing it, but remembering the problems that led me to leave my country, I dropped the idea.”

Lizzi is one of 51,607 people detained in Mexico by the National Migration Institute (INM) during the first four months of 2019. She was detained for 45 days, during which time she says she suffered physical and psychological torture. “We felt like we were in a jail, it was horrible! I had two asthma attacks inside. When we came back from the doctor, another guard asked me, “And you want to ask for refuge? Do you know you’ll be locked up for three to six months?”

A few meters from Pakal’ Ná park, near the train tracks in Palenque where hundreds of migrants meet to share their stories, the young, twenty-year-old mother recalls her painful experience. She left Honduras because she had problems with her son’s father, who belonged to one of the gangs. After years of abuse and threats, one day she decided to flee with her son to the United States to start a new life.

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On the Coast of Oaxaca, Afro and Indigenous Tribes Fight for Water Autonomy

In southern Mexico, a multi-ethnic network of towns has halted the construction of a mega-dam. Now they are organizing to manage their own natural resources and revitalize their culture as native water protectors.

By Samantha Demby

At dawn on March 14—celebrated internationally as the Day of Action against Dams and in Defense of Rivers—Afro-Mexican, Indigenous, and mestizo peoples met on the shores of the Río Verde to participate in a ritual of gratitude and resistance.

They were gathered for the Río Verde Festival, organized each March by the Consejo de Pueblos Unidos en Defensa del Río Verde (Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Río Verde, COPUDEVER). This water protector movement was formed in 2007 when dozens of communities organized to stop the Federal Electricity Commission from building a hydroelectric dam on their river, which they say would flood their homes and contaminate their only source of water.

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