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Report: Mexico treats immigrants worse than any other country

June 17, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Report: Mexico treats immigrants worse than any other country Shelter for Central American immigrants in Mexico: Photo by CNN

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Hernandez Martinez fled to Mexico in hopes of escaping the brutal drug cartel activity taking place in Honduras. However, the treatment he has received in Mexico is not much better. Local police robbed Martinez on May 30th and then tossed him, along with five other immigrants from Central America, off of a moving train about 100 miles outside of Mexico City.

The 41-year-old woodcutter said that he had borrowed approximately $120 from his relatives to migrate to Mexico, and the Mexican police ultimately robbed Hernandez of all of the money that he had. He said, “Now I don’t have a penny. There is nothing to go back to.”

Martinez also said that four other Honduran migrants that he was traveling with had been taken away by local gang members in Oaxaca. He also pointed out that they had been kidnapped right in front of Mexican authorities.

Human rights groups have noted that Mexican officials are known to complain about the poor treatment of Mexican immigrants who flee to the United States, however, Mexico is reportedly far more abusive toward South and Central American immigrants who either enter Mexico to seek asylum or simply want to pass through to enter the U.S.

A non-profit human rights group, the Washington Office on Latin America, say that most of the thousands upon thousands of refugees who leave their home countries to escape violence are preyed upon by corrupt government officials and criminal organizations in Mexico.

According to USA Today, Martinez fled Honduras after Cachiros, the notorious drug cartel, murdered his three younger brothers after the men refused to work for him. The refugees said that his starving family was relying on him to send money once he found work when he got to the U.S.

Martinez said, “My family has not eaten a cooked meal in months because there is no job except working for the cartel. …There is no wood to cut. There are no farms left to work in because of the droughts. There is no water in the homes.”

Now, the man’s greatest fear is that he will be kidnapped by a Mexican cartel that will exchange him for another captive held by the cartel in Honduras.

A man who runs a kitchen to feed migrants in Tequisquiapan, Martin Rios, confirmed that this is a typical deal that occurs among cartels, saying: “Many immigrants who take the train are kidnapped by the cartels here and exchanged with other cartels.”

“They are often used as slaves, the women are sexually harassed and often used in the human trafficking business,” Rios said.

Vicki Fox, from the University of London, said that 9 out of 10 Central American migrants in Ixtepec are victims of serious, violent crimes in the Southern portion of Mexico, which include gang-rape, attempted murder, and robbery and assault.

Fox also said that migrants also have been victims of the extortion that takes place by Mexican authorities and politicians.

She said, “But this is the tip of the iceberg of the abuse, which includes mass-kidnap, rape, disappearance, and murder at the hands of organized crime groups such as the Zetas.”

“Those who cannot pay for their release are murdered, and their bodies have been cut into pieces and burnt or dissolved in chemicals and made into fertilizer to spread on fields. …All trace of them, of their humanity, disappeared,” said Fox.

The director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy, Laura Carlsen, said that the treatment of Central Americans, who are fleeing from violence in their home countries reveal the deep hypocrisy that exists among Mexican politicians.

She added that Mexican officials consistently criticize the United States for their treatment of Mexicans as criminals when they ultimately do the same to the migrants in their country.

Carlsen said, “Human rights violations, rape, murder and extortion of migrants in Mexico is rampant, and authorities turn a blind eye or actively participate in it.”

The Mexican Agency that deals with Central American migrants, also known as the National Institute of Migration, has not commented on the matter.

Martin Rios, who runs the food kitchen, said that most of the migrants who arrive in Mexico from Central America are deeply affected by the mistreatment by state authorities and police.

“There is a sentiment spread against them in this country, that they are a threat to society, that they are thieves,” Rios stated. “There is no sympathy for many of them who flee deadly violence amid poverty in their countries.”

Rios himself has also been threatened by officials for assisting the migrants: “They tell me if I don’t stop working, I will be killed.”

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