Within the project “Campaign of political incidence at the international level for the protection of human rights defenders from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras”, presented by PBI Catalunya and financed by the Provincial Deputation of Barcelona (DIBA), the journalists Xavier Sulé and Marta Saiz are publishing a series of articles resulting from extensive conversations with human rights defenders accompanied by PBI in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
En el marco del proyecto “Campaña de incidencia política a nivel internacional para la protección de personas defensoras de derechos humanos de México, Guatemala y Honduras”, presentado por PBI Catalunya y financiado por la Diputación de Barcelona (DIBA), las personas periodistas Xavier Sulé y Marta Saiz están publicando, en medios de difusión internacional, una serie de artículos fruto de extensas conversaciones con defensoras y defensores de Derechos Humanos acompañados por PBI en México, Guatemala y Honduras.
Last Thursday, July 2, PBI organized a virtual seminar on the defense of the rights of migrants in the time of COVID-19 in collaboration with Madrid’s University Carlos III, and for which we had the presence of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of Migrants from the United Nations, Professor Felipe González Morales.
Although the right to migrate is consecrated in article 13 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, it continues to be violated by different actors.
In Mexico, human rights defenders defend migrants by giving them humanitarian, legal and psychological attention which is often the only support migrants receive as they pass through the country that shares a border with the USA; the most transited border in the world.
In the north of the country, in the city of Chihuahua, you will find Uno de Siete Migrando (One Out of Seven Migrating) an organisation that provides advice and accompaniment to migrants, refugees and displaced people in the state of Chihuahua.
Photo: a mural at the Casa del Migrante Saltillo representing the countries of Latin America, painted by a migrant who passed through the Casa
According to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), during 2017 the number of refugees rose by 578%, and the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance recognised that there is a total of 14,594 people requesting refuge in Mexico. In response, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is collaborating with various refuges in the South of the country and with the Casa del Migrante de Saltillo in Coahila, to help extend spaces and attend the growing number of refugees.
In September, PBI provided international accompaniment to civil society organizations who defend the rights of migrants in in the state of Coahuila and who face risks due to their work. According to the report by the Citizens Council of the National Migration Institute (INM), in July 2017 the migrant population was subject to “violence and the excessive use of force by INM agents and other security forces in control and detention operatives” and crimes committed against migrants are met with impunity.
In a press conference, the Network for Documentation of Migrant Defense Organizations (REDODEM) presented the Report, “Migrants in Mexico: traveling on a path of violence.” In this report, the more than 20 organizations that make up the Network – including the Juan Gerardi Human Rights Center and the Brothers on the Path Migrant Shelter -- both accompanied by PBI – highlighted the problem of “human mobility due to violence” and demanded respect for the rights of the migrant population in transit and to put an end to the criminalization of people who defend and promote these rights.