Last week there were raids and repression of migrants by elements of the Mexican National Guard, Marines, military, and agents of the National Institute of Migration (INM) in Tapachula, as well as in Tijuana, two of the busiest border crossings in Mexico.
On Monday 19th of August, in Tapachula, Chiapas, African and Haitian migrants began protesting. Some were asking to be able to cross into Mexico to be able to reach the United States or Canada, others want to be able to stay in Mexico. Yet despite the months of waiting, the government had failed to give any kind of response.
In downtown Tijuana, on Wednesday the 21st and Thursday the 22nd of August, elements of the INM, Mexican Military and the National Guard raided hotels and apartment complexes inhabited by migrants. They asked employees about the people who were staying there, and for all foreigners to show papers verifying their presence in the country. Those who didn’t show identification or permission to be in the country were forced onto INM trucks.
Representatives of the INM stated that they were only enacting revisions on the current status of the migrants to help them normalize their papers for “humanitarian reasons”. It has been reported that at least five Hatian migrants referred to the INM have been given a deadline to obtain their documents, and threatened with deportation.
Also, two military trucks with National Guard badges and one from the Federal Police have been visiting the Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana since last week. They remain inside the migration facilities and escort INM vans with the migrants whose numbers have been called to seek asylum each day. (For more information about “the number” visit: elnumerodelalista.com)
On the 20th of August, Pueblo Sin Fronteras published that there had been raids against refugees in Tapachula, Chiapas. After the raids migrants, the majority African, congregated to protest peacefully in front of the Migrant Station “Siglo XXI”. Agents of the Mexican National Guard, Federal Police, Military Police, National Institute of Migration and Civil Protection arrived to control the protest and promised the refugees that they would be given council, but this never happened. Instead, On Wednesday August 21st, elements from various institutions evicted the protesters that were blocking access to INM installations. Although the protest had been ongoing for 3 days, many people have been waiting months for a response from the government.
“If you don’t want the kids to get hurt don’t let them close, period,” responded some security elements at the moment of eviction. Military and federal police forcefully removed the protesters, among them women and children, after protesters blocked the entrance and refused to allow a group of officials to exit the building.
Wednesday, August 28, Pueblo Sin Fronteras announces that “The protests of migrants from Africa are still continuing despite the repression. They dance and sing in front of the Siglo XXI Migration Station in Tapachula, resisting the anti-migrant containment policy and peacefully claiming the right to migrate.”
On June 7, the United States and Mexico reached an immigration agreement that prevented Mexico from putting tariffs on all products from the Latin American country. As part of this agreement Mexico pledges “to register and control entries at the border” as well as “to deploy the National Guard throughout the territory and especially at the southern border,” said the Mexican Foreign Minister at a press conference.