Update on the passage of the Migrant Caravan in Sonora, Mexico
Friday, November 16, 2018
by José Alfredo López Mota
On the night of Monday, November 12, Jalisco State Secretary General Roberto López Lara met with a group of members of the Central American Exodus, and promised to provide transportation for the entire group (approximately 5,000 people, including women and children in vulnerable condition) to a point where they would be able to transfer to transit through the state of Nayarit to the town of Escuinapa in the state of Sinaloa, in a dignified and safe manner.
In the audio recording below, Secretary López Lara is heard saying that 5,000 people would be arriving at Escuinapa by 5:00 pm, and that 100 buses were prepared to begin the journey from Guadalajara.
The next day, the buses did indeed leave Guadalajara, but they only reached the town of El Arenal, Jalisco, 90 kilometers (56 miles) from the location of the transportation for crossing Nayarit. The state of Jalisco effectively took 5,000 vulnerable people from the city of Guadalajara and left them abandoned on the road with neither services nor support.
Later, the government of Jalisco denied having promised to provide transportation. This audio demonstrates the contrary, and vindicates the word of the people from the Migrant Exodus, who expressed their frustration at having been thrown into an insecure place, where they had to spend the night on asphalt, without a roof, in the cold.
The group had also requested to stay in Guadalajara one more day due to the fatigue and poor health conditions in which many women, children and families were arriving, but that request was denied by the Jalisco government. This is also heard in the recording.
Play the audio recording of the meeting with Jalisco State Secretary General José Alfredo López Mota below:
They are more concerned about knowing who is spreading this information than about violating the rights of the people detained.
—José Alfredo López Mota
Communication on the Central American Exodus
Thursday, November 15, 11:00 pm
by the Commission for the Management and Dialogue of the Central American Exodus (Comisión de gestión y diálogo del Éxodo Centroamericano)
On Thursday, November 15 at 11 pm, two buses transporting people from this Exodus, including women and children, were stopped. The operation was carried out by agents from the National Institute of Migration (INM) and the Federal Police on the Hermosillo-Nogales Highway, 28 kilometers (17 miles) before arriving at Santa Ana, Sonora.
Immediately after the events, we informed the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH),* which has been accompanying us over the last few weeks.
The people in the first bus, including women and children, were taken off the bus and placed in perreras.** Those on the second bus were reluctant to get off the bus, so INM agents boarded and instructed the driver to follow the perreras. They were escorted by Federal Police and taken to the town of Hermosillo, Sonora, where they were told they were being detained in order to begin their deportation process.
Once at the migration facilities in Sonora, José Alfredo López Mota of CNDH asked people to get off the bus. People did not want to do so and CNDH began to use force to make them get off the bus.
We consider it extremely serious that CNDH’s support was requested to monitor the due respect for the human rights of migrating people and CNDH’s own employees collaborated with INM personnel to remove people from the bus.
We demand that these people not be deported, since the right to request and receive asylum for those who need international protection must be guaranteed, as well as the principles of family unity and the best interest of the child.
We have been in touch with the detained people and learned that at 3:00 am on Friday, November 16, they will again be transferred in a perrera, without being informed of their destination.
We consider it necessary to point out that these same buses previously refused to stop at the tollbooth at the 15 kilometer point of Hermosillo-Nogales Highway in order for people to receive food and water, since those who were traveling had not eaten for at least one full day. Agents of the Federal Police obstructed the aid of people who were there to help, with the justification that they would provide services in the town of Pesqueira, Sonora—a situation that did not happen.
As such, we are concerned about the condition of those who are being detained who have been without food, water, or a safe place to rest for almost two days––above all, about the women, children, and sick people.
We call on the general public to demand the respect for human rights of all people in the national territory of Mexico, regardless of their migratory status, as established by Mexican laws and in international treaties to which Mexico has agreed.
—Commission for the Management and Dialogue of the Central American Exodus (Comisión de gestión y diálogo del Éxodo Centroamericano)
*Mexican government agency responsible for protecting human rights against public or state abuses.
**Spanish for “kennels” or “doghouses,” perrera refers to the pickup trucks whose beds are flanked by rails used by immigration agents to transport groups of people. The usage of the word perrera comes from the vehicle’s resemblance to animal control vehicles with dog crates.
Translation and annotations by Jo Morales