Mexico ‘a death trap for migrants’ one year after new border program launched

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Honduran migrant Gerardo Cruz never saw the face of the man who pushed him off the train’s ladder as he rode through Chontalpa, Mexico. But through the black of that March night, 20-year-old Cruz said he could make out the white lettering of “Policía Federal” or “Federal Police” on the man’s dark blue uniform.

When Cruz fell, he said, his left arm landed on the tracks and the train’s wheels severed his limb.

“The government officials were the cause of this problem,” Cruz said of his injury, speaking in Spanish. “There should be compensation because this is a crime.”

Mexico’s Southern Border Program was launched in July 2014 in response to an influx of Central American migrants crossing through Mexico, creating a crisis that included tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors arriving at the US border. The program was designed to manage Mexico’s 750-mile border with Guatemala and Belize while protecting migrants settled in the country or en route to the US.

Yet abuses against migrants by both criminal gangs and authorities are actually spiking, according to humanitarian organizations working in Mexico.

“The Southern Border Plan was created — supposedly — to give security to the people coming from countries in Central America, but that’s not true,” said Chiapas-based immigration lawyer Elvira Gordillo.

“Instead of ensuring the safety of migrants, much more violations of human rights in all forms are being committed,” she said to a delegation of activists, religious leaders and lawyers from Los Angeles as they gathered in Tecun Uman, Guatemala.

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Monica Brown on Dehumanizing Language and the Immigration Debate




…Republican Representative Steve King referred to one of First Lady Michelle Obama’s guests as “a deportable.” He tweeted it.


When I heard this description of 21 year old Ana Zamora, a hardworking college student and DREAMer, it felt like a blow to the chest. When President Obama enacted his 2012 executive order on immigration, Ana Zamora wrote him a thank you letter. She said, “I am finally a person in the United States…”
Not according to Representative King. To him, she is deportable.


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The Second Cooler – documentary on US (im)migration and the free trade agreement

The Second Cooler is a documentary about illegal migration shot primarily in Alabama, Arizona, and northern Mexico. The premise is that Arizona is the new Alabama—the epicenter of an intense struggle for migrant justice. The documentary’s purpose is to bring basic migration issues into focus. Those issues include the impact of free trade agreements on migration, the lack of a legal way for poor Latin Americans to come to the United States, the inherent abuses of the guest worker program, the fact that many migrants are indigenous people, anti-immigrant politics in Alabama, the thousands of migrant deaths at the border, and an escalating ideology of the border.


Who’s Illegal? – Jasiri X Ft Rhymefest


In response to repressive anti-Immigration legislation SB1070 and HB56, Jasiri X, Rhymefest, and Paradise Gray traveled to Arizona and Alabama courtesy of the Sound Strike to see first hand how these unjust laws break up families, fracture communities and destroy lives.

“Who’s Illegal?” asks the question, can a nation on stolen land, built by stolen people define another group of human beings as illegal? “Who’s Illegal?” was produced by GM3 and directed by Paradise Gray.



Border Angels – The Power of One


Since 1994, 10,000 people have died trying to cross the border between the United States and Mexico, according to Enrique Morones founder of Border Angels. Among those who attempted the journey are men, women and young children. Due to harsh weather conditions, tough terrain and often the expensive price migrants must pay to smugglers, however, many do not make it across.

Founded by Morones in 1986, Border Angels is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to undocumented immigrants. After bringing food and water to migrants who were living in the canyons of North County San Diego, Morones and the Border Angels expanded their operation by going out to the desert to place water near the recently constructed wall dividing the United States and Mexico, also known as Operation Gatekeeper.

“Before Operation Gatekeeper, one or two people died every month,” said Morones.

“After Operation Gatekeeper, one or two people die every day.


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Most dangerous body of water in the U.S.

See on Scoop.itCommunity Village Daily


The most dangerous body of water in the U.S. is a deep canal on the Mexican border with California where over 550 people, mostly immigrants, have drowned. Scott Pelley reports.


Community Village‘s insight:


75% of these deaths could be prevented. Check the video at about 9:00 minutes.

This news story would be better if they dropped the word ‘illegal’.

This is the first I’ve heard about these death canals. They seem like they are designed to kill people. 

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San Diego Border Community Rallies to Support Jose Gutierrez

Community Village‘s insight:


“Shena Gutierrez, the wife of Jose, released this statement on behalf of their family:


“Three years ago, our lives completely changed when Jose was handcuffed and taken from us to be deported to Mexico, a country he had not seen in over 3 decades. We did not think things could get any worse until March 30, 2011, when Jose was brutally beaten into a coma by Border Patrol agents. For 3 years we have been fighting for justice. The release of four names out of the eleven agents involved in the beating of my husband is not good enough! We want ALL names released! We want justice, accountability and transparency!”


Since the incident occurred three years ago, Shena Gutierrez has become an outspoken advocate in defense of her husband and other border families who have been affected by border brutality and abuse of power. On a few occasions, she has traveled to Washington D.C. to speak to members of Congress who have been made aware of the lack of accountability and oversight within the nation’s largest law enforcement agency.


Last June, she joined with the families of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas and Valeria Munique Tachiquin in a video asking their Senator to equip Border Patrol with body worn-cameras, which CBP has committed to, but has not yet implemented.  Last week, the request was once again raised, this time to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

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