Every year, hundreds of thousands of undocumented Central American migrants, primarily from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, travel through Mexico on their way to the U.S. border. These migrants are particularly vulnerable during this journey through Mexico and many suffer grave human rights abuses and violence along their journey at the hands of organized crime and corrupt officials.Kidnapping and extortion of migrants are among the most lucrative— and brutal—practices by organized crime in Mexico and are especially pervasive along the migratory route. Five years ago, advocates at migrant shelters along the south-north train route began to systematically document and gather first-hand accounts of migrants who had survived kidnapping. A series of these testimonies were published by the Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center, or Center Prodh) and the Casa del Migrante de Saltillo (Migrant Shelter of Saltillo, Coahuila) in the Cuaderno sobre Secuestro de Migrantes (Report on Migrant Kidnappings) in December 2011. English translations of these testimonies are highlighted in LAWGEF's new report, Perilous Journey: Kidnapping and Violence against Migrants in Transit through Mexico. From these accounts, we gain a fuller picture of the depth of this humanitarian crisis – and steps that authorities on both sides of the border can take to prevent and bring justice to this horrific violence that has traumatized migrants and their families across the region.
Read our report: Perilous Journey: Kidnapping and Violence Against Migrants in Transit Through Mexico
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