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Central America/Mexico Migrant News Brief for April 29, 2016

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A compilation of this week’s top articles and reports related to issues of migration from Central America and Mexico (articles in English and Spanish).

Root Causes

•   New Force Raids El Salvador Gang Districts
Agence France Presse, Yahoo News, April 27, 2016
“Police and soldiers in El Salvador raided parts of the capital on Tuesday under a new campaign to break the reign of vicious gangs, officials said. The operation marked another move by the government to squeeze the gangs who have helped make the Central American nation infamous as the world’s deadliest country outside of a war zone.”

•   Honduras: Downward Spiral
Vijay Prashad, Frontline, (print edition) May 13, 2016
“The murder of the activist Berta Caceres brings into focus the political violence against those trying to build a just society.”

•   La marcha Vivas Nos Queremos contra la violencia machista en fotos y videos
Animal Politico, 24 de abril de 2016
“Tras seis horas de recorrido el contingente de miles de manifestantes llegó al pie del Ángel de la Independencia, de la Ciudad de México para rechazar las diferentes violencias que padecen las mujeres en México diariamente”.

•   El GIEI desnuda “la justicia a la mexicana”: Tortura, tardanza, manipulación de la evidencia…
Sin Embargo, 25 de abril de 2016
“En general, señala el documento, el GIEI determinó desde su primer informe la existencia de 180 víctimas directas de los ataques, entre ellos tres estudiantes ejecutados extrajudicialmente, dos asesinados más integrantes del equipo de futbol Los Avispones y una mujer que se transportaba en taxi”.

•   Police, Gangs Major Perpetrators of LGBT Violence in El Salvador
Sam Tabory, InSight Crime, April 26, 2016
“Data collected by activists suggest security forces and gang members are the principal perpetrators of violence against members of the LGBTI communities in El Salvador, highlighting the under-prosecution of crimes against sexual minorities in Central America.”

•   Honduras Police Killed 152 over Past Two Years
Agence France Presse, News24, April 26, 2016
“’We have recorded 152 deaths in police operations in the last two years, 2014 and 2015, and there were no investigations as to whether the officers killed in self-defense, or if there was excessive use of force,’ the coordinator of the Violence Observatory at Honduras’ National University, Migdonia Ayestas, said.”

•   Murder of Acclaimed Activist Has U.S. Questioning Massive Central American Aid Package
Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2016
“Numerous members of Congress have signed letters to Secretary of State John F. Kerry to protest the Caceres killing and to demand an independent investigation. The strongest letter, signed by nearly 60 lawmakers, demanded some aid be suspended pending a review of the case.”

•   El periodista Francisco Pacheco es asesinado afuera de su casa en Taxco, Guerrero
Sin Embargo, 25 de abril de 2016
“Francisco Pacheco Beltrán, dueño del diario Foro de Taxco y colaborador de Radio Capital y El Sol de Acapulco, fue asesinado esta mañana en Taxco, Guerrero, afuera de su domicilio”.

•   The Golden Age of Drug Trafficking: How Meth, Cocaine, and Heroin Move around the World
Keegan Hamilton, Vice News, April 25, 2016
“’In Central America, in very poor neighborhoods in [the Honduran city of] San Pedro Sula, we’ve seen people selling powder cocaine,’ Dudley said. ‘On the surface, that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but we’ve never had that before. That’s just an illustration of the incredible increase of availability of drugs in those areas.’”

•   Report Documents Guerrero’s Role as Mexico’s Poppy Capital
Michael Lohmuller, InSight Crime, April 20, 2016
“Citing an unnamed military official, Mexican newspaper Excelsior reported at least 1,287 communities in the state of Guerrero are economically dependent on poppy cultivation.”

Mexican Enforcement

•   Entregaba el INM migrantes al narco
Abel Barajas, Reforma, 23 de abril de 2016
“Durante la investigación por las masacres en San Fernando, Tamaulipas, la PGR descubrió que había agentes involucrados en el secuestro y entrega de migrantes al crimen organizado”.

•   Un operativo militar rescata en Reynosa a 49 centroamericanos secuestrados
Pablo de Llano, El País, 22 de abril de 2016

“Pese a haber sido víctima de un secuestro no recibirán un trato especial. Serán repatriados, regresando al punto cero del que los centroamericanos tratan de huir por la extrema violencia en sus países, plagados de criminalidad y corrupción”.

•   Un lenguaje visual de la migración en el espacio público mexicano
Nancy Pérez, Sin Embargo, 28 de abril de 2016
“Nos hemos acostumbrado a escuchar y ver a esta población a través de lo que otras personas dicen y desde las ‘noticias’, lo que forma una identidad negativa y muy distinta a lo que en verdad es una persona migrante y refugiada”.

U.S. Enforcement

•   Q&A: Customs and Border Protection Chief Discusses New Era of Transparency
Nigel Duara, Los Angeles Times, April 28, 2016
“When R. Gil Kerlikowske became commissioner of Customs and Border Protection — which oversees the Border Patrol — in March 2014, he promised a new culture of openness.”

•   Border Patrol Sees Increase in Number of Migrants Being Detained at Mexico Border
Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2016
“The number of family members caught crossing illegally has nearly tripled compared with this time last year, and the number of unaccompanied children has almost doubled, the figures show.”

•   Immigration Facility Guard Given Jail Time for Sexual Assault of Detainee
Renée Feltz, The Guardian, April 23, 2016
“Daniel Sharkey, who is the first detention center worker to be convicted of institutional sexual assault, may be in prison for less time than his 19-year-old Honduran victim and her son have been detained in Pennsylvania.”

•   Immigrants at Georgia Detention Center on Hunger Strike to Protest Their Lengthy Detention
Glenn Minnis, Latin Post, April 22, 2016
“’There are a number of detainees at Stewart Detention Center that are being held, despite the fact that they don’t have a final deportation order – no contest, no nothing,’ said Parsonage.”

•   [Video] Inmigrantes deportados denuncian maltratos por parte de las autoridades
Univision, 27 de abril de 2016

“También aseguran que al ingresar a México son sometidos a crueles abusos”.

•   Immigrants Are Dying In Detention While ICE Ignores Its Own Medical Standards
Raul Grijalva, The Nation, April 25, 2016
“‘Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention’ analyzes previously unpublished death reviews and demonstrates how egregious violations of medical standards by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) played a significant role in nearly half of the deaths for which the organizations were able to review documents.”

•   Exclusive: U.S. Agencies Split Over Fingerprinting Parents of Child Immigrants
Julia Edwards, Reuters, April 26, 2016
“U.S. immigration enforcement officers are proposing that fingerprints be taken from all people claiming custody of children who have entered the United States illegally without an adult relative, a measure that opponents said could keep thousands of families apart.”

•   US: 20 Years of Immigrant Abuses
Human Rights Watch, April 25, 2016
“‘The US appears to be coming to grips with the harm caused by its 90s-era crime laws,’ said Alison Parker, co-director of the US program at Human Rights Watch. ‘These 90s-era immigration laws also deserve serious scrutiny and reconsideration.’”

•   [English] After Supreme Court, What’s Next for Pro-Immigrant Movement
[Español] Después de la Corte Suprema, qué sigue para el movimiento pro inmigrante
Lynn Tramonte, Medium, April 27, 2016
“From now until November, the pro-immigrant movement has two goals: organizing to defeat politicians who stand against us, and getting ready for DAPA and the expansion of DACA.”

•   Stories from the Border: How a Week of Immersion Can Affect Future Policy
Sofia Vargas, The Latin America Working Group, April 27, 2016
“Our overall experience as students during this trip was shaped by the stories we heard, the paths we walked, and the reflections we had each day. The emotional, physical, and mental obstacles that migrants face had never felt so real to us, and a common feeling we experienced was the frustration of having been in D.C. for so long without knowing what life is like at the border.”

New Reports and Resources

•   Población LGBTI: Detención vs Protección
INSYDE, abril de 2016
“La población LGBTI migrante es especialmente vulnerable a una posible identificación, verificación de su situación migratoria irregular, y la consecuente detención con el objeto de que el Instituto Nacional de Migración proceda a deportarlas”.

•   Unaccompanied Minors – the State and Local Story
Adam Hunter and Karina Shklyan, The Pew Charitable Trusts, April 14, 2016
“With the dramatic increase in unaccompanied minors over the past five years, some communities have expressed willingness to accept these children, while others have voiced concerns.”

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*The Central America/Mexico Migrant News Brief is a selection of relevant news articles, all of which do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Latin America Working Group.