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Central America/Mexico Migrant News Brief for February 5, 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).

Jump to: Root Causes; Mexican Enforcement; U.S. Enforcement; New Reports and Resources

Root Causes

•   Alta impunidad en México: menos del 1% de los delitos son castigados
Tania L. Montalvo, Animal Político, 3 de febrero de 2016

“En una escala en que la máxima impunidad es 100, el promedio nacional es de 67.42 puntos, según el Índice Global de Impunidad México 2016 (IGI-MEX) que este miércoles presentó la Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP).”

•   Por qué San Salvador (no Caracas) es la ciudad más violenta del mundo
Roberto Valencia, InSight Crime, 2 de febrero de 2016

“Nuestra ciudad capital salta este año del decimotercer al tercer lugar, y le atribuyen una tasa de 108.54 homicidios por cada 100,000 habitantes.”

•   Denuncian que unas 471 mujeres fueron asesinadas en Honduras en 2015
EFE, Proceso Digital, 2 de febrero de 2016

“A pesar de esta disminución, la incidencia de la violencia de género ‘sigue siendo alta’ en Honduras, donde un promedio de 37 mujeres murieron al mes, resalta el documento.”

•   Honduras Pursues ‘AA Brothers” Cartel
Quenton King, InSight Crime, February 2, 2016

“The arrests are indicative of additional strides that Honduras is making in its battle against drug trafficking. . . . However, it remains to be seen what effect the arrests might have on drug trafficking as a whole in Honduras.”

•   The Dangerous and Complex Reality of Women Who Join Central American Gangs
Rocío Pérez Domenech, Global Voices, February 1, 2016

“According to a study carried out by UNICEF in 2011, women represent approximately 20% of gang members in Honduras alone. These gangs, which had a huge impact in the civil war that gripped the region for a decade, are often seen as a refuge from the violence and homelessness that many young people’s lives are defined by.”

•   The country with the world’s worst homicide rate now grapples with Zika
Joshua Partlow and Sarah Esther Maslin, The Washington Post, January 30, 2016

“The city is a patchwork of rival gang territories that are defended so fiercely that health authorities cannot enter some neighborhoods. In just the first three weeks of January, El Salvador recorded 2,474 new suspected Zika cases, nearly half of them here in the capital.”

•  A Labyrinth of Injustice in Guatemala: Indigenous Activists Struggle Against Dispossession of Land and Rights
Jess Abbott, Upside Down World, January 29, 2016

“Despite this popular announcement of resistance to any large scale projects, Guatemala’s Ministry of Energy and Mining in 2009 approved the construction of the Santa Cruz Barillas hydroelectric dam owned by the Spanish corporation Ecoener Hydro Energy. The community has maintained that they would resist the construction of this project.”

•   La epidemia del homicidio en México
Observatorio Nacional Ciudadano, El Universal, 29 de enero de 2016

“El año pasado en México [la tasa de homicidios dolosos] fue de 14.06, por tanto, nuestro país vive una epidemia de homicidios que repercute en costos de muchos ámbitos, entre ellos, la esperanza de vida.”

•   Tortura y desapariciones: los pendientes legislativos
Humberto Francisco Guerrero Rosales, Animal Político, 29 de enero de 2016

“La reforma para facultar al Congreso de la Unión para legislar en materia de tortura y desapariciones fue una manera de responder a la presión nacional e internacional ante la grave crisis de derechos humanos que vivía nuestro país. Sin embargo, la experiencia con otras legislaciones generales no son muy alentadoras.”

•   FAES Deploys 2,000 Service Members to Protect Students from Gangs
Lorena Baires, Diálogo, 28 de febrero de 2016

“The Salvadoran Armed Forces (FAES) have deployed 2,000 service members from the Águila Command to protect students at 1,063 schools in the most dangerous places of El Salvador, mainly areas plagued by the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 (M-18) gangs.”

•   Graves violaciones de derechos humanos, de “forma reiterada” en México: HRW
Aristegui Noticias, 27 de enero de 2016

“Durante el gobierno del Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto, miembros de las fuerzas de seguridad mexicanas han estado implicados en graves violaciones de derechos humanos en forma reiterada —incluidas ejecuciones extrajudiciales, desapariciones forzadas y tortura— en el marco de acciones contra el crimen organizado.”

•   Se incrementan las denuncias de tortura del Mando Único
Elizabeth Cuevas Villalobos, La Jornada Morelos, 25 de enero de 2016

“En 2015 la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de Morelos acreditó 6 casos de tortura, tratos crueles e inhumanos cometidos por elementos policíacos del Mando Único, considerado un número histórico por recomendaciones de este tipo.”

Mexican Enforcement

•   Mujeres en tránsito por México
Marcela Turati, Mónica González, y Colective SacBé, En El Camino, 2 de febrero de 2016

“La ruta migratoria, sórdida, traicionera, implacable, marca como fierro candente los cuerpos y deja cicatrices en las almas de las mujeres en tránsito por México. Tritura sueños. Tortura cuerpos: los somete, los tritura, los penetra a la fuerza.”

•  Deportation nation: Mexico targets desperate migrants
Marina Jimenez, TheStar.com, February 1, 2016

“Under pressure from U.S. officials to stem the flow of Central Americans, Mexico began tightening its southern border in 2014. With American funding for mobile security and surveillance equipment, more migrants are being caught and deported.”

•   Un primer paso hacia la justicia para víctimas migrantes
Jose Knippen, SinEmbargo.mx, 1 de febrero de 2016

“La reciente creación de la nueva Unidad de Investigación de Delitos para Personas Migrantes en la PGR es un paso importante para migrantes víctimas de delitos en México y sus familiares.”

•   Visita de Francisco cimbrará a México: Solalinde
Luis Pablo Hernández, El Diario de El Paso, 1 de febrero de 2016

“El mensaje del papa Francisco cimbrará y habrá de dejar “intranquila” tanto a la jerarquía católica como a los políticos en México quien se han mostrado pasivos ante la crisis migratoria y de derechos humanos que enfrenta ese país,  anticipó el presbítero Alejandro Solalinde Guerra”

•   Mexico Matters: Pope Francis’s Most Important National Tour
R. Andrew Chesnut, Huffpost Religion, January 31, 2016

“In a country where some 100,000 have lost their lives in the decade-long drug war, narco-violence will figure as one of the salient themes during the week-long papal visit.”

U.S. Enforcement

•   AFL-CIO Protests Federal Deportations
Mariana Alfaro, U.S. News & World Report, February 3, 2016

“’We’re here to declare again, over and over again, that the AFL-CIO … and its affiliated unions are standing up in solidarity with the immigrant community saying, enough is enough,’ AFL-CIO Vice President Tefere Gebre said.”

•  Immigrant community braces for possible raid
Mark Curnutte, Cincinnati.com, February 3, 2016

“The pre-dawn presence Tuesday of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers sent ripples of fear not just through the Westmont Drive apartment complex in East Price Hill but through the city’s entire Central American immigrant community.”

•   Undocumented Mom Of 3 U.S. Citizen Kids Deported Even After She Showed Legal Travel Document
Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, Think Progress, February 2, 2016

“A 32-year-old undocumented mother, who was granted temporary deportation reprieve under President Obama’s 2012 executive action known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, was deported to Mexico after she tried to reenter the country legally with an immigration document allowing her to travel abroad to visit an ailing family member.”

•   Illegal Border Crossings by Families Drop Sharply in January
Seung Min Kim, Politico, February 2, 2016

“The number of women and children trying to come here illegally being apprehended at the border plummeted dramatically in January — soon after the Obama administration launched controversial raids targeting immigrants who had recently crossed the border.”

•   ‘He forced me many times. I ran away, but he always found me again.’
Pamela Constable, The Washington Post, January 31, 2016

“A high percentage of the women seeking asylum from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are basing their claims on domestic or sexual violence, according to lawyers and advocates.”

•  Government Losing its License to Operate Family Detention Center in Pennsylvania
Beth Werlin, Immigration Impact, February 1, 2016

“This development is a significant step in the right direction and an important victory for those who have been advocating aggressively for the end of family detention. But, unfortunately, it is far from clear how DHS will respond and whether the federal immigration agency will do the right thing and stop detaining families.”

•   Diputados piden respetar los derechos de los migrantes
Hermelinda Bolaños, La Prensa Gráfica, 26 de enero de 2016

“El Consejo Parlamentario Regional sobre Migraciones (COPAREM) exhortó . . . al Gobierno de Estados Unidos a dialogar para buscar alternativas a las deportaciones de centroamericanos, que garanticen el respeto a los derechos humanos de los migrantes.”

•   Ensuring Due Process Protections for Central American Refugees
Philip E. Wolgin, Center for American Progress, February 1, 2016

“Ensuring that anyone fleeing persecution and violence has the ability to make a full and fair claim for asylum is a cornerstone of domestic and international law, and all people in the United States—regardless of their immigration status—have a right to due process under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

•   Immigrant women say they’re being illegally strip searched by male officers
Jorge Rivas, Fusion, February 1, 2016

“OA is one of 31 women—14 of them transgender—who have recently filed a civil complaint against immigration officials and a local jail in Southern California. The women are calling on the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security to investigate their complaints.”

•  Violencia y corrupción en México ponen a niños como blancos del abuso de EU: ONG
Juan Luis García Hernández, SinEmbargo.mx, 31 de enero de 2016

“La crisis de menores no acompañados en Estados Unidos ha desembocado en abusos por parte de las autoridades de aquel país y en hogares que supuestamente los protegen.”

•   What It Looks Like When Immigration Agents Arrest An Undocumented Mom In Front Of Her Kids
Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, ThinkProgress, January 29, 2016

“The interaction caught on video offers insight into why immigrants often fear coming into contact with law enforcement officers, and particularly with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.”

•   Pope Francis will pray with migrants on the US-Mexico border
Michael O’Loughlin, Crux, January 29, 2016

“Pope Francis will hold a prayer service at the border when he visits Mexico next month, and among the participants will be migrants — some undocumented — gathered just 65 feet away on the US side of the divide.”

New Reports and Resources

•   Actualización sobre Políticas de Inmigración y Política Exterior de los EE.UU. para Organizaciones de América Central, México y los EE.UU.
Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Emma Buckhout, y Lisa Haugaard, LAWG, enero de 2016

“El documento se propone ser una guía para que las organizaciones de América Central y México cuenten con información sobre las dinámicas cambiantes en los Estados Unidos y el eco que producen en la región.”

•   An Update on U.S. Immigration & Foreign Policy for Central American, Mexican, & U.S. Civil Society Organizations
Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Emma Buckhout, and Lisa Haugaard, LAWG, January 2016

“In January of 2016, The Latin America Working Group Education Fund released an updated synthesis of U.S. immigration and foreign policies that have an impact on migrant rights across the region. It is meant to be a guide for Central American and Mexican organizations to have information on the changing dynamics in the United States and their reverberation throughout the region.”

•   Infographic | Mexico Corruption Perception Index 2015
Andrea Tanco, Wilson Center, February 1, 2016
An infographic showing Mexico’s score on the Corruption Perception Index in comparison with other countries.

•   Why We Must Protect Central American Mothers and Children Fleeing Violence
Tom Jawetz, et al. Center for American Progress, February 5, 2016

“Until appropriate procedural safeguards can be put in place, the Obama administration should halt the raids and ensure due process for these refugees.”

•   When We Were Young, There Was a War
Patricia Goudvis and Alice Stone, CentralAmericanStories.com, 2016

An interactive site that tells the stories of children living in Central America during times of violence.

•  #Pope2Border: The Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Project for Pope Francis’ visit to the Border

•  Sign The Ignatian Solidarity Network’s letter to Congress asking for humane migration policies

•   CARTA ABIERTA: El respeto a los derechos humanos y la reparación a víctimas deben ser temas abordados en la agenda de la visita del Papa Francisco a México
Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, 4 de febrero de 2016