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Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief for October 14, 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, Country Conditions

La 72 map prisma•   Central America’s Rampant Violence Fuels an Invisible Refugee Crisis
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, October 13, 2016
“The numbers are staggering, and governments are doing little to protect people from warring gangs and corrupt security forces. Yet entire families who are now seeking asylum are being sent back and told to simply live elsewhere.”

•   Gang Wars, Poverty Driving Central Americans Over U.S. Border
Jay Root, The Texas Tribune, October 12, 2016
“The challenge of securing the southern U.S. border is changing dramatically as fewer Mexicans cross illegally, but more Central Americans arrive seeking refuge from the terror and chaos of their home countries.”

•   Honduran Activists Survive Attacks Months after Berta Cáceres Murder
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, October 11, 2016
“Two indigenous activists in Honduras have survived separate assassination attempts this week, seven months after their leader, the environmentalist Berta Cáceres was shot dead in her home.”

•   Honduras Extraditions Hint at Ongoing Weakness in Judicial System
Luis Fernando Alonso, InSight Crime, October 10, 2016
“Five members of the weakened Valles drug trafficking organization are facing extradition to the United States, highlighting the Honduran government’s commitment to dismantling the once notorious trafficking group but also the ongoing weakness of the country’s judicial institutions.”

•   MS13 Pooled Resources to Fund ‘Elite’ Unit: Report
Tristan Clavel, InSight Crime, October 13, 2016
“A new report seems to indicate that various branches of the MS13 gang in El Salvador attempted to pool their resources in order to fund an elite unit as a response to a government crackdown on their operations.”

•   El plan terrorista de la MS para llamar la atención a nivel internacional
El Diario de Hoy, ElSalvador.com, 11 de octubre de 2016
“Luego de las últimas medidas de seguridad del Gobierno, los cabecillas acordaron recoger cientos de miles de dólares para fortalecerse.”

•   Prince of Peace
Lauren Markham, VQR, Fall 2016
“San Salvador is both the political and homicide capital of El Salvador, a country where, most recently, a plague of murders has surged after the unraveling of a two-year-old gang truce in early 2014.”

•   Hurricane Matthew’s Devastation in Haiti Forces UN to Call for $120m in Aid
Staff and Agencies in Jeremie, The Guardian, October 10, 2016
“The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has called for a ‘massive response’ to help Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew as local aid officials struggled to get food, medicine and water to increasingly desperate communities still isolated almost a week after the blow from the deadly storm.”

•   New Government Data Shows Mexican Citizens Feel Unsafe
Luis Fernando Alonso, InSight Crime, October 10, 2016
“The Mexican government’s most recent annual survey of crime victimization rates and perceptions of security shows little improvement — and some backsliding — on several key indicators of public safety.”

•   Killings Rise Anew in Tijuana, a City Haunted by Years of Violence
Sandra Dibble, Los Angeles Times, October 9, 2016
“With 636 killings in Tijuana through the end of September, 2016 is shaping up to be the most violent year since 2010, and last month’s 89 homicides made it the most violent so far this year.”

•   El Salvador Considers Partial Pivot on World’s Worst Anti-abortion Law
Angelika Albaladejo, Fusion, October 13, 2016
“Proponents say this change would help protect the health and human rights of Salvadoran women and girls, particularly those who are victims of sexual violence, those who face life-threatening diseases like cancer while pregnant, or those whose fetus may have severe birth defects caused by the mosquito-borne Zika virus currently sweeping across the region.”

•   Over 600 Human Remains Found in Mexico’s Coahuila State
Latin American Herald Tribune
“The remains of over 600 corpses have been unearthed in a field in the San Pedro municipality of northern Mexico’s Coahuila state, according to Grupo VIDA, a civil society group comprising the relatives of disappeared persons.”

•   800,000 Guatemala Youths Neither Work Nor Study
Agencia EFE, October 8, 2016
“Some 800,000 young people in Guatemala neither work nor study, and therefore represent a ‘risk’ to society and to themselves as their unemployment becomes permanent.”

•   Nicaragua’s Closed-border Policy Pushes Migrants to Take Desperate Measures
Carlos Salinas, El País, October 12, 2016
“Sandinista government’s increasingly tough line leaves thousands stranded in camps in Costa Rica.”

•   Honduran President Warns of Drug Cartel Plan to Assassinate Self, U.S. Envoy
Reuters, October 13, 2016
“Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said on Thursday authorities were investigating an alleged plan by a drug cartel to assassinate him and the U.S. ambassador to the Central American country, James Nealon.”

Mexican Enforcement

•   Violaciones sexuales y muerte en estaciones migratorias
Nancy Flores, Contralínea, 11 de octubre de 2016
“Saldo negativo en materia migratoria: autoridades federales, responsables de múltiples violaciones a derechos humanos de migrantes; muerte y violaciones sexuales a infantes y adolescentes en custodia del INM. También deportaciones masivas: 441 mil centroamericanos expulsados en 3 años y medio.”

•   Crónicas mexicanas: No es Siria, es México, y es una crisis de refugiados
L. Alberto Rodríguez, La Opinión, 10 de octubre de 2016
“En sus ojos naufraga la esperanza, como un barcaza varada en un mar sin viento. Así, más de dos mil emigrantes procedentes de Haití yacen en las ciudades fronterizas de Tijuana y Mexicali, Baja California, hacinados en cuartos de madera y sin dinero, en espera de obtener asilo en Estados Unidos. Pero no hay respuesta, y esto ya es una ‘crisis humanitaria’.”

•   Hermano de alcalde chiapacorseño ordenó secuestro de migrantes: PGJE
Reporte Ciudadano Chiapas
“La Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Chiapas (PGJE), a través de la Fiscalía Especializada en Delitos Cometidos en Contra de Inmigrantes, inició la carpeta de investigación correspondiente en contra de 21 elementos de la Policía Municipal de Chiapa de Corzo por el delito de Secuestro Exprés, en agravio de 19 migrantes centroamericanos.”

•   Police Arrested for Extortion of Migrants
Mexico News Daily, October 13, 2016
“Municipal police in Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, have been relieved of their duties after the discovery of an extortion and trafficking ring that targeted migrants. Former agents of the National Immigration Institute (INM) are also believed to have been involved.”

•   The Changing Face of US-Bound Migration: Rise in Africans and Asians Moving through Mexico
Lorne Matalon, KJZZ/Fronteras Desk, October 10, 2016
“Citizens of nations such as China, India and Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia in the Horn of Africa are increasingly a part the migrant mosaic moving through Central America and Mexico.”

U.S. Enforcement

•   Advocates Say Asylum Program For Central American Immigrants Falls Short
Armando Trull, WAMU, October 12, 2016
“The continuing flow into the U.S. of Central American families and youth fleeing violence has prompted the Obama administration to expand an asylum program that protects some of these migrants. The move is getting mixed reviews in the Washington area, home to thousands of Salvadorans.”

•   Raising Barriers
Samuel Granados, Zoeann Murphy, Kevin Schaul and Anthony Faiola, The Washington Post, October 2016
“A generation ago, globalization shrank the world. Nations linked by trade and technology began to erase old boundaries. But now barriers are rising again, driven by waves of migration, spillover from wars and the growing threat of terrorism. From eight countries across three continents, this series examines the divisions between countries and peoples through interwoven words, video and sound.”

•   Jeh Johnson: U.S. to Work with Mexico on Illegal Immigration; Haiti Policy on Hold
Fox News Latino, October 16, 2016
“U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, speaking in Mexico City where he held talks with Cabinet officials on border, migration and security issues, said the hold is only temporary and that the government intends to return to it in the future.”

•   Senadores piden al gobierno de Obama que apruebe un Estatus de Protección Temporal para Haití
Univision, 13 de octubre de 2016
“Un grupo de senadores demócratas pidió el jueves a los secretarios de Estado, John Kerry, y de Seguridad Nacional, Jeh Johnson, que aprueben un Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS, por su sigla en inglés) para Haití en respuesta humanitaria a la catástrofe causada en ese país caribeño por el paso del huracán Matthew.”

•   International Migrant Crisis Hits a Breaking Point in Baja California
Center for International Policy: The Americas, October 10, 2016
“They come from many of the war-torn, economically pillaged and environmentally devastated corners of the globe, principally from Haiti and the Congo but also Eritrea, Senegal, Ghana, Pakistan, and other nations. In their thousands, men, women and children now wait in the northern Mexican border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali on their last, hopeful stopover in epic journeys to the United States.”

•   New Hope for Undocumented Immigrants: DAPA Might Not Be Dead — A Bold Legal Strategy Could Protect Millions from Deportation
Daniel Denvir, Salon, October 13, 2016
“A series of legal end runs may succeed in restoring Obama’s protections for millions of undocumented immigrants.”

•   Aumenta el número de indocumentados centroamericanos
Alfonso Chardy, El Nuevo Herald, 8 de octubre de 2016
“Un nuevo estudio del prestigiado Centro de Investigaciones Pew muestra que después de un descenso en el número de extranjeros no autorizados luego de la crisis económica entre el 2007 y el 2008, el número de indocumentados ahora se ha estabilizado en alrededor de 11.1 millones en todo el país.”

•   New Kids on the Block: When Unaccompanied Minors Enter High School
Liza Veale and Hannah Kingsley-Ma, NPR: Latino USA, October 7, 2016
“Back in 2014, there was lot of news coverage about an uptick of kids from Central America crossing the border, often without parents. Many were fleeing the gang and drug-related violence that has besieged countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Though the headlines have since died down, the migration has not.”

•   How Trump, Clinton Immigration Plans Would Affect the US
The Associated Press, October 10, 2016
“Trump says he would build a massive wall, target millions for deportation and deny legal status to anyone currently in the country illegally. Clinton would offer a pathway to citizenship for most immigrants regardless of how they arrived, continue to defer enforcement action against families, and offer health care options to immigrants here illegally. Here is a summary of their proposals.”

•   Los permisos de trabajo de los inmigrantes que piden asilo en Estados Unidos ahora duran dos años
Jorge Cancino, Univision, 7 de octubre 2016
“Los extranjeros que piden asilo en Estados Unidos y reciben una autorización temporal de empleo tienen una preocupación menos si sus casos se atrasan por más de un año. El servicio de inmigración anunció que los permisos de trabajo ahora tienen una validez de dos años (24 meses).”

•   ‘The Wall Is a Fantasy’: A Week in the Borderlands with Migrants and Guards
Declan Walsh, The New York Times, October 14, 2016
“While walls may divert the human flood, they cannot stop it. The proportion of the world’s population who are migrants has actually been stable since 1970, said Professor Betts. The impulse to flee — for reasons of war, poverty or to simply make a better life — may be too hard to stop.”

•   On The U.S.-Mexico Border, Looking Out For Lookouts
Michel Manzco, KJZZ, October 12, 2016
“Most of the talk about border security this election season has centered on Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. But the U.S. has a different kind of security effort underway: targeting drug cartel lookouts within U.S. borders.”

•   Miles de inmigrantes centroamericanos que llegaron al país desde 2014 podrán permanecer de forma legal en Estados Unidos
Univision, 11 de octubre de 2016
A pesar de haber ingresado de forma ilegal por la frontera sur del país, el gobierno ha decidido aplazar sus procesos de deportación para ocuparse de indocumentados que han cometido delitos.”

Reports, Resources, Actions

•   Home Sweet Home? Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador’s Role in a Deepening Refugee Crisis
Amnesty International, October 13, 2016
“Governments in Central America are fuelling a deepening refugee crisis by failing to tackle rampant violence and sky-high homicide rates in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras which are forcing hundreds of thousands to flee, Amnesty International said in a new report today.”
Download the full report here.

•   El Salvador: Information Gathering Mission Report
Part 1: Gangs in El Salvador and the Situation of Witnesses of Crime and Corruption
Part 2: The Situation of Women Victims of Violence and of Sexual Minorities in El Salvador
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, September 2016
“The purpose of the mission to El Salvador was to gather information related to state efforts to combat crime; the structure of criminal gangs, their areas of operation, activities, and recruitment practices; the situation of gender-based and domestic violence against women; the situation of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex) people; and the efficacy of the police and judiciary to provide recourse to victims of crime, investigate and prosecute crimes. This report summarizes the information gathered by the representatives of the IRB during both the joint mission and during the IRB’s additional week of research.”

•   Urgent: Tell DHS Secretary Johnson to Protect Haitians
Interfaith Immigration Coalition, October 2016
“Although Secretary Johnson rescinded DHS’s deportation policy following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthew, DHS plans to resume fast-tracking the deportation of Haitians as soon as country conditions improve, however slightly. Any detention and deportation policy blatantly disregards our commitment to the Haitians we pledged to welcome, will separate families, and ignores the long journey Haiti faces to rebuild and recover.”

•   #KnowYourBorder Tweetup
Storify, October 12, 2016
“We need to talk about border walls.The 2016 election cycle has renewed the toxic narrative around migration and border walls, especially on the southern border of the United States.”

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

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