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Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief for October 7, 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

•   From Civil War to Gang War: New Violence Drive Salvadorans to Makeshift Camp
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, September 30, 2016

“This encampment in Caluco, a small town 40 miles west of the capital, San Salvador, is home to about 70 people from a nearby farming community, forced to flee their homes after a recent escalation of gang violence. It is El Salvador’s first camp for internally displaced people since the 12-year civil war, when an estimated one million people were forcibly displaced and 80,000 killed.”

•   Haiti Cannot Endure Any More Broken Promises After Hurricane Matthew
Matthew Smith, The Guardian, October 6, 2016

“The arrival of the immense Hurricane Matthew on Haitian land early on Tuesday morning has plunged the Caribbean’s oldest nation into another period of despairing uncertainty. Haiti is ill-prepared to deal with what Matthew brings – category 4 force winds and a 190-mile outer band of powerful rains pounding the towns and villages along the southwestern coastline and extending all the way to the Dominican Republic. Haiti’s soil already holds the lives of far too many of its children taken by extreme natural disasters.”

•   Casi que Guardia Nacional Civil [Español]
Official Data Suggests El Salvador Police Kill with Impunity [English]
Roberto Valencia, El Faro, 3 de octubre de 2016

“La Fuerza Armada y sobre todo la PNC están matando a presuntos pandilleros: unos 35 cada mes desde que el gobierno desató la ‘guerra’ contra las maras, en enero de 2015. El Gabinete de Seguridad justifica la matanza como enfrentamientos conforme a ley, pero el análisis pormenorizado de las cifras y su comparación con las de otros países con problemas de abusos policiales como México o Estados Unidos ‘apuntan a la presencia de ejecuciones sumarias’, asegura un experto.”

•   El Salvador Officials Say Homicides Down Sharply Last Month
“The Associated Press, ABC News, October 3, 2016

El Salvador officials say the number of homicides in the Central American country dropped by nearly half in September from the same month of 2015.”

•   El Salvador Judge Reopens Case of 1981 Civil War Massacre
Gerardo Arbaiza, Reuters, October 1, 2016

“A judge in El Salvador has reopened the case of a massacre allegedly carried out by soldiers in 1981 that is considered the worst atrocity committed during the country’s brutal civil war, a lawyer involved in the matter said on Saturday.”

•   Honduras Aims to Double National Police by 2022
Michael Lohmuller, InSight Crime, September 30, 2016

“Honduras is looking to double its National Police within the next six years, an ambitious yet questionable plan given previous underwhelming attempts at police reform and the perennial issue of corruption.”

•   October: A Critical Month in Honduran Efforts to Combat Corruption
Eric L. Olson and Rachel L. Martin, The Wilson Center, October 5, 2016

“On October 10 the Honduran congress is scheduled to take up final consideration of a campaign finance reform bill that is modeled on the analysis and recommendations of the MACCIH*—the OAS-based mechanism whose mission it is to assist Honduran judicial authorities combat corruption. Second, October 19 marks the first six months of the MACCIH’s official opening in Honduras, and when it is required to make a progress report to the Secretary General of the OAS and its Permanent Council. For the credibility of the MACCIH and anti-corruption efforts in Honduras it is vitally important that these deadlines be taken seriously and that there be no delay in either Congressional action or MACCIH’s reporting.”

•   Aprueban copia de expediente del caso Berta Cáceres
La Prensa, 30 de septiembre de 2016

“Las partes defensora y acusadora en el caso de la muerte de la ambientalista Berta Cáceres dieron el visto bueno a la copia del expediente judicial que se dio a conocer para seguir el proceso luego que el original fuera robado a la magistrada María Luisa Ramos.”

•   Berta Cáceres’ Case File Was Stolen. Is Honduras Bungling This Murder Investigation  on Purpose?
Angelika Albaladejo, Fusion, October 3, 2016

“The case file on the murder of one of Honduras’ most prominent human-rights figures was stolen last week, marking the latest setback in an investigation that has been so constantly bungled that many suspect it’s intentional.”

•   Peña duplica el número de militares en las calles, aunque ninguna ley los regula
Arturo Angel, Animal Político, 6 de octubre de 2016

“En los últimos cinco años el número de militares desplegados de forma permanente en México para tareas de seguridad pública se ha duplicado.”

•   Organized Crime Dominates in Mexico’s Most Violent Cities
Deborah Bonello, InSight Crime, October 3, 2016

“Many of Mexico’s most violent cities are home to competing criminal groups and drug-fueled conflicts, a clear sign of how organized crime is contributing to the country’s worsening security situation.”

•   En la cumbre de la violencia
Guadalupe Salcido, Carlos Barranco y Miguel Vargas, NorteDigital, 3 de octubre de 2016

“Desde el pasado mes de julio, el municipio de Juárez volvió a destacar en la lista de las 50 localidades más violentas del país al aculmular 210 homicidios dolosos de enero a julio del 2016, colocándose en el cuarto lugar.”

Mexican Enforcement

•   Indagará CEDH de Tabasco posible participación de policías en secuestro de migrantes
Armando Guzmán, Proceso, 6 de octubre de 2016
“La Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos (CEDH) investigará la denuncia de La 72, Hogar Refugio para Personas Migrantes de Tenosique, sobre la participación de policías del municipio de Cárdenas en el secuestro y extorsión de migrantes.”

•   Nueva oleada de violencia en contra de migrantes y refugiados en Tabasco
La 72 Hogar-Refugio para Personas Migrantes, 3 de octubre de 2016

“La presente es una denuncia pública donde damos cuenta de la violencia que ha
regresado en torno a las personas migrantes y refugiadas en el Estado de Tabasco y en
el municipio de Tenosique, concretamente a través de los delitos de secuestro,
privación ilegal de la libertad, violaciones sexuales, asaltos con mucha violencia y
armas de fuego, donde las personas migrantes son despojadas de todo, incluso de la
ropa que llevan puesta.”

•   A Growing Grassroots Movement in Mexico Is Resisting the US-Backed Drug War
Dawn Paley, The Nation, September 29, 2016

“Los Otros Desaparecidos de Iguala came together after the infamous disappearance of 43 students by local police in concert with local paramilitaries two years ago, on September 26, 2014. But it wasn’t until the discovery of 38 bodies in the weeks following the disappearances that the media storm began. As grave after grave was turned up outside of Iguala, Argentine forensic experts identified the remains of Alexander Mora Venancio, one of the 43 students. The other 42 young men are still disappeared.”

•   Una escuela para entender la educación de los hijos de inmigrantes
Gardenia Mendoza, La Opinión, 3 de octubre de 2016

“Mónica Haydee Ramos, activista a favor de la educación de los inmigrantes, habla del miedo. Del temor de muchos mexicanos a ser descubiertos como indocumentados y deportados o a no saberse comunicar en inglés para ir a preguntar cómo va su hijo en la escuela, si se porta bien, si hace tareas o los pasos a seguir para crecer profesionalmente.”

•   Migrantes nicaragüenses olvidados en México
Elízabeth Romero, La Prensa, 5 de octubre de 2016

“Varios migrantes nacionales permanecen retenidos por más de un año en centros de detención de México, sin que hasta ahora las autoridades del Consulado de Nicaragua en ese país se preocupen por su suerte, aseguran parientes de algunos de ellos. De esta manera, el Gobierno que criminaliza la migración de tránsito por Nicaragua, también olvida a sus connacionales en el extranjero.”

U.S. Enforcement

•   Deportation to a Disaster Zone: Obama Under Pressure to Stop Crackdown on Haitian Migrants as Hurricane Matthew Wreaks Havoc on Island
Daniel Denvir, Salon, October 7, 2016
“Hurricane Matthew has, as President Barack Obama put it, “hit Haiti with devastating effect,” reportedly leaving at least 283 dead and thousands displaced. This calamity, however, comes just two weeks after the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that it would resume the regular deportation of Haitians from the United States.”

•   Supreme Court Opens New Term With a Blow to Undocumented Immigrants
Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress, October 4, 2016

“Just a half hour before the Supreme Court gavels in its first argument session of its 2016–17 term, the justices quietly delivered bad news to millions of immigrants. On the 69th page of a 71 page list of routine orders, the Court announced on Monday that it will not rehear United States v. Texas, a case involving the legality of two policies that, together, would permit about 4.9 million immigrants to temporarily find work and remain in the country.”

•   Millions at Risk of Deportation as Justices Refuse to Rehear Case
Adam Liptak, The New York Times, October 3, 2016
“A short-handed Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request from the Obama administration to reconsider a major immigration decision, dooming for now President Obama’s plan to spare millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.”

•   Nuevo golpe a la política migratoria de Obama: la Corte Suprema rechaza revisar el fallo sobre DAPA y DACA
Jorge Cancino, Univision, 3 de octubre de 2016

“El máximo tribunal de justicia de EEUU falla en contra de un recurso presentado en julio que pedía revisar dos programas de la Acción Ejecutiva que amparan de la deportación a 5 millones de indocumentados.”

•   Homeland Security Must Stop Using Private Prisons for Immigration Detention. Here’s How to Do It.
Joanne Lin and Carl Takai, ACLU, October 3, 2016

“This August, the Justice Department made history when it announced that the Bureau of Prisons would curtail — and eventually end — its use of private prisons. As the Justice Department noted, this change was made possible by criminal justice reforms that reduced its prison population. Now the ACLU is releasing a policy paper that calls on the Department of Homeland Security to follow suit by reducing its detention population and then ending its own use of private prisons.”

•   Sólo el 37% de los inmigrantes en proceso de deportación tiene acceso a un abogado
Jorge Cancino, Univision, 30 de septiembre de 2016
“Un estudio del Consejo Americano de Inmigración reveló además que los inmigrantes detenidos en lugares apartados tienen cuatro veces menos probabilidades de conseguir asesoría legal que aquellos privados de libertad en ciudades grandes.”

•   Obama Administration Is Quietly Delaying Thousands of Deportation Cases
Caitlin Dickerson, The New York Times, October 6, 2016

“The immigrants affected by the delay are primarily families who entered the United States illegally since 2014, when record numbers of Central American migrants crossed the southern border, many seeking asylum status because of gang violence and lawlessness in their home countries. Deportation proceedings for unaccompanied minors who entered the United States during that time are still being expedited.”

•   Death in the Sands: The Horror of the US-Mexico Border
Reece Jones, The Guardian, October 4, 2016

“The US–Mexico border that took the life of Sergio Guereca is a microcosm of a global change, its increased militarisation not in response to a military threat but focused entirely on preventing the movement of civilians.”

•   This Rancher in Arizona Doesn’t Necessarily Want a Wall — But He Does Want More Done Along the Border
Marco Werman, Public Radio International (PRI), October 3, 2016

“‘Before anything’s done on the border, the people who run this country — the president, vice president, Supreme Court, Senate, House, Department of Homeland Security — they need to decide that we actually have a national problem here. And they have not done that,’ he says.”

•   Sanctuary Cities Do Not Experience an Increase in Crime
Loren Collingwood, Benjamin Gonzalez-O’Brien and Stephen El-Khatib, The Washington Post, October 3, 2016
“Decades of research actually shows that immigrants – whether legal or illegal – tend to have lower crime rates. Now, our new research shows that designating a city as a sanctuary has no statistically significant effect on crime.”

•   La historia de los braceros mexicanos que murieron por esperar un empleo en EEUU
BBC Mundo/La Raza, 1 de octubre de 2016
“En los años 50 y 60 en el pueblo de Empalme, Sonora, ocurrió uno de los episodios menos conocidos en la historia de México y Estados Unidos. Miles de personas aguardaron en el desierto por un contrato de empleo. Varios murieron en la espera.”

•   Immigration Reform — Not Mass Deportation — Is the Only Viable Choice
Tom Jawetz and Philip E. Wolgin, Medium, October 6, 2016
“When we welcome immigrants into our nation and invest in them, our entire country benefits.”

•   Barely Half of Illegal Border Crossers Caught
Elliot Spagat, The Washington Post, October 6, 2016
“Counting border crossers who elude capture is a mammoth and imprecise task but one that many experts believe is necessary to judge whether the border is secure. Homeland Security approaches the job by tracking physical evidence, such as footprints in the desert and other signs of human presence, and by agent sightings. The internal report uses that information, along with migrant surveys and techniques developed by social scientists.”

•   Immigration Reform Bipartisan Compromise Needed
Luis V. Gutiérrez, The Mercury News, October 6, 2016

“I wish compromise was not such a dirty word in American politics because it is the only way to get things done. Bipartisanship in Washington is often praised and seldom rewarded. On the issue I work on the most, immigration – which is what brings me to Silicon Valley – compromise is the only thing that will get America a modern, secure, humane immigration system.”

•   We Talked to the Man Walking the Length of the US-Mexico Border
Ted Hesson, VICE, October 4, 2016

“When Mark Hainds set off to walk the length of the Texas-Mexico border two years ago, it wasn’t to make a political statement. Mainly, he just wanted an escape. Hainds, a forestry expert in his mid-40s, was feeling overwhelmed by dual positions as a researcher at Auburn University and the Longleaf Alliance, an Alabama-based nonprofit organization dedicated to studying and preserving the longleaf pine ecosystem. So he left, to “get away from the modern world” for a while.”

Reports, Resources, Actions

•   House Party Screenings of “Who is Dayani Cristal?”
Join LAWG for a screening at Georgetown on Tuesday, October 11th

•   Letter from Members of Congress Urges Support for Central American Refugees
On October 4, 2016, twenty five members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Johnson expressing support for the Obama Administration’s recent initiatives to strengthen protections for children and families fleeing violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle. The letter urges they “ensure the required staffing and resources so that individuals with protection concerns are properly identified, thoroughly vetted, and promptly resettled.”

•   SOA Watch Encuentro at the Border
October 7-10, 2016
See schedule, advocacy asks, and more information here.

•   Breaking Down the Silos between Latin America’s Homicide Reduction Programs
Ignacio Cano, Open Society Foundations, September 22, 2016
“Latin America has the highest homicide rates in the world. Approximately one out of every three people intentionally killed is killed in Latin America, even though only eight percent of the world’s population lives there. Around 25 percent of all homicides take place in just four countries in the region: Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela.”

•   Shutting Down the Profiteers: Why and How the Department of Homeland Security Should Stop Using Private Prisons
ACLU, 2016

“This new report from the American Civil Liberties Union spotlights the dangerously close ties between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the private prison industry, describes the human toll of over-detention and privatization, and provides a concrete plan for how ICE can and should phase out its reliance on private prisons.”

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*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.