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Migration News Brief 12.4.20

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Migration News Brief for December 4, 2020 

Source: Kristin Klein/Flickr

A compilation of recent top articles and reports related to issues of U.S. immigration and enforcement policy and migration from Central America and Mexico (articles in English and Spanish). Please feel free to send us recommendations or requests for upcoming news briefs: lalvarez@lawg.org.

Hurricanes Eta and Iota

Hundreds of thousands at Honduras’ shelters after hurricanes
Claudio Escalon, AP News, November 21, 2020
“The International Red Cross estimates that about 4.2 million people were affected by the back-to-back Category 4 hurricanes in November in Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Several hundred thousand are in shelters or informal camps across the region. But nowhere are the evacuated victims piled up more densely than in the northern Honduras city of San Pedro Sula, where some neighborhoods are still under water. The evacuees say they fear that even when they are eventually allowed to return to their flooded neighborhoods, they will find everything gone.”

Honduras se ahoga
Jacobo Garcia, El Pais, 28 de noviembre de 2020
“En 20 días Sula se ha convertido en un valle de dos millones de personas que han pasado a ser indigentes de un día para otro. Decenas de miles de familias, que el mes pasado trabajaban en la venta callejera, cosiendo ropa de marca en las maquilas (fábricas) o cortando plátano y palma africana en las plantaciones, comen ahora de la caridad, visten con ropa regalada y tienen como rutina del día hurgar en el barro acumulado en su casas para rescatar algo: el tanque de gas, una silla, el garrafón”.

Violencia sexual en los albergues: Un reto de las organizaciones de mujeres en la Covid19 y los huracanes
Heidy Dávila, Pasos de Animal Grande, 27 de noviembre de 2020
“Durante la cuarentena se han recibido muchos casos de violencia sexual, y con la los Huracanes ETA e IOTA, la situación se recrudeció más para las mujeres y las menores que estaban encerradas con su agresor o violador, describió este 27 de noviembre de 2020, Ana Lisseth Cruz, Directora de la Asociación Calidad de Vida. La organización a la que pertenece está trabajando campañas en los albergues para propiciar las denuncias de abuso sexual, de las cuales ya han atendido algunas pero se enfrentan a una falta de acceso a la justicia, en algunos casos los jueces han liberado a agresores”.

No hay institucionalidad para responder a las emergencias: Suyapa Figueroa
Radio Progreso, 27 de noviembre de 2020
“Para la presidenta del Colegio Médico de Honduras, Suyapa Figueroa, en la emergencia sanitaria y de inundaciones, no hay institucionalidad que responda a las necesidades y el auxilio de la población. ‘Y es justamente esa falta de institucionalidad la que hace que no exista capacidad de respuesta. Esa falta de institucionalidad es la que nos tiene en esta situación tan grave’, manifestó Figueroa”.

Battered by back-to-back hurricanes, Honduras braces for a long recovery
Delphine Schrank, The Washington Post, November 26, 2020
“More than a week after the second storm, vast areas of Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala remain flooded. Some areas are accessible only by boat. Remote communities are relying on food dropped by Honduran and U.S. military helicopters. Now a region that had already been hammered by the coronavirus and a deep economic contraction is facing a recovery that could take years. ‘Honduras is facing probably the greatest catastrophe of its history,’ said Carlos Madero, secretary of the Ministry of General Coordination of the Government, charged with managing the response. ‘We never thought and never imagined that we would have three emergencies of this magnitude in one year.”

Hurricanes Eta, Iota hit Nicaragua with $743 million in economic losses
Reuters, November 24, 2020
“Nicaragua suffered more than $740 million in damage from Hurricanes Eta and Iota, the government said on Tuesday, as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) promised $1.7 billion in aid for millions of people affected across Central America. Nearly 44,000 homes experienced total or partial damage in Nicaragua, said Nicaraguan Finance Minister Ivan Acosta, estimating the storms had cost the country $743 million in losses, according to government media site El 19.”

Battered by storms, Central Americans struggle to survive amid COVID-19
Nick Schifrin, PBS, November 23, 2020
“In Guatemala, the village of Queja, a mountainside gave way and buried dozens of people. After rescue efforts were called off, the area was deemed camposanto, sacred land for the dead. Guatemalan government crews flew to isolated villages to distribute aid. But they haven’t even reached places like San Juan Cotzal. So the local Ixil Maya community have to save themselves. On Sunday, volunteers from the local Catholic Church collected food and donations. But delivering that aid is a challenge when the storms destroyed bridges that used to connect 20 communities.”

Migrants Flee Climate Change Ravaged Central America as Record-Breaking Hurricanes Hit
Jeff Abbott, The Daily Beast, November 23, 2020
“Northern and Eastern Guatemala saw intense heavy rains from the storms causing widespread flooding and catastrophic landslides. In one disaster following Eta, a landslide in province of Alta Verapaz buried the Indigenous Maya Poqomchi’ village of Quejá, leaving over 100 under mud and debris. Rescue efforts were abandoned days after they began after conditions in the area made it unsafe for rescuers. Many other towns and villages across Guatemala remain under water. Rural Indigenous communities are among the hardest hit, with many communities being totally cut off from access to aid. Helicopters have become the only means of reaching areas devastated by the storms. The United States military and neighboring El Salvador sent helicopters to assist in aid distribution.”

Eta e Iota arrasaron con cultivos, pero el Gobierno afirma que no habrá hambruna
Allan Bu, Contra Corriente, 22 de noviembre de 2020
“Uno de los sectores más afectados fue el agro. Hay miles de hectáreas perdidas de banano, maíz, frijol y arroz. La ganadería sufrió fuertes daños, especialmente en los pastos que se preparaban para alimentar los animales. Han sido afectados los grandes productores y los pequeños, como don Esteban que perdió dos manzanas de banano y una de cacao. Había invertido 75 000 lempiras y estaba muy cerca de cosechar, pero la inversión que había hecho fue destruida por la furia de Eta. «Lo he perdido todo», dice”.

Hondurans who fled Hurricanes Iota and Eta now face coronavirus in overcrowded shelters 
Reuters, NBC News, November 20, 2020
“Workers at four international aid organizations and two local church leaders told Reuters that inadequate sanitary conditions at shelters in the northern city of San Pedro Sula were a serious concern. ‘The most pressing health concern is coronavirus,’ said Matt Hackworth, a senior advisor at Lutheran World Relief, who said he had visited several shelters in the area.”

In storm-hit Honduras, a climate crisis drives needs and fuels migration
Jared Olson, The New Humanitarian, November 18, 2020
“‘People are losing everything,’ Cáceres, who is now living under a highway overpass, told The New Humanitarian via WhatsApp. ‘They’re already losing so much with the El Niño droughts before this. I bet more and more people are going to leave after this.’ Though it’s hard to pin down the exact extent to which climate change is responsible for this unprecedented season of storms, there’s far less doubt about its key role – over several decades – in causing perennial drought in what is known as the ‘Dry Corridor’.”

COVID-19

General

Back to the 1960s? Education May be Latin America’s Most Lasting Scar from COVID-19
Nora Lustig, Guido Neidhofer, and Mariana Tommasi, Americas Quarterly, December 3, 2020
“The COVID-19 pandemic is placing Latin America at serious risk of unraveling the progress the region has made in the last decades when it comes to education. According to UNICEF, 95% of children are out of school in a region where social mobility coming from education is already low, and where equality of opportunity is rare. But the current generation of school children may – especially in low income, less educated households – be facing a future with the meager levels of education achievement last seen in the 1960s. Going backwards in education is not just bad for the children directly affected. Latin America’s future could witness losses in economic growth and increased political polarization as a result.”

Despite Lynchings, the Pandemic, Closed Shelters — Migrants Still Pushing North
Rodrigo Soberanes, El Faro, 27 de noviembre de 2020
“‘There was a medical brigade on the Mexico-Guatemala border that checked us out, took our temperatures, and gave us some pills. From there we walked for three days to Palenque [Chiapas]. There are a lot of immigration officials there rounding up all the migrants. That’s where we got on the train that brought us here,’ said the Honduran when we found him waiting by the train tracks on July 24. Despite the COVID-19 threat, forced migration from Central America hasn’t abated. But Gómez and his group noted that things have changed, and there are new challenges for those brave enough to journey across Mexico towards the U.S. border. ‘COVID is real… it’s a worldwide virus, so you really need to adapt to it. COVID is here to stay, it’s not going to disappear. You can’t sit around waiting for it to go away, because that’s not going to happen. What do we gain by staying in Honduras and dying of hunger?’ said Gómez as he stood in the rain, barely protected by his makeshift raincoat”.

El Salvador

La ONU alienta a El Salvador a proteger a mujeres de violencia durante crisis
EFE, 25 de noviembre de 2020
“Señaló en un comunicado que de enero a octubre de este año se reportaron 49 muertes violentas de mujeres y 57 feminicidios, e indicó que en el mismo periodo la Fiscalía General de la República (FGR) recibió 1.846 denuncias de violencia sexual, de las cuales el 70 % de las víctimas fueron niñas o adolescentes. Naciones Unidas reiteró el llamado a acelerar ‘una respuesta de políticas públicas concretas respecto a la violencia de género en el contexto de la covid-19’ y a ‘promover la cero tolerancia a la violencia contra las mujeres en todas las esferas de la sociedad’.”

Niños salvadoreños ven vulnerados sus derechos a la salud y a la educación por la covid
Infobae, 17 de noviembre de 2020
“Los niños y adolescentes de El Salvador consideran que sus derechos a la salud y a la educación han sido unos de los más vulnerados durante la pandemia del coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, según dijo en una entrevista con Efe el director de Calidad y Desarrollo de Programas Save de Children El Salvador, Josué Carranza”.

Honduras

CESPAD presenta informe de monitoreo: “Las mujeres y la emergencia sanitaria en Honduras. Una nueva lucha en contra de la histórica invisibilización de sus derechos”
Cespad, 1 de diciembre de 2020
“Colocando en el centro de discusión las diversas situaciones de violencia que enfrentan las mujeres, las medidas promovidas por las organizaciones de mujeres y feministas en Honduras, en el contexto COVID19, al igual que los avances sobre la aprobación de marcos jurídicos que solo han sido posibles con la incidencia y demanda activa del movimiento feminista, el Centro de Estudio para la Democracia (CESPAD), hace público el cuarto informe de monitoreo de la gestión pública, en el marco de la pandemia del COVID19, titulado ‘Las mujeres y la emergencia sanitaria en Honduras: una nueva lucha en contra de la histórica invisibilización de sus derechos’.”

Mexico

México, el peor país para estar durante la pandemia de Covid-19: Bloomberg
El Universal, 24 de noviembre de 2020
“México tiene 37.6 de calificación de adaptación; 113 casos mensuales por cada 100 mil habitantes; 8.6% de tasa mortalidad mensual; 782 muertes por cada millón de habitantes 62.3% de tasa de positividad y 3 en acceso a vacunas”.

U.S. Enforcement

Biden plans to spurn Trump immigration restrictions, but risk of new border crisis looms
Nick Miroff, Maria Sacchetti, The Washington Post, December 2, 2020
“Biden’s administration will inherit an enforcement system cracking under the strains of the coronavirus pandemic, a crippling immigration court backlog and a demoralized workforce at the Department of Homeland Security, where leadership instability and administrative chaos have been signatures of Trump’s tenure. At the U.S.-Mexico border, tens of thousands of migrants with pending asylum claims are waiting to enter the United States, some in squalid tent cities that resemble refugee camps. U.S. border agents have been making arrests at a soaring rate — more than 2,000 per day in recent weeks — as the economic fallout from the pandemic and devastating hurricanes in Central America threaten to trigger a new wave of illegal migration to the United States.”

Biden’s Day 1 challenges: The immigration reset
Stef W. Knight, Axios, November 29, 2020
“Biden has notably not said he will end the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus-related emergency order, which has let officials almost immediately expel nearly 60,000 migrants at the border.”

Trump’s bid to exclude undocumented immigrants from reapportionment arrives at Supreme Court
Robert Barnes, Tara Bahrampour, The Washington Post, November 28, 2020
“President Trump will swing for the fences in his last immigration legal battle at the Supreme Court, where he claims authority for the first time in the nation’s history to exclude undocumented residents when deciding the size of each state’s congressional delegation.Opponents of his plan say it is foreclosed by more than 200 years of practice, the text of the Constitution and the authority granted the president by Congress. Three lower courts have ruled against Trump, and a fourth said the time was not ripe for a decision on the question’s merits.”

A Rush to Expand the Border Wall That Many Fear Is Here to Stay
Simon Romero, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, The New York Times, November 28, 2020
“President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has said he hopes to halt construction of the border wall, but the outgoing administration is rushing to complete as much wall as possible in its last weeks in power, dynamiting through some of the border’s most forbidding terrain. The breakneck pace at which construction is continuing all but assures that the wall, whatever Mr. Biden decides to do, is here to stay for the foreseeable future, establishing a contentious legacy for Mr. Trump in places that were crucial to his defeat.”

Pregnant, Exhausted and Turned Back at the Border
Lynsey Addario, The New York Times, November 27, 2020
“Previously, many such women would be allowed to petition for asylum and give birth in safety in the United States while their cases were being considered. But most now, like Griselda, are sent swiftly back to Mexico to take their chances in crowded shelters and filthy tent camps. Some are held in U.S. detention facilities for months. In a petition to the federal courts last year, the American Civil Liberties Union said it had interviewed 18 migrant women who had been detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and returned to Mexico. All were facing serious worries over how to give birth safely and keep their babies healthy.”

U.S. agents apprehend 1,000 migrant children in 6 days as crossings along Mexican border rise
Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, November 26, 2020
“From November 18 to November 23, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processed 997 migrant minors who traveled without parents or legal guardians, the agency’s top official, Mark Morgan, said in a court declaration Wednesday. More than 9,900 unaccompanied children have been taken into custody since September 8, Morgan added. Within the next 120 days, CBP projects border crossings by unaccompanied minors to increase by 50%, according to the court declaration.”

The Government’s Human Cruelty Will Outlive Trump
Laura Weiss, The New Republic, November 25, 2020
“This message from DHS sharply abuts the reality of the last four years, particularly of ICE and CBP, agencies that willingly and, in some cases, enthusiastically carried out the most heinous of Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policies, which have in many cases blatantly disregarded international law. This has included the forceful separation of families at the border; the enforcement of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program; and the indefinite detention of refugees and migrants, including small children, in disturbing jail-like conditions. While some of these officials now cite their ‘relief’ at being able to return to a more orderly state of affairs without having to ‘compromise’ their ‘morals or ideals,’ as one DHS employee put it in the article, it bears remembering that ICE’s union endorsed President Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 elections—a point that has somehow gone unnoted.”

Trump’s DOJ Backs Down on Deporting Women Alleging ICE Gynecological Abuse
Emily Green, Vice, November 24, 2020
“The Trump administration has agreed to delay the deportation of as many as a dozen women who alleged medical abuse at an ICE facility in Georgia until President-elect Joe Biden takes office, according to a court filing. The motion, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia on Tuesday, amounts to a significant retreat by the government, which until last week was aggressively moving to deport women who spoke out about receiving gynecological procedures they received while detained at the Irwin County Detention Center, a privately-operated prison at the center of a sweeping abuse investigation.”

ICE Expelled 33 Immigrant Children Back To Guatemala After A Judge Said They Couldn’t
Hamed Aleaziz, Buzzfeed News, November 24, 2020
“The Trump administration expelled 33 children who came to the US without a parent back to Guatemala after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the controversial practice that same day. The injunction was issued Wednesday by US Judge Emmet Sullivan minutes before an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) flight left for Guatemala City with the 33 children.”

Temporary Protected Status solution for undocumented immigrants
Leon Fresco, The Hill, November 21, 2020
“A proposal available under the INA that could address the flux of DACA recipients would be that, on day one of a new administration, the president would grant TPS to every foreign national without status who was present in the United States prior to March 13, 2020, which was the date the current administration declared a national emergency regarding the coronavirus outbreak.  The current administration has already laid the groundwork for such a global granting of TPS by having had the director of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issue a memorandum pursuant to Title 42 Section 265 of the U.S. Code that bans foreigners from entering the United States by identifying ‘the existence of a communicable disease’ throughout the world and stating that ‘COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has spread rapidly.’”

Mexican Enforcement

Mexico Has a Major Role to Play in Undoing Trump’s Disastrous Migration Policies
Maureen Meyer, Elyssa Pachico, WOLA, December 2, 2020
“Although eyes are on likely policy changes with Biden, the Mexican government also has a central role to play in addressing regional migration flows. It too should change its approach. When President Andrés Manuel López Obrador assumed office in December 2018, he initially committed to following a more humanitarian approach, pledging funds for a regional development plan to address economic drivers of migration. But as a result of U.S. pressure, lofty goals for U.S.-Mexico engagement on development in Central America and a welcoming stance to migrants were quickly put on the back burner.”

Migración no reporta casos COVID en centros de detención; documentos revelan al menos 52 contagios
Manu Ureste, Alberto Pradilla, Animal Politico, 30 de noviembre de 2020
“En lo que va de la pandemia, el Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) no ha reportado de manera oficial cuántos casos de COVID se han registrado en sus centros de detención. Incluso, en foros públicos negó la existencia de contagios aún cuando estos ya se estaban produciendo. Sin embargo, documentos a los que Animal Político tuvo acceso por transparencia revelan que van al menos 52 migrantes a los que se les detectó el coronavirus al interior de estaciones migratorias y que la transmisión al interior de las estaciones migratorias comenzó en junio, cuando la institución que dirige Francisco Garduño negaba en público los casos”.

Root Causes

Guatemala Police Case Stirs Up Dark Memories
Héctor Silva Ávalos, InSight Crime, December 2, 2020
“Authorities in Guatemala have arrested four police officers on charges of arms trafficking, drug
trafficking and murder, providing an unsettling sense of déjà vu. On November 25, the Attorney General’s Office reported several operations that took place in five departments across the country, including 13 raids and seven arrests, intended to ‘dismantle the Los Infiltrados gang,’ according to a post on the institution’s official Twitter account.”

The Garífuna Voices of Guatemala’s Armed Conflict 
Scherly Virgill Artiaga, NACLA, December 2, 2020
“Sergio, a Garífuna from Livingston who was forcibly recruited as a teenager by the military in the late 1960s, resents that the years of violence in his hometown remain in obscurity. ‘The history of the armed conflict our country experienced does not mention the Garífuna at all. It is not documented, but our people also paid a high price, with their lives,” said Sergio, who had been swimming with friends when soldiers scooped him up and took him away without his parent’s knowledge. “How much suffering and death does the Garífuna community have to endure in order to be counted?’”

U.S. may start sharing sensitive intelligence with Honduras in drug fight
Phil Stewart, Reuters, December 2, 2020
“Former U.S. officials and experts cautioned that sharing intelligence with Honduras about flights entering the country could prove particularly tough, given well-documented, parallel U.S. concerns about corruption inside Honduras stemming from cocaine trafficking. ‘It’s difficult because you want to collaborate with the Honduran authorities. But Honduras is so pervasively corrupt … it’s difficult in this case to warrant it,’ said Charles Call, a former U.S. State Department adviser at the Brookings Institution think tank.”

La fiebre del dengue, una epidemia olvidada en Honduras
Laura Andrea Aceituno, Criterio.hn, 2 de diciembre de 2020
“ La actual emergencia por la pandemia de Covid-19 ha opacado la sistemática prevalencia del dengue en Honduras, que a la fecha ya acumula más de 23.000 casos y nueve fallecimientos, entre estos, cinco menores. Hasta la semana epidemiológica número 47, el Departamento de Vigilancia de la Salud de la Secretaría de Salud (SESAL) ha confirmado que se han alcanzado los 23,680 casos, de los cuales 21,965 son dengue no grave y 1,795 de dengue grave. Se han confirmado 9 fallecimientos, 5 de ellos han sido menores de 15 años”.

‘We are fed up’: Guatemalans continue anti-government protests
Jeff Abbott, Al Jazeera, November 28, 2020
“Guatemalans have returned to protest across the country for the second Saturday in a row, as discontent with President Alejandro Giammattei and his government continues. More than 2,000 people gathered in Guatemala City’s central plaza to demand the resignation of Giammattei and congressional representatives who had approved the country’s controversial 2021 budget.”

El Salvador registra 121 feminicidios en lo que va de 2020
Clarín, 28 de noviembre de 2020
“El Salvador, uno de los países con mayores tasas de feminicidios, registra 121 mujeres asesinadas en lo que va de 2020, según lo informó el Gobierno. De acuerdo con la fuente, que retoma estadísticas de la Policía Nacional Civil (PNC), la cifra de feminicidios del año en curso presenta una reducción de un 44,2 % respecto a 2019”.

Honduras cerrará el año como el más violento de Centroamérica a pesar del confinamiento y los desastres naturales
Ana Irías, Contra Corriente, 27 de noviembre de 2020
“El Valle de Sula ha encabezado este año las estadísticas por contagios de COVID-19, pero recientemente su vulnerabilidad también se demostró con el paso de las tormentas que dejaron miles de personas afectadas. Esta semana, el Colegio Médico de Honduras pidió declararla «zona de desastre». El departamento de Cortés, desde hace décadas, ha sido uno de los más golpeados en los homicidios múltiples o masacres, para poner un ejemplo, el Observatorio de la Violencia reportó que el 31 de diciembre de 2019 esta zona cerró con 18 homicidios múltiples, 2 ocurrieron en el municipio de Choloma, 1 en La Lima, 2 en Puerto Cortés, 1 en Villanueva y 12 en San Pedro Sula”.

Climate Change Haunts a Ghostly Border in Honduras
Areli Palomo, NACLA, November 25, 2020
“The tide has been encroaching on these communities, as well as their houses, croplands, and water sources, for the past 10 years. The situation is increasingly driving locals to flee, leaving behind a ghostly border. The devastation brought by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, the strongest to hit the Atlantic this year, exacerbate this grim picture—haunting warnings of what climate change is set to bring to this vulnerable region.”

Contentious Guatemala Budget Sees Frustrations Boil Over
Héctor Silva Ávalos, Alex Papadovassilakis, InSight Crime, November 25, 2020
“Finally, the Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies (El Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales – ICEFI) also warned that the budget included loopholes that would facilitate corruption, including the ability to allocate funds to non-governmental organizations with questionable origins and without control mechanisms in place.”

With Pandemic Raids, Bukele Government Faces Major Investigation in El Salvador
Alex Papadovassilakis, InSight Crime, November 23, 2020
“El Salvador authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the government’s coronavirus pandemic spending, marking the severest legal action to date taken against the administration of President Nayib Bukele. Starting on November 9 and continuing for multiple days, the El Salvador Attorney General’s Office (Fiscalía General de la República – FGR) conducted over 20 raids on various branches of government in capital San Salvador, including the country’s health and finance ministries.”

Luchas por la despenalización del aborto en Centroamérica: Reflexiones sobre la argumentación y narrativas predominantes
La Lupa, 23 de noviembre de 2020
“Las luchas por la despenalización del aborto en Centroamérica se han fortalecido a lo largo de los últimos años. Estas han variado de acuerdo con los contextos sociales, políticos y económicos. Sin embargo, las acciones de calle, de incidencia, de litigio, comunicacionales y otras encaminadas a la despenalización del aborto giran en torno a investigar, denunciar y mitigar una serie de elementos que podrían reducirse a los siguientes”.

Asesinato Berta Cáceres: Defensa de David Castillo obstaculiza audiencia de proposición de pruebas
Heidy Dávila, Pasos de Animal Grande, 23 de noviembre de 2020
“La Audiencia de Proposición de Pruebas en el caso del crimen de Berta Cáceres que se llevaría a cabo este 23 de noviembre de 2020, fue obstaculizada por la defensa de David Castillo, uno de los señalados como coautor del crimen, lo cual ya es una estrategia muy gastada para evitar que se inicie el juicio oral y público. ‘Esta audiencia es clave para el proceso ya que aquí nosotros y el Ministerio Publico estaríamos presentado las pruebas que son importantes, pero más que todo son irrefutable, es decir que vinculan directamente a David Castillo, a los socios de la empresa, otras personas y funcionarios del Estado con el asesinato de Berta Cáceres’, dijo Lestter Castro, contra quien la defensa de David Castillo interpuso un recurso de apelación de hecho”.

IACHR slams ‘excessive force’ in Guatemala protests
Al Jazeera, November 22, 2020
“Police used tear gas and batons to push demonstrators back, attacking not only about 1,000 demonstrators in front of congress but also a much larger protest in front of the country’s National Palace. Some protesters also damaged bus stations. The IACHR wrote on Twitter on Sunday that it ‘condemns the excessive use of force by authorities against demonstrators’ but also asked for an investigation into ‘the acts of vandalism against Congress, after which State agents indiscriminately suppressed the protest.’”

Actions, Alerts, and Resources

Critical Policy Advice for President-Elect Biden: Protecting the Forcibly Displaced in Central America
Rachel Schmidtke, Refugees International, December 3, 2020
“A Biden plan can and should include creative solutions to manage the challenge facing northern Central American people. These include working with regional actors to provide international protection options outside the United States, building a framework for internally displaced people in three northern Central American countries, and ensuring returned migrants have access to protection. A Biden protection plan could do the following.”

Conditions at the NWDC: Solitary Confinement
Center for Human Rights, November 30, 2020
“During the nearly seven-year period for which SMRS data was provided to the UWCHR, more than 80% of reported placements in segregation at the NWDC experienced treatment considered torture according to international human rights standards. It is important to keep in mind that overall—not just in solitary—people are detained longer on average at NWDC than at other facilities; this general tendency may be reflected in the longer stays in solitary.”

Metering Update-November 2020 and Migrant Protection Protocols Update-December 2020
Strauss Center, November and December 2020
“In late March 2020, many asylum waitlists closed to new entrants and the number of asylum seekers on these lists have remained frozen ever since. Currently, the majority of asylum waitlists continue to be closed along the border. Only the waitlists in Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Acuña, Agua Prieta, and San Luis Río Colorado are currently open. Asylum seekers in Agua Prieta and San Luis Río Colorado can also sign up by phone.”

Building a New Regional Migration System: Redefining U.S. Cooperation with Mexico and Central America 
Andrew Selee and Ariel Ruiz Soto, Migration Policy Institute, November 2020
“While a transition from one approach to another cannot happen overnight—and indeed careful sequencing of policy changes will be essential to avoid triggering a surge in migration throughout the region—it is essential if the United States and its partners are to move the need towards safer, more orderly, and legal migration.”

 

* The 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.