November 10, 2016
The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) is joining more than twenty civil society, religious, academic, governmental and international organizations from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico on the International Human Rights Observation Mission to the Guatemala-Mexico Border (Misión Internacional de Observación de Derechos Humanos en la Frontera Guatemala – México or MODH by its Spanish acronym) from November 10-16, 2016.
Organized by the Mesa Transfronteriza Migraciones y Género, a network of Mexican and Guatemalan organizations dedicated to the defense of human, gender, and migrant rights, the participants of the MODH will hold a press conference tomorrow, November 10th in Guatemala City, Guatemala to mark the beginning of the six-day mission to the Mexico-Guatemala border.
“Our participation in this mission builds on our work to document the lack of protection migrants and asylum seekers encounter along Mexico’s southern border. U.S. policies and funding have contributed to increased enforcement and rights violations against migrants in this region. We join this international effort to strengthen alliances and bring recommendations to governments, including the United States, on ways they can support the protection of human rights along the Mexico-Guatemala border,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, LAWG Senior Associate for Mexico, Migration, and Border Issues, who will be joining the Mission.
The MODH is born out of alliances between various organizations working on social issues that transcend this border, uniting and affecting communities in Guatemala and southern Mexico, including the protection of human rights, defense of rights to lands and territories, gender, and migration. The MODH seeks to document the militarization and human rights violations against migrants and communities in this region caused by governmental policies of national security, territorial control, and deterrence of migration flows. The Mission will also observe the impacts of major infrastructure and energy megaprojects on the displacement of border communities and their right to the environment and defense of lands.
The MODH will begin in Guatemala City on November 10th, and from there will take two routes of about six hundred miles each, crossing the jungle, mountains, and coastal areas of the northernmost border states of Guatemala and the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Tabasco. Both routes will meet in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas on November 15th for the closing of the Observation Mission.