Previous complaints by migrants have illustrated the danger posed by the stations of the National Institute of Migration (INM) of Mexico. One of the documented cases is from an Ecuadorian.
A recent report from the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) has revealed alarming levels of abuse experienced by migrants in Mexico.
The report, titled “The State of Human and Civil Rights in Mexico in 2022,” details cases of abuse suffered by migrants, including Ecuadorians, at the hands of the National Institute of Migration (INM).
The BNHR, a Texas-based NGO, identified 56 cases of abuse, involving 202 violations of human and civil rights. Shockingly, over half of these abuses (116) were committed by agents or personnel of the INM.
Fernando García, director of the BNHR, described the situation faced by migrants passing through Mexico as “worrying.”
The report highlights that complaints by migrants had already warned of the danger posed by INM stations, and anticipated the tragic fire that took the lives of 38 migrants in Ciudad Juárez.
The BNHR identified a systemic issue of locking up migrants in INM shelters, with two complaints documented as early as October of the previous year.
Ecuadorian locked up for over a month
One of the cases was that of a 39-year-old Ecuadorian migrant who had been detained for over a month at the Siglo XXI Immigration Station in Tapachula (Chiapas). The migrant recounted how they had been insulted, treated badly, and detained as if they were a criminal. At night, the doors to the resting areas were locked, effectively preventing communication with family and friends.
Disturbingly, Ecuadorians are the most numerous migrants in Mexico in the first quarter of 2023, with 5,808 detained in January alone. This represents a 2,260% increase over the same month in 2021 when there were only 246 captured.
The BNHR report also identified 25 incidents of verbal and psychological abuse by INM workers towards migrants and 15 violations of due process.
The BNHR made a series of recommendations to the Government of Mexico, urging them to hold all police agencies and institutions accountable for their actions. They also called for abusers to be punished, damages to be repaired, and substantial changes to be made to the current migration policies and strategy in the country.
Migrant abuse needs urgent attention
The issue of abuse of migrants in Mexico is not a new one. The country has long been a transit point for migrants, many of whom are fleeing violence, poverty, and persecution in their home countries. However, the Mexican government has been criticized for its handling of the migrant crisis, with many accusing it of failing to protect the rights of migrants.
The BNHR report is a stark reminder of the urgent need for the Mexican government to address the issue of abuse of migrants. The government must take immediate action to ensure that migrants are treated with dignity and respect, and that their rights are protected. It is imperative that the government works with NGOs, civil society, and other stakeholders to develop comprehensive and sustainable solutions to this pressing issue.
Furthermore, the report highlights the need for international cooperation to address the root causes of migration, including poverty, violence, and political instability. BNHR says that the issue of migration needs to be addressed in a meaningful and sustainable way to ensure that all people are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.