This week, our partners in Mexico released a statement denouncing the inhumane conditions in which migrants, including pregnant women and children, have been overcrowded in a sports center in Puebla, Mexico. To read the original statement in Spanish, click HERE.
TO THE FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES
MUNICIPALITIES OF THE STATE OF PUEBLA
TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MIGRATION
TO THE MEXICAN COMMISSION FOR REFUGEE AID
TO THE STATE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
TO THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
TO ALL PERSONS IN GOOD FAITH
The Mexico Team of the Franciscan Network on Migration, the Jesuit Migration Network in Mexico, and the Ignacio Ellacuría Human Rights Institute, SJ strongly condemn the conditions reported by the Coordinator of the Borders, Migrations and Subjectivities Seminar at the Social Sciences and Humanities "Alfonso Vélez Pliego" Institute (ICSyH) on December 8, 2021. It is evident that, in accordance with the migration policies of the Mexican State, around 500 migrants, mostly Haitians, were transferred from Tapachula, Chiapas to the State of Puebla on December 4, with the promise of issuing them humanitarian visas. Today, they are crowded together in the Xonaca Sports Center in the city of Puebla.
During the Seminar coordinator’s visit to the facilities, she was able to verify that among the migrant population there are pregnant women, as well as about 80 children. Among them, some have experienced dehydration and respiratory discomfort as a result of the low temperatures, as well as the State government authorities’ failure to provide the minimum conditions necessary to guarantee the human right to protection of life, health, and dignity, mainly of the population of children, adolescents, and pregnant women.
On their part, news reports that have gathered testimonies about the shelter conditions mention that "they have faced a lack of attention...because the space lacks mattresses, water, and blankets to protect them from the cold."
It should be noted that the case of the migrant population deprived of their liberty in the Xonaca Sports Center is a reflection of the violence experienced by migrants within Mexico. Likewise, the lack of policies that seek to safeguard the life and dignity of migrants claimed the lives of 53 Central American migrants on December 9th, on the Chiapa de Corzo highway. It is imperative that their human rights be fully respected and guaranteed by the authorities, in accordance with the provisions of Article 1 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, as well as international standards and jurisprudence in the area of human rights.
We demand that the Mexican authorities at all three levels, especially the National Institute of Migration, the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid, the State Human Rights Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, and the various agencies of the Puebla State Government and the City of Puebla:
- Guarantee at all times immediate attention, special protection, and the best interests of migrant children in the Xonaca Sports Centre, Puebla.
- Guarantee the human right to health of pregnant women.
- Guarantee humanitarian assistance to all migrants in need of food, health, and safety, as well as other basic necessities.
- Safeguard the integrity of migrants without resorting to the use of force, taking into account the principles of absolute necessity and proportionality.
- Release the persons detained in the Polideportivo, Xonaca, Puebla in order to guarantee the human right to protection of life, dignity, and health.
- Respect the human rights of all migrants regardless of their immigration status.
- Create strategies with the authorities of the State of Puebla to ensure that migrant and asylum-seeking populations have access to social programs in order to guarantee respect for their human rights.
- The immediate intervention of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid.
- Guarantee, to all who require it, psychological care and legal guidance on the procedures for receiving refugee status and regularizing one’s migration status.
Finally, in order to build unity, we make a call to stand in solidarity with migrants and to accompany them on their journey through Mexico.
Mexico Team of the Franciscan Network on Migration
Jesuit Migration Network in Mexico
Ignacio Ellacuría Human Rights Institute, SJ.