[Note: This is a translation of the denunciation. The original in Spanish can be read here]
TO STATE AUTHORITIES
TO THE GUATEMALAN INSTITUTE ON MIGRATION
TO THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR
TO ALL PERSONS OF GOOD FAITH
The undersigned organizations denounce:
The human rights violations to which several groups of between 200 and 300 migrants from Honduras, Haiti, and primarily Venezuela were subjected on October 11th-13th at the Centra Sur Central Transfer Station.
The visit of various groups and civil society organizations confirmed the excessive abuse, harassment, and torment by the National Civil Police (PNC), together with the Guatemalan Army, in order to prevent the transit of migrants through the territory toward the Mexican border by returning them to the Honduran border or forcing them to vacate the premises; thus placing women, children, adolescents, and entire families in a situation of even greater vulnerability and in violation of the established mandates of protection and safety.
Regarding the unjustified charges by bus drivers, they claim that the increase in fares is to avoid being accused of human trafficking as a result of the fines and extortions that the PNC carries out along the way to the border with Mexico, under an illegal application of the provisions under Decree 05-2022, Article 103 on “Human Trafficking.”
On October 13, the presence of the Special Forces Division of the PNC was again observed, where through intimidation and harassment they stripped migrants of their documents and placed them on PNC buses to be transferred to a migrant shelter located in Zone 5 of the city. The fate of the detainees remains uncertain.
- We demand that the Guatemalan authorities, especially the Migrant Authorities, the Ministry of the Interior, the Office of the Attorney General, the Directorate General of Transport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CONAMIGUA, the Council of Attention and Protection of IGM:
- Guarantee at all times the immediate attention, special protection, and best interest of migrant children within Guatemalan territory.
- Guarantee humanitarian assistance to all migrants that require food, health, and safety, along with other basic necessities.
- Comply with the provisions of the Migration Code, which establishes that the State of Guatemala, without any discrimination, has the obligation to protect the personal integrity, life, and freedom of all nationals and foreigners who are in national territory, guaranteeing the respect for human rights of all migrants regardless of their migratory status, so they may move freely through the country.
- Guarantee psychological care and legal orientation on the procedures for recognition of refugee status and migratory regularization to those who require it.
- End the strategy of harassment, pressure, and abuse by the PNC against migrants and guarantee their rights.
- Correctly apply Decree 05-2022, so that it does not become a tool for the PNC to justify illegal “fines” on bus carriers while transporting migrants from one place to another as part of their commercial activity.
- That the General Directorate of Transport verifies the established fare collection for migrants without any hidden increases or charges from bus carriers.
Finally, in order to build fraternity and sisterhood, we call on all people of good faith to show solidarity and accompany migrants on their journey through Guatemala.
Franciscan Network on Migration
Jesuit Migration Network
Pastoral of Human Mobility of the Episcopal Conference of Guatemala Migrant House Scalabrini Guatemala
National Table for Migrants in Guatemala
Institute of Historical, Anthropological and Archaeological Research; USAC School of History; Central American Institute of Social Studies and Development
Attention and Mobilization Program for Childhood and Adolescence
Asociación La Alianza
Asociación Pop No'j
American Friends Service Committee
Migration and Development Platform