Below is a statement we released with our partners at the Franciscan Network for Migrants. Click HERE to read the original statement in Spanish.
TO THE FEDERAL, STATE AND MUNICIPALITIES OF JUÁREZ CITY, CHIHUAHUA TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF MEXICO
TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MIGRATION
TO THE STATE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
TO THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
TO ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD FAITH
The Franciscan Network for Migrants, Hope Border Institute, and the Quixote Center repudiate and express our outrage at the fire that occurred on March 27th of this year in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Immigration authorities illegally deprived 68 migrants of Colombian, Ecuadorian, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Honduran and Venezuelan nationality of their freedom, and without review of their immigration status. Now 29 people have been reported as injured and 39 migrants have lost their lives.
These facts demonstrate the actions that the municipal and state authorities in Ciudad Juárez have repeatedly carried out against the migrant population, including "hunts" and inciting discrimination and xenophobia in the Mexican population, thus violating the human rights guaranteed to all people who enter Mexican territory regardless of their immigration status. These rights are established by the Constitution of Mexico and various international human rights accords.
The lack of concern on the part of the authorities to create public policies that promote safeguarding the life, dignity, and safety of people in a context of irregular mobility has resulted in the loss of life of hundreds of migrants throughout the Americas. Nearly a month ago, the Franciscan Network for Migrants—Panama witnessed a bus accident where 39 migrants died in "Planes de Gualaca" Panama. Now the tragedy is in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
These lives that have been lost lead us to reflect and say enough to the pain and suffering experienced by people with irregular status, who are forced to leave their countries of origin, homes, and families to become migrants overnight. They are victimized not only by organized crime but also by the authorities, all for seeking better living conditions for themselves and their families.
We join as a Network with other international organizations to demand that the Mexican authorities at all three levels, mainly the National Institute of Migration, the Attorney General's Office of the Republic, and the Government of the State of Chihuahua guarantee:
Immediate and expeditious psychological, medical and legal assistance to the victims, the latter in order to be informed of the procedures for migratory regularization to which they may have access, as well as the fair compensation for the violation of their human rights;
Immediate return of the remains of the deceased to their countries of origin, as well as comprehensive reparation for the damage caused to their relatives and fair compensation due to the violation of human rights committed by the immigration, municipal and state authorities;
Holistic grief accompaniment facilitated to the relatives of these deceased persons, throughout the process of welcoming them to the country to the transfer of their loved ones;
That the well-being of migrants is safeguarded without resorting to the use of force, taking into account the principles of absolute necessity and proportionality;
Unrestricted respect for the human rights of each and every migrant, regardless of their immigration status;
That an exhaustive investigation of the facts be carried out, assuming due responsibility for the decisions made by the personnel of the National Institute of Migration.
Finally, as the Franciscan Network for Migrants, we join in the grief of the relatives of the people who died in this tragic event and we reaffirm our commitment to continue accompanying, welcoming, and respecting migrants passing through all of Latin America.
Franciscan Network for Migrants
Hope Border Institute
The Franciscan Network for Migrants is a network of Franciscan-hearted people, lay and religious, who offer support, humanitarian assistance and welcome to people displaced from their countries of origin. The mission of the Network is to promote and defend the dignity of each person in order to ensure best practices of integration of and encounter with migrants across the Americas.
The Quixote Center empowers vulnerable families and communities to become the artisans of their own destiny through transforming oppressive systems and structures. Inspired by liberation theology and Catholic Social Teaching, we do this through sustainable development, advocacy, economic justice, environmental, and educational initiatives. Our current focus is on Nicaragua and Haiti, where we support programs to empower impoverished families and communities, and support for migrants in Mexico and Central America, where we work to mitigate the damage of US immigration policies. Together with our partners, we dream of a world more justly loving.
The Hope Border Institute (HOPE) brings the perspective of Catholic social teaching to bear on the realities unique to our US-Mexico border region. Through a robust program of research and policy work, leadership development and action, we work to build justice and deepen solidarity across the borderlands.