In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting leaders from Latin America that have dedicated their lives to promoting peace and justice.
Franciscan Network on Migration
On August 23rd, our partners at the La 72 migrant shelter commemorated the 12th year anniversary of the San Fernando Massacre. In 2010, 72 migrants were massacred by the Las Zetas cartel in El Huizachal in the municipality of San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The San Fernando massacre was one of a series of mass killings that made clear how dangerous the journey through Mexico had become for migrants.
Two days before the Quixote Center trip to Mexico, a local journalist called me. Louisiana legislators had just drafted a proposal allowing teachers to bring guns to school, and the press wanted a comment from a local teacher. Just ten days after the Uvalde shooting, leaders hastily crafted legislation to demonstrate their resolve in preventing such tragedies in Louisiana.
“As an educator and a parent, Ms. Molina,” said WDSU's anchorman Sherman Desselle. “What's your response to this proposal?”
In June, I had the opportunity to visit migrant shelters operating under the Franciscan Network on Migration, a Quixote Center partner, in southern Mexico. No two shelters were alike. To walk across the threshold was to enter a new kind of haven, each beautiful and kinetic in its own way. La 72 in Tenosique seemed always to be bursting with energy, with some migrants entering and leaving the shelter in just a day, and others staying long-term as they worked to determine their next steps and heal.
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The following is a translation of a statement by our partners at the Franciscan Network on Migration on the tragedy in Texas, in which 53 migrants were found dead. To read the original statement in Spanish, click HERE.
Delegates with staff at La72[/caption]
The heat was the first thing I noticed upon arrival in Tenosique, the location of La72, one of the largest shelters in the Franciscan Network on Migration, a Quixote Center partner. March to May are the hottest months, but in early June the heat was still oppressive, even without much humidity. Imagine walking miles every day in that heat.
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
[caption id="attachment_9708" align="aligncenter" width="980"] Image: Red Franciscana de Migrantes[/caption]
English Translation (en Español abajo)
To the Mexican Authorities
To the National Human Rights Commission
To Franciscans International
To all people of good faith
MEXICO CITY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2021
Lic. Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Constitutional President of the United Mexican
Lic. Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón
Secretaryof Foreign Affairs
Lic. Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez
“What is happening is that human rights are being violated here, refugees are people who left their country because of threats. If we are here it is because we are looking for a better life. People who have papers- they can not take them, put them on a bus and take them to Guatemala, that is a violation of human rights. There are people who have one-year visitor cards, who have residency, who have a document that says Tapachula, Chiapas, those same people are grabbed and taken to Guatemala.
Dozens of non-governmental organizations in Mexico issued a denunciation of the United States and Mexican governments policy of summary expulsions involving migrants from Central America, expelled from the US under Title 42, flown to southern Mexico to be bussed to the border with Guatemala; as well as Haitians summarily expelled from Mexico to Guatemala despite having legal status in Mexico. The Quixote Centered joined with others endorsing the statement. The English translation is presented below.