Target: Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, Minister of the Interior
Goal: Investigate the abductions of several migrants in Mexico, and urge officials to make the safety of migrants a greater priority
A string of recent disappearances and abductions among migrant workers in Mexico has human rights organizations worried. Sign the petition and urge the Mexican government to investigate these crimes and ensure the safety of all people who happen to be in Mexico–for whatever reason.
A group of forty Central American migrants was recently abducted by a criminal gang in the northern border town of Reynosa. The migrants were freed as the result of a military operation, but following their release none of them “were provided with any support or protection as victims of crime,” Amnesty International reports. Seventeen of the migrants sought help at Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Catholic-run shelter in Reynosa. That same day, ten more migrants were abducted by armed men just outside the shelter. Their fate remains unknown, and no official investigation has been made into their whereabouts.
Mexican migrants are also at risk of criminal activity; another incident occurring nearby involved three Mexican women who had recently been deported from the United States. The women were abducted while they were trying to obtain cash at a Western Union; a fourth woman with them managed to escape and report the abduction to the authorities.
Migrants in Mexico, because of their tenuous legal status, are likely to be the victims of criminal gangs or corrupt officials (or both); the National Human Rights Commission recorded over 10,000 migrant abductions in 2011. The abductions can lead to rape, trafficking, or death. Very little official action has been taken to address this very severe problem, despite the fact that reform legislation confirming migrants’ rights is currently in effect. The law, which maintains that migrants have the right to protection and aims to provide them with “access to justice,” is not employed with any degree of regularity, and migrants are suffering for it.
Victims of crimes have the right to protection and police assistance, no matter what their legal status is at the time of the crime. Sign the petition and demand help for migrants from Mexican authorities.
Migrant workers in Mexico, no matter what their legal status, have the right to protection under the law. The recent string of migrant abductions in Tamaulipas State epitomizes the ways in which this law has failed to be adequately implemented. Even more importantly, it calls for immediate action on behalf of those migrants who have been the victims of violent crime. I urge you to investigate the recent abductions and disappearances of migrants in Reynosa and Matamoros, and to ensure that migrants everywhere are guaranteed the rights they are entitled to by law.
The larger of the two recent abductions took place in Reynosa, where forty Central American migrants were abducted. They were freed following a military operation, but none of them “were provided with any support or protection as victims of crime,” Amnesty International reports. Some of them made it to the Our Lady of Guadalupe migrant shelter in Reynosa, where a second abduction–this time of ten migrants–was committed just outside the shelter later that day. Around the same time, three female migrant workers returning after deportation from the United States were abducted in Matamoros. A fourth woman was able to escape and report the crime, and although a search was conducted nothing has turned up so far.
Migrants are in a particularly vulnerable position as a result of their tenuous legal status, and it is easy for criminal gangs and corrupt officials to take advantage of this vulnerability. It is the responsibility of the government to protect and support migrant workers in Mexico, no matter what their origins or legal status. Please investigate the abductions in Tamaulipas state and offer victims of such attacks protection and support.
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Photo credit: penguincakes via Flickr