[ View the story "Mexico’s migrant crackdown" on Storify] Mexico’s migrant crackdown Is the US-backed effort strengthening Mexico’s national security or weakening its sovereignty?
The Stream· Tue, Nov 03 2015 16:12:04
The journey through Mexico has never been easy for Central Americans fleeing deadly gang violence and poverty. But now, migrants and refugees face a Mexican government that is increasingly intolerant of unauthorized migration coming from its southern neighbors.
This year, Mexican officials have
nearly 50 percent more Central American migrants than during the same period last year, significantly reducing the number reaching the United States.
immigration enforcement efforts after a surge in the number of Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans entering the US last year. The crackdown has raised concerns that Mexico may be
the rights of migrants to apply for asylum and refugee status.
The US has long supported Mexico's security efforts. Through the so-called "
", the US departments of State, Defense and Homeland Security have
dedicated about $2 billion
in equipment and training to Mexican forces since 2008.
Since 2013, US and Mexican authorities have devoted more resources to Merida's third pillar: the creation of a "21st century border" along Mexico's southern frontier with Guatemala and Belize. In July 2014, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced
Programa Frontera Sur, the southern border programme.
One of the stated goals of the programme is to
, particularly unaccompanied children. But critics are already questioning its methods.
( #PlanFronteraSur is a police action to "hunt" and deport the largest number of potential migrants !!!)
The north-bound freight train known as
La Bestia, or The Beast, which for years has carried Central Americans across Mexico, has been one of the main targets of the new security measures.
Dicen que después de lo de Guatemala #LaBestia va más llena que nunca... pero ahora para el sur.
Authorities from Mexico's National Migration Institute are increasingly inspecting train stations and cars. The train itself has been sped up to prevent people from jumping aboard, and
structures built over the tracks can knock stowaways off the tops of train cars.
(The custodians of The Beast are very aggressive, threaten the migrants and point guns at them.)
#TabascoHOY Acelera La Bestia contra ilegales
Y siguen con estas "soluciones".
. Tomás González
(Accelerate The Beast against illegals and continue with these "solutions". )
Rather than stopping the flow of people, these measures have
migrants to different, often more
Se ahogan 9 migrantes en Jalapa, Tabasco. Una menor de edad entre ellos. #PlanFronteraSur #Migración
(Nine migrants drowned in Jalapa, Tabasco. One minor among them.) (Mexico rescues 113 migrants crammed into a tow truck.)
We asked The Stream's online community to weigh in on the US and Mexican governments' treatment of migrants:
@AJStream As enforcement continues US and Mexican governments must strengthen protection for Central Americans and other potential refugeesMaureen Meyer
@raisazaidi @AJStream Immigration should be eased as much as it is lawfully possible, specially in the case of refugees.Tevye De Lara
@AJStream @raisazaidi So Mexico handles dirty business, it becomes buffer 4 US, a proxy enforcer of immigration, a deporter in the exterior.Pedro Rios
@raisazaidi Consider this; refugees flee in search of a better life. What if effort is being made so they don't have to?Sani Nasiru Isa
@AJStream Mexico detained 130,723 migrants this year, 91% from Central America. No $ should be wasted on stopping ppl seeking a better life.ⒶCommie Cobija☭