Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Statement of the International Migrants Alliance on the massacre of 72 undocumented migrants in Tamaulipas, Mexico

The International Migrants Alliance condemns in the strongest possible terms the massacre of 72 undocumented migrants in Mexico on August 24, 2010.

We demand that justice should be given to them with the perpetrators prosecuted and punished.

Found with hands bound behind their backs and shot in the head in the Gulf coast state of Tamaulipas, these 72 migrants from Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador and Brazil were rounded up, intimidated and being extorted from by drug traffickers before they were all summarily executed.

The fate of the 72 undocumented migrants, 14 of whom were women, is just one of the many cases of abuses committed against migrants, especially the undocumented. Already, the National Human Rights Commission of the Mexican Government has reportedly received 10,000 cases of migrant kidnappings in the first half of 2010 in Mexico.

Despite these reports, not a single case has been resolved by the Mexican government as thousands of migrants are subjected to physical and sexual abuse, torture, trafficking and prostitution, harassment and intimidation, and enforced disappearance. Until now, not a single case has been resolved as the Mexican police, military and some government officials are allegedly involved in many of these cases.

This epidemic of abuse and violence that the migrants are subjected to is brought about and further aggravated by the Mexican government’s policy to criminalize the undocumented migrants in the name of national security and campaign against drug trafficking.

The migrants’ ordeal does not stop even if they have gone past the highly-militarized US-Mexico border. The U.S. government’s campaign to criminalize and crack down on undocumented migrants is as rabid if not more vicious than that of the Mexico government’s.

We cannot help but ask: is this how the Mexican government paves the way for the 4th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) happening in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this November? Is this how the Mexican government and the GFMD aim to address the growing international call to stop criminalization of undocumented migrants? The GFMD has proven in its past three assemblies to be a forum that is detrimental to the interests of migrants. It and its policies should be exposed and opposed at all times.

What happened to the 72 undocumented migrants should not happen again.

The IMA demands the Mexican government to uphold justice for the 72 victims by launching an immediate and thorough investigation of this gruesome crime and punishing the main culprits. We likewise call on the governments of Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador and Brazil in not only closely monitoring the investigation but help in resolving the case. All these governments should likewise compensate the families of the victims.

We also call on the Mexican government to renege on its oppressive anti-migrant campaign and instead institute programs that will concretely resolve the urgent issues of migrants in the country.

As we demand to answer the root causes of why these migrants are forced to leave their families and home countries, the criminalization and crackdown of undocumented migrants should be immediately stopped.

Eni Lestari, Chairperson (+ 852-9608-1475)
International Migrants Alliance