Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Invisible Victims

The plight pf migrants in Mexico, who face what has been labelled as the 'most dangerous journey in the world', is highlighted in the latest Amnesty International report 'Invisible victims - Migrants on the move in Mexico'. According to Amnesty International's Mexico Researcher, Rupert Knox:

Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis, with virtually no access to justice and the constant fear of reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses.

Persistent failure by the authorities to tackle the abuses carried out against irregular migrants, has made the journey through Mexico one of the most dangerous in the world.

The vast majority of these migrants are travelling through Mexico from Central Americans on their way to the US border in search of work. The National Human Rights Commission has said that nearly 10,000 of them were abducted over a six month period in 2009, with almost half of victims they interviewed saying that public officials were involved in their kidnap. An estimated six out of ten migrant women and girls also experience sexual violence.

On 23 January 2010, armed police stopped a freight train carrying over 100 migrants in Chiapas State, southern Mexico. Migrants on the train then claim that Federal Police forced them to lie face down on the ground. They then stole their belongings and threatened to kill them unless they continued their journey by foot along the railway.

After walking for hours, the group was assaulted by armed men who raped some of the women and killed at least one of the migrant group. Two suspects were later detained after a local activist helped the migrants file a complaint but no action was taken against the Federal Police, despite migrants identifying two officers as having been involved.

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