TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Mexico – Mexican officials are preparing a program to sort the migratory flow along its southern border, which will involve working with the Guatemalan and Belizean governments, Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said.
“We do not know how many migrants from Central, South America and other continents enter our country,” he said. “We don’t know their destinations and don’t know what happens to them, so we cannot ensure their human rights.
The government will focus on the border between Belize and the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, where crimes against migrants have become well-documented.
Osorio Chong said the initiative, which will use the Navy to patrol the southern border, is “part of national security.” He also stressed it is imperative Mexico and neighboring nations work together.
The National Human Rights Commission has documented nearly 20,000 migrant kidnappings in a year and a number of attacks ranging from robbery and extortion to rape and murder at the hands of criminal gangs.
About 140,000 Central Americans enter Mexico illegally each year en route to the United States, according to the Mexican government. The migrants often are easy prey for organized crime networks, as many end up kidnapped and become victims of sexual or labor exploitation.
In 2012, 77,539 Central Americans were deported from Mexico, according to Mexico’s National Migration Institute. There are no official statistics on the number of Central Americans who settle in Mexico since their migration is illegal.
[AFP (Mexico), 04/06/2013; Vanguardia (Mexico), 04/06/2013]