In the current socio-political moment in which the issue of migration is at the center of the political agendas of North American countries, mainly by electoral interests. And in particular from this political juncture of marginalization of migrants, which is nothing more than aporophobia (rejection of the poor) disguised as economic reasoning. From the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center, we have come across the story of a migrant who contrasts with this reality and reflects the enormous capacity for kindness and generosity that is developed in many of them.
One of the most difficult contexts that exist and where human feelings are shown most crudely are the social rehabilitation centers, or prisons. In the border area with Guatemala, in the city of Comitán de Dominguez, is the CERSSO no. 10 and a few months ago it has developed that a group of detainees, mostly indigenous, started a hunger strike from March 15 for the impartial review of their files and the request for justice as they have been self-incriminated under torture. For this action they are being repressed by prison authorities who avoid showing what is happening inside.
In this difficult context, a migrant from Guatemala who is detained in that center has been supporting them. He shows great generosity in showing solidarity with his fellow prisoners and this support is totally disinterested, as these actions have no impact on his case. For this reason, however, this migrant from Guatemala is now receiving threats from prison authorities. Now he too is exposed to a risk of violence on his person.
This is just one story of many who live migrants on their long road to a better future by seeking better living conditions. Share it with you and support from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center so that your right to integrity and personal security is guaranteed as established by the rights of persons deprived of liberty in the custody of the Mexican State. This is what we can do and be aware of in this and many other similar cases to prevent the continuation of harassment and aggression against people who are only looking for peace, justice and freedom
The Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé (Frayba) joint forces with the organization Mesoamerican Voices, Action with Migrant Peoples (Mesoamerican Voices) to organize the forum "Life and Memory of Our Peoples: Festival of the Word", with exhibitions on the problem's that migrants face in Mexico. We consider this important because when visibility decreases, the migrant's vulnerability increases.
The Forum served as a platform for organizations working with migrants in the North and South of Mexico. There were organizations present working with migrants or with families of migrants who have disappeared, like United Forces for Our Disappeared in Coahuila and Mesoamerican Voices. Also present was CIMICH, a grassroots organization working directly with migrants and families of migrants who have returned or who were deported. Organizations that work in Chiapas assisting migrant caravans in the Southern states of Mexico explained the current situation, one that is getting bleaker, now that Mexico has send 6,000 National Guard agents to the Mexican - Guatemalan border to stop migration.
Moreover, as part of the project to improve the safety and human dignity for migrants, Frayba has sent private interventions to the responsible authorities to attend the needs of migrants passing through Mexico.
Within the project Safety and Human Dignity for Migrants, the Human Rights Center Frayba accompanied Roberto Carlos Ruiz, a migrant from Honduras. Roberto is a victim of torture and was wrongfully detained for over five years.
The first time Roberto left Honduras due to the conditions of poverty in which he lived, was in 1994 when he was twelve years old. On his third journey he decided to stay in Chiapas, Mexico, where he formed a family. He has a son of 10 and a daughter of 5 years old. To provide for his family he worked as a fisherman. In May 2013 though, due to the difficult economic conditions his family faced, he decided to leave once again to the United States. He was waiting to travel on the rooftop of a train northwards, when people dressed in civilian clothes and armed with machine guns, arrested him, along with 60 other migrants. He was taken to a safe house where he was tortured and charged with theft. Later that day he was transferred to the Arriaga Municipal Police station, where he was tortured again. He remained there for four days; due to the beatings he received, he could not eat and vomited blood. In these conditions he was imprisoned and later sentenced to seven years of prison.
Ever since Roberto has maintained a constant struggle to obtain his freedom; through legal mechanisms and two hunger strikes, three times he stitched his lips while on hunger strike. His Mexican wife, Patricia Díaz Moreno, who works collecting iron and other materials in a garbage dump to support their two children, has also repeatedly demanded Roberto´s release.
Frayba has sought his immediate release, working together with other organizations, denouncing that the sentence of Roberto ignored the acts of torture, as well as violations of due process and the lack of consular assistance. During his hunger strikes we denounced the risk to Roberto's health and physical and psychological integrity.
Roberto was finally released after serving 5 years as an unjust prisoner in Chiapas. The struggle to grant him a humanitarian visa to allow him to be in Mexico with his wife and two minor children of Mexican nationality continues.
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