MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) violated the human rights of 122 undocumented Central Americans, including minors, by lodging them in facilities in the eastern state of Veracruz not acceptable for migrants.
The National Commission for Human Rights (NHRC) documented that 122 migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras were detained and “unduly put up in the Migratory Accommodation Fort,” formerly used as a jail, the institute stated Monday.
The undocumented migrants cooped up there “were offered no consular assistance, medical attention or telephone access to their families or consulates,” it said.
In addition, eight unaccompanied minors (one little girl, seven little boys and some teenaged males) lived together with adults of both sexes in very filthy quarters like prison cells, said the office of Mexican ombudsman Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez.
Such conditions of detention, he said, signified a violation of “their rights to judicial security, protection of their health, the prevailing importance of childhood and being treated respectfully.”
The commission noted that the Migratory Accommodation Fort did not have the qualities required of migratory lodgings in order to provide decent shelter, since it was designed as a penitentiary.
By means of several supervisory visits between 2014 and today, the NHRC was able to document that the fort is used as a “provisional” lodging for migrants.
It also documented that the unaccompanied little girl and boys and the adolescents were put up in those facilities without being offered the full protection of their rights, nor were they immediately put in contact with the social assistance center of the Integrated Family Development System (DIF).
For all those reasons, the NHRC asked the head of the INM, Ardelio Vargas, to take the necessary steps so that very quickly those who are detained in the Migratory Accommodation Fort will be taken to a different facility, one with the adequate infrastructure to guarantee them decent lodgings out of respect for their human rights.
He also urged that operations at the current facility be suspended and that decent, safe lodgings be guaranteed to all migrants who are detained, and that their right to file a complaint when they are the objects of crime will also be guaranteed, regardless of the migratory facilities where they are being lodged.
He also insisted that officials appointed to the federal delegation of the INM in Veracruz observe these regulations and, especially, the principle of the prevailing importance of childhood, while guaranteeing that foreigners deprived of their freedom be duly informed of their judicial status and that their procedural rights will be respected.