Archive for September 8th, 2009

Day of the Migrant celebrations

September 8, 2009

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS
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Foreign News Report

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.

El Heraldo (Tegucigalpa, Honduras)  9/7/09

Hondurans in the United States

As part of the “Week of the Migrant’”, Honduras’ National  Migrations  Forum reported that the Honduran community in the United States is the 5th largest and the one with the largest growth among those in “irregular status” [read: illegal]. The report estimates that somewhat over one million Hondurans reside in the United States, that is, around 15% of the country’s population. The Chancery [equiv.: Dep’t. of State] estimates that some 250 thousand of them are legal permanent residents, 75 thousand are under the “Temporary Protection Status” program and the rest are in illegal status. Women and children have now joined the numbers of those who leave. Honduras’ Migration & Foreigners Affairs Agency reported that 2,347 children were deported to Honduras from Mexico & the U.S. in 2008.

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La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 9/7/09

Smuggled aliens found in violent El Salvador

There are currently 71 new “undocumented“aliens in El Salvador. They all left Ecuador on a wooden vessel on August 30; the vessel, the “Abismo” (Abyss), manned by five Ecuadoran crewmen, was headed for Guatemala but was intercepted off the Salvadoran coast. The 71 are from Bangladesh, Eritrea and Nepal. The Salvadoran government faces obstacles in repatriating them because it has no diplomatic relations with those countries. In El Salvador, Saturday and Sunday closed with 26 homicides.

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El Nuevo Diario (Managua, Nicaragua) 9/7/09

Central America: Migration and environment

[Portion of an op/col by Francisco Javier Gutierrez, titled as above]

Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights reported that in barely four months, between the end of 2008 and beginnings of 2009, ten thousand Central Americans were sequestered and treated with extreme cruelty inside Mexico. One hundred thousand persons have disappeared in the last ten years, according to conservative estimates of organizations which assist those who dare cross the dangerous corridor en route to the United States. Murders and all types of humiliations cover this stealthy exodus. Reaching the American dream does not motivate these heroic persons to expose themselves to horrendous crimes which go unpunished because they take place clandestinely. They emigrate for less ambitious reasons. They only hope to find an opportunity where, due to the abundance of natural resources they would not only be able to satisfy their basic needs  but also the optimum levels of life, that which is denied them in their own homeland. This silent holocaust of emigrants shows up very little in the agenda of Central American governments and the mass media. But it ought to, because their individual monetary remittances represent up to 20% of the GNP in some countries of the area. They do not come out from Africa or Asia, where perhaps natural resources have become exhausted, or where overpopulation problems force emigration. They come from an area with immense natural riches and a medium sized population. The Central American isthmus, with more than 500,000 sq. kilometers and nearly 60 million inhabitants, has coasts on two oceans and numerous rivers, volcanoes, lagoons and lakes. It has abundant fertile soil and probably 50% of its original forests retain their exuberant flora and fantastic fauna.

Military dictatorships disappeared from the Central American political map, but the social, economic and environmental problems have sharpened dangerously, increasing the migratory cavalry and opening the way for chaos and un-governability. The governments of Central America are selected through similar electoral promises, socially just promises, economically viable and environmentally sustainable. But when it comes time to govern the contrasts are evident. Honduras and Nicaragua, both with high rates of emigration, are the continent’s poorest countries. Upon assuming the Salvadoran presidency, Mauricio Funes spoke of his fellow countrymen who are successful outside the country though hard work. “The problem – he said – is not in our people, but in the mentality of the government and the officials who have led the country.”

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Diario Xalapa (Xalapa, Veracruz) 9/7/09

A constant problem in Xalapa

“Parachutists” [read: illegal squatters] settle on private lands and in green areas of Xalapa, where they cut down trees, they install themselves without any sanitary measures and they build houses with wood and cardboard sheets.” [In some areas of the U.S. near the Mexican border, similar illegal squatters’ housing areas are called “colonias”]

Squatters

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Prensa Libre (Guatemala City, Guatemala)  9/7/09

Day of the migrant celebration

The “day of the migrant” was celebrated more in their countries of origin, because in the United States that is when Labor Day is commemorated, and therefore it’s a no-work day in the whole country. Migrants’ associations have had to celebrate their day soberly and in silence, because it’s very difficult to bring people together on the last weekend of the summer, according to Maricela Garcia, a representative of the Latin Policy Forum of Chicago, U.S. The fellow countrymen who are in that country are more worried about the immigration reform debate; nevertheless, Garcia explained that this debate will not begin until the one about Public Health has ended.  She added “For that reason it’s important that the governments come and do all the lobbying possible with the U.S., otherwise a beneficial reform will not be achieved.”

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Due to the celebration of the Day of the Migrant, Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruno yesterday demanded respect for the human rights of the fellow countrymen from the authorities in the U.S. and other countries. He added that “the bad living conditions make these people abandon their homes, and, despite other sufferings, they do what is possible to bring more dignity to their families in Guatemala.”  The metropolitan archbishop urged U.S. authorities to respect the migrants’ rights and that they no longer consider them as criminals. At Industry Park, hundreds of persons gathered yesterday to celebrate the Day of the Migrant, which is held the first Sunday in September. Representatives from Central America and from other countries participated in the celebration.

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Zocalo (Saltillo, Coahuila)  9/7/09

Obama is asked to keep his migratory reform promise

Nearly 1,500 immigrants marched through the streets of Chicago to demand that President Obama keep his promise of boosting migratory reform in the first year of his presidency. It was a march, mainly of Mexican immigrants, organized by the priest Jose Landaverde, pastor of the Mission of our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Church, of the La Villita neighborhood, and supported by community organizations and unions.

Three coffins opened this demonstration against round-ups and deportations, one of them in memory of “104 dead in the Immigration jails”, another for the “472 deaths on the common border each year” and the third one dedicated to “128 recent victims in the Arizona desert.” The march left at 11:00 from Union Park and followed the same route as the mega-marches which are held since 2006 on May 1st, until reaching the Federal Plaza. During the trajectory, marchers carried flags of the United States and Mexico, while they shouted slogans aimed at president Obama and waved signs with phrases such as “Obama keep your word”, “Legalization or there is no reelection.”

A huge banner with the phrase “Obama and Congress, stop the round-ups and deportations” divided the group, which was also made up of community leaders, representatives of the gay community and some partisan American activists. Before reaching the center of the city, some twenty children – sons of deported Mexicans – chained themselves with large cardboard links and donned shirts bearing the message “stop family separations.”

Father Landaverde and the activist Ema Lozano coordinated the meeting in which nearly 20 speakers participated – most of them members of different religious orders – and which started  with a prayer led by the priest Walter Coleman, of the San Adalberto Methodist Church, which refuged [sic]   Elvira Arellano and Flor Crisostomo. At the end of the prayer, Coleman pronounced “President Obama and leaders of Congress, if you don’t stop the deportations there will be grave consequences and a people will arise!”

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El Diario (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 9/7/09

Entire families repatriated  through Juarez

(quote) – Florencia says she will consider her frustrated attempt to emigrate to the United States together with her family as the gift trip she was never able to give to her children. Two weeks ago, the 46 year old woman left her community in the township of Zimapan, Hidalgo, together with her 50 year old husband, their adolescent son and two of her grandchildren: a girl of seven and a boy of ten. They reached Altar, Sonora, by bus and there, climbing and jumping the fence, they crossed the border and went into the desert of the United States. They were captured days later at some point in New Mexico and deported last Friday via Ciudad Juarez. An official who received them at the Santa Fe Street Bridge took them to the House of the Migrant, where the church authorities began to notice that the repatriated persons they are receiving at the shelter no longer are men, women or minors who try to cross the border alone, but entire families who seek to leave the country due to lack of opportunities. In the commemorative Mass for the Day of the Migrant, Brother Jose Barrio, head of the shelter, said ‘we’ve received some four families in just two weeks. This was not usual before.’ Florencia says that she and her husband decided to travel with everything and their children because in Mexico they lost the hope of being able to achieve something. (unquote)

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El Informador (Guadalajara, Jalisco) 9/7/09

Migrants demand security from Calderon

On the occasion of the Day of the Migrant, those “without papers” in Chiapas demanded a halt to the kidnappings, repression, rapes and murders of which they are victims during their trip to the so-called “American dream.” Following a threat from alleged killers to attack the train and kidnap its riders to demand a ransom from their relatives, State police guarded the freight train loaded with about “half a thousand” migrants. Some migrants walked and carried flags of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico; one of their banners told President Calderon      “We are migrants. Not Criminals. Respect our Rights.”  At the Day of the Migrant celebration a priest said “they don’t emigrate because they want to, the injustice, corruption, bad governments, violence and lack of jobs make them abandon their families.”

Train riders

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El Diario de Coahuila (Saltillo, Coahuila),  9/7/09

Kidnapped migrants rescued

Nineteen kidnapped migrants were rescued from a house in Reynosa, Tamaulipas [just across the Rio Grande from McAllen, TX]  The group included Mexicans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans. Five of the total  were minors and all 19 were being held in custody and for ransom by two Mexican males.

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El Diario  and Norte (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua)  9/7/09

New murders in Juarez

Starting at 4:30 p.m. yesterday (Sun.) four different events resulted in seven persons being murdered in Juarez; four of them died at a motel, while two others died as a result of a vehicle chase punctuated by gunfire.  The overall for seventeen hours of Sunday produced a total of eleven homicides in the city.

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- end of report -


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