Business grows for “polleros”; University head decries corruption in Mexico

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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.

Thursday, 11/26/09

El Diario (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 11/25/09

“Chicken herders” (people smugglers) getting more business

The proportion of Mexican migrants who hire “polleros” [literally: chicken herders] to cross the border into the United States grew from 28 to 48 percent between 2000 and 2008, according to the “Situacion Demografica de Mexico 2009”, published by the National Population Council of Mexico (CONAPO). The report warns that the hiring of “polleros” is directly linked to the crossing through risky places, given that the U.S. authorities have reinforced border security at the traditional migrant entry points. It adds, “In the most recent period, the locations in Sonora are the entry point into the United States for four out of every nine migrants.” The study points out that the regular Mexico-U.S. migrant flow has been interrupted due to the difficulty in crossing the border. Thus, while in 1980 forty-two percent of Mexican migrants reported staying in the U.S. for over 10 years, in 2007 the proportion rose to 58 percent.

CONAPO reports that “It’s understandable, given the high costs and risks of reaching the United States, that migrants may seek to maximize their capital investment and postpone their return to Mexico to the last minute.” Currently, it notes, the migration of Mexicans is generally undocumented and permanent, and it involves a greater territorial area in both countries. The migrants now have a more heterogeneous profile and one farther from the traditional one, composed basically of a working age, male, rural population, with a low average of education and employed seasonally in field work. From 1980 to date, the report explains, the average age of Mexican migrants to the U.S. has grown from 28 to 35 years of age. For another thing, they tend to work more and more in the service sector. The report warns, “Mexicans represent, by far, the principal immigrant group in the United States, but they are enrolled in a political and social context which is little favorable to them.”


La Jornada (Mexico City) 11/25/09

A grisly find

The bodies of two men, both decapitated, were found by the side of a highway a few miles north of the capital city of Durango. A subsequent search by police turned up two human heads in black plastic bags, about half a mile away.


Milenio (Mexico City), Norte (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 11/25/09

Extortion and arson

Armed commandos set fire to three meat shops and a meat warehouse last night in Ciudad Juarez. The criminals used Molotov cocktails to set off their almost simultaneous attacks, presumably for failure to pay extortion demands. Vehicles at the establishments were doused with gasoline and set on fire. The thugs even announced their actions via the police radio frequency.


El Universal (Mexico City) , Zocalo (Saltillo, Coahuila) 11/25/09

A quick tour around the country

Two bodies were found in Zinancatepec, state of Mexico; both evidenced torture and firearm wounds, and both had messages left on them, presumably from the “Familia Michoacana.” A third body, with ten bullet impacts, was found in the Holy Water area of Tenancingo. And the Federal Police in the state of Mexico declared itself in a state of maximum alert because eight of its agents have been missing for 24 hours. Violence also claimed three victims in Durango, while Sinaloa had eight murders. Torreon, Coahuila, reported two murder victims. And “Zocalo” updated an earlier homicide tally for the day in Juarez from seven to nine. For the month of November, homicides in Juarez have now reached 205, bringing the year’s running total 2,318 victims.


Friday, 11/27/09

El Informador (Guadalajara, Jalisco) 11/26/09

University head decries corruption in Mexico

Jose Narro, Chancellor of the National University of Mexico, addressed a meeting of several organizations in Mexico City and said that corruption is one of the phenomena which affect Mexican society. He stated that corruption “is, frankly and truly, a grave pathology, and we cannot feel calm, satisfied, and we cannot remain with our arms folded and accept it.” This corruption, he said, manifests itself in the public and private spheres as a great cancer which distorts, limits, and disarranges society’s regimen of values, and that “makes us appear to new generations as two faced, one about what we say and another about what we do.” He added that, if the country’s problems are to be resolved, “we are going to make serious decisions and, above all, we are going to have to abandon the talk and go directly to actions.”


El Universo (Guayaquil, Ecuador) 11/26/09

From the President of France, re immigrants

France’s President, Nicolas Sarkozy, asserted that he will “never” accept a massive regularization of immigrants who are in “irregular status” in his country because it would be a “tragic error” and, further, “contrary to the values of the French Republic.”

France had three regularizations, in 1981, 1997 and 1998.


El Diario (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 11/26/09

YAWNN…!!! in Juarez

This item appeared listed in the 13th place, within the “More News” section of the local news for Juarez: “Executions yesterday total 11” The article following that heading gave a matter-of-fact account of the homicides.


Excelsior (Mexico City) 11/26/09

U.S. deports a daily average of 100 Mexicans via Juarez

In the last 20 days Juarez has suffered an exodus of deported migrants from the United States that surpassed two thousand individuals. The problem with this repatriation is that 50 percent of these Mexicans deported from the United States are recruited by criminal groups to carry out illegal activities in the border area, such as retail drug sales, or, in the gravest of cases, as hired killers and kidnappers. The “Directions” Coordinator and sub-Mayor, Felipe Fornelli, stated that for the last twenty days, 90 to 100 Mexicans have been returned from the United States via Ciudad Juarez. Special funds totaling 470 thousand pesos are used to have these deportees reach their places of origin; nevertheless, many of them opt to stay in the border area to attempt to return to the United States, but in the interim they are snagged by organized crime groups, which offer them attractive gains to dedicate themselves to illegal activities.

From February to date, 11,939 Mexicans were repatriated by the U.S. government through Ciudad Juarez. He pointed out that, of this total, 10,128 persons were attended to, including 421 women, 112 accompanied children, and 9,595 men.


La Hora (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 11/26/09

Guatemala’s immigration reform plan is expected to be considered in the U.S.

[Sub-headline]: The National Council for Guatemalan Migrant Affairs (CONAMIGUA) produced a migratory reform proposal which could be strengthened by the inclusion of other Central American countries; the proposal has great possibilities of being taken into account regarding the highly desired reform which is being lobbied in the United States.

Erick Maldonado, executive secretary of CONAMIGUA, stated that they are approaching leaders of Guatemalan migrants in the United States and Congressmen of that country [the U.S.] to be able to influence the approval of the reform and “above all, that our proposal be taken into consideration, given that we propose an integral reform.” He added that they have met with La Red por la Paz y el Desarrollo [Network for Peace and Development,] associations that work for the rights of migrants in the United States, for the purpose of lobbying for their support for the proposal that they have for a migratory reform. Further, he stated that they are focusing the government’s actions and efforts to obtain the reform, which would benefit not only the fellow countrymen but all migrants who find themselves in that country for one reason or another.

He asserted that this is the first time that the government is sitting down to discuss and talk with leaders of Guatemalan migrants in the United States. During these meetings they have received criticisms and suggestions from the fellow citizens, which have allowed them to consider the issues that, as a minimum, must be included in the migratory reform.

The proposal has already been forwarded to the United States Department of State, and, on October 22 last, El Salvador decided to join the proposal and be part of it. This has caused the decision to make it known regionally so that other nations may get acquainted with it and may support it. According to Maldonado, other countries that could accept the Guatemalan proposal are the Dominican Republic, Belize, and Ecuador, because they have similar problems, and the migratory phenomenon has many similarities. He added, “We will talk with Honduras and present them with our proposal when the political problems they are going through are finished, so that they can join in.”

Nevertheless, it seems that there are those who are not totally in accord with the proposal. Mauro Verzeletti, a representative of the Pastoral of Human Mobility, said that the terminology used to refer to the migrants and to the various situations is not adequate “since they criminalize them.” He added that they, as representatives of the Church, accompanied by secular society, presented a proposal which was not taken into consideration. It’s worrisome that they utilize a racist and discriminatory wording to refer to the migrants; as an example, he pointed out when they refer to expulsion and when they are called “illegal persons.” Despite that, he stated that it is a very good proposal and that it could have wide acceptance. Verzeletti said, “The terminology established in the International Convention of the Rights of Migrants” must be used.

Among the most important points encompassed in the reform, eleven of them, we can mention the reduction of the cultural uprooting and family disintegration, two negative consequences of migration and of the large round-ups which have taken place in the last years in the North American country. He added, “Reintegration and family reunification must be focused upon.”

When referring to the continuous communications among the Central American governments for their support of the proposal, Maldonado stated that it is about to become a regional one, and to be presented jointly.

Another of the issues worth mentioning is consular strengthening, and also, it envisions the constant effort to eradicate people smuggling and sexual exploitation. Morales said, “People smuggling is closely linked with migration due to the manner in which persons are taken from one country to another.” This is one of the major preoccupations of the Catholic Church, which holds Latin American governments (including Guatemala) as responsible for having alliances with drug traffic and organized crime, who keep networks of people smugglers among the groups of migrants who head toward the United States. According to Maldonado, it’s worthy of mention that one of the fundamental points, on which everything else depends, is the regularization of the migrants in the United States, or their legalization, so as to obtain the full enjoyment and respect of their rights.

Sixty percent of the 1,550,000 Guatemalans in the United States, some 800,000, are in irregular status. [read: illegally in the United States.] This status prevents the fellow countrymen from denouncing the violations of which they are victims, (and) for this reason their legalization is important so that the proper authorities may attend to them. The only thing the deportation process does is to divide families and in many cases they are double divisions.(sic)

They also propose that any Guatemalan who may have studied and reached a certain professional level should have the right to legalization without major problems, (Maldonado said) “because they are people who have cultural roots in that nation, who speak the language and who in many cases don’t even know their country of origin.” He added, “Creating mechanisms for these people to integrate into the American social fabric is fundamental; it isn’t enough that they should be regularized.”

Mauro Verzeletti, of the Human Mobility Pastoral, commented that the benefits that Guatemalan migrants will obtain when they are legalized in the United States are those necessary for any citizen, to have access to health, education, housing, security, and, above all, respect for their human and labor right. Maldonado stated that the Guatemalan proposal has a great advantage, “the non-existence of a concrete proposal for immigration reform, there is no document that regulates what it may contain, and that leaves us a great door.”

  • In numbers:
  • 60,000 Central Americans could be victims of people trafficking
  • Guatemalan migrants provided 4 billion dollars in individual monetary remittances in 2008
  • 97% of Guatemalan migrants are in the United States
  • 800,000 Guatemalan migrants are in the United States illegally


– end of report –

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