Chiapas: Demand for INM Delegate’s Resignation With An Occupation and Hunger Strike
** Migrants and rights defenders accuse Mercedes Gómez Mont de abuse and corruption
** They point out that on orders from the official the abortion of a Cuban woman was provoked
By: Hermann Bellinghausen, Envoy
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, May 2, 2012
Central American migrants and human rights activists carry out an occupation and hunger strike in the city of Tapachula to demand the resignation of the delegate of the National Institute of Migration (INM, its initials in Spanish) María Mercedes Gómez Mont, who they accuse of abuse and corruption against the undocumented.
Since April 29, the organizations Todo por Ellos (Everything for Them), Center for Human Dignity and the National Feminist Collective La Chichi Indignada carry out an occupation in front of the installations of the border location’s migratory station “to denounce the irregularities which it incurs in its treatment of migrants.”
Ramón Verdugo, coordinator of Todo por Ellos, declared that he is on a hunger strike and “chained” his mouth to demand the dismissal of the delegate Gómez Mont, who the organizations in the occupation las declare “responsible for outrages against migrants in said station and upon carrying out their procedures for regularization.”
Luis García, coordinator of the Center for Human Dignity, denounced the case of Misleydy Anaya Sosa, a Cuban migrant “who was given an abortion against her will allegedly on orders from Gómez Mont, through a series of irregularities that question the legitimacy of the legal process that she crosses, reflecting the situations that migrants confront, also vulnerable to sexual violence, trafficking and discrimination.”
The civil organisms denounce that the INM’s Office of Regularization has a backlog of more than 700 cases of migrants “that wait for their legal situation to be regularized for more than 60 days, due to the cost of fees and fines outside the law and other measures that encourage corruption.” The abuses, which have been denounced since months ago, are only accumulating.
They emphasize in particular the conditions that unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents suffer, “victims of trafficking, sexual and labor exploitation, vulnerable to the use of drugs, they suffer from a lack of education, food and housing.”
Those minors of age “don’t have any space through the federal, state or municipal institutions to which they go to receive support, and are not duly protected by migratory authorities, many times being victims of extortion.”
Among the illegal practices that occur at the station, documented through migrant testimony, are drug sales, extortion, harassment and prolonged stays without legal basis. Therefore, they demand that: “all levels of authority” investigate and sanction Gómez Mont and whoever turns out to be responsible.
They also support the protest: Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, Pro Migrant Chiapas Solidarity and Migration, Arriaga Shelter for Migrants, The 72 Migrant Shelter in Tenosique (Tabasco), Equipo Indignation Team (Yucatán) and Latin Families United.
During the first two days of the protest, the organisms add, “different state institutions have been approaching to ask for information and attempt to convince us to stop the occupation, but we affirm that this is only the beginning of our actions to denounce the corruption and discriminatory practices of the INM in Tapachula, and the systematic violation of the human rights of migrants, without distinction to age, sex, nationality or condition of their pass through Mexico’s southern border.”