Sunday, March 01, 2009

Families continue search for missing migrants

In January I wrote about COFAMIDE, the Committee of Family Members of Migrants who have Died or Disappeared, formed to get answers about the disappearances of migrants lost on the way north from El Salvador to the US. The group has now been able to conduct a trip to Mexico to seek information about the missing, as this article from IPS reports:


The Caravan of Hope held a five-day march earlier this month, with economic support from two U.S.-based organisations: the Central American Resource Centre (CARECEN), which provides assistance to migrants, and the Catholic group Nuestros Lazos de Sangre.

The members of the Caravan of Hope met with officials from the federal police and the National Migration Institute (INM) in Tapachula, the capital of Chiapas.

The officials promised to meet with the activists again on Mar. 10, to present them with a list containing all of the available information on Central Americans who have been arrested or killed, or who have gone missing, in Mexico, as well as any new developments in the cases documented by the women.

"Although there are laws, and the authorities have pledged to respect them, we see with pain that our young people are assaulted or go missing here in Mexico and that our women are raped – it is not fair," said Celaya.

"We hope that what they told us are not just empty words," said Celaya. "If they live up to their promises, there will be some hope of finding my son," whose disappearance she reported to the police over six years ago.

Mexico, a traditional gateway to the United States for immigrants from Central and South America, and to a lesser degree for people from Asia and the Middle East, is a dangerous hurdle for migrants, who face the risk of abuses of all kinds at the hands of criminals as well as the police and other authorities, according to human rights groups like Mexicans without Borders and the All Rights for All coalition. (more)

A small step, perhaps a seed of hope.

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