Tuesday, April 05, 2011

El Salvador tallies the victims on the route through Mexico

El Salvador's foreign ministry released a report this week detailing the violence against Salvadoran migrants travelling through Mexico on their way to the United States. The press conference given by the government was reported in the Latin American Herald Tribune:

SAN SALVADOR – At least 21 Salvadoran migrants were killed last year in Mexico while trying to reach the United States, while 250 others were the victims of serious crimes or human rights abuses, El Salvador’s foreign ministry said.

Deputy Minister Juan Jose Garcia said that 14 of the slain Salvadorans were among the 72 undocumented migrants massacred last August in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas by suspected members of the Los Zetas drug cartel.

“The crime of kidnapping was one of the main attacks that violated the basic rights of the Salvadoran migrants. In all, the consular network (in Mexico) registered 12 collective cases of the kidnapping of migrants coming from El Salvador,” according to the foreign ministry report....

“The total number of cases that we have registered is 126, 31 cases of human rights violations and 95 of serious crimes. The number of victims is 250,” he said.

The report notes, however, that the victims have almost certainly been undercounted. Although not calling the report an indictment of Mexico, the report does identify incidents where Mexican police were involved in the kidnapping of migrants.

Many of the murder victims died in the massacre in Tamaulipas, Mexico in August, 2010. Salvadoran authorities recently arrested one of the coyotes, human smugglers, responsible for arranging passage for many of the Salvadoran migrants killed in Tamaulipas.

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