Posted on August 16, 2004

Mistreatment Of Immigrants Denounced

Juan de Dios Garcia, El Diario de Hoy (El Salvador), August 14, 2004

Translation by Raymond McClaren

The Consuls of El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico met in Tecun Unam to petition the Human Rights Commission of Mexico for a halt to abuses against Central American immigrants at the Chiapas border crossing.

The Petition was made in the course of a working round of talks that the president of the Commission, Jose Luis Soberantes, along with various Mexican senators, initiated.

The Consuls Luis Asdrubal Aguilar of El Salvador, Alex Eduardo Pacheco of Honduras, Jairo David Estrada of Guatemala, and Enrique Romero of Mexico denounced the abuses that their compatriots suffer at the hands of immigration authorities and those called “Coyotes.”

Aguilar highlighted the lack of resources and adequate infrastructure to house the hundreds of undocumented illegals who are stopped daily in the area.

For their part, the diplomats of Guatemala and Honduras asked for a greater effort in subsequent legal proceedings against the traffickers as well as the illegals.

Another of the complaints aired centers on the office of the Civil Registry (Vital Stats) that refuses to recognize as Mexican children born to foreign fathers, consequently denying them citizenship (Mexican).

The functionaries exposed cases of labor abuses that Guatemalan agricultural workers endure on some Mexican farms where they live in overcrowded conditions and are not paid their salaries.

The Consul of Mexico admitted to the overcrowding of 200 illegals packed into a space designed for 50: Hopefully they are not going to vomit as I did when they enter that place,” he said.

He added that many immigrants are taken by document forgers, in addition to being extorted by immigration officials and the losses of personal possessions and the injuries they suffer when attacked by common criminals or organized gangsters.

The Mexican Senators and the Human Rights Members committed themselves to search for solutions.