Revolt and Desaparicion [disappearance] in Tapachula
On 23rd March, in Tapachula, Chiapas, at the border with Guatemala, the prisoners of Estacion Migratoria siglo xxi began a protest against the indefinite extension of their detention time and demanded to be released or repatriated, as anti-pandemic measures prevented them from being sent back to their countries of origin. They started to burn mattresses and threatened to go on hunger strike, so the brigada de seguridad interna de la Estación Migratoria (formed by federal officers) and the guardia nacional stormed the centre and repressed the rioters with hydrants and pepper spray. People were then taken to the bathrooms, where there were no cameras, and beaten up; some were made to disappear (desaparicion forzada). A source also mentions a mass escape.
Revolt in the centre for migrants in Tenosique
In the night of 31st March, the Estación Migratoria of Tenosique (Tabasco, Mexico) went up in flames during a revolt. Migrants were protesting against lack of food, reclusion and inhuman treatment and because of the fear of being infected with COVID19. Mattresses and furniture were therefore set on fire. Prisoners saved their lives by breaking down the exit door.
According to the press, one person died while other sources mention two dead and many others taken to hospital with asphyxiation.
The Estación was put out of use and prisoners were moved to two other structures.
In a declaration a day later prisoners demanded that they be allowed to choose where and with whom to spend this period of collective reclusion (due to the quarantine)1, claiming their rights and freedom. Early in April they obtained repatriation for more than two hundred people coming from Honduras.
In Mexico the migrants’ situation has worsened dramatically; if this territory has never been an easy place of transit, now Trump’s politics supported by the AMLO government, are leaving even more migrants in the hands of the narcostate’s human traffickers; clearly the formal border closure has made the situation even more dangerous and unbearable.
1 In the federal state of Mexico, the authorities asked people to stay at home but as from today there are no sanctions against those who don’t do so. This is because the great majority of people’s earnings come from the informal economy. However some states are taking more restrictive measures.
Translated by act for freedom now!