Document - Mexico: Father Alejandro Solalinde case sheet

Father Alejandro Solalinde, Mexico

Father Alejandro Solalinde is a Catholic priest who has dedicated his life to providing a place of safety for migrants.

On the move

Conflict, poverty, discrimination and lack of opportunity are just some of the reasons that drive millions of people around the world to migrate. They leave everything they know – their homes, their families, their friends. Some risk their lives on the way.

Thousands of Central American migrants travel across Mexico every year. They carry with them the hope of a new life in the USA and an escape from the grinding poverty and insecurity back home. Those that reach the US border will have survived a journey fraught with dangers.

A place of shelter

Father Alejandro Solalinde has travelled on the network of freight trains taken by migrants in Mexico, he says it was the only way to find out about the horrors they face on their journey to the USA.

He is Co-ordinator of the Catholic Pastoral Care Centre for Migrants in south-western Mexico and set-up a migrants’ shelter in Ciudad Ixtepec, Oaxaca state in 2007. Over 400 migrants slept at the shelter on the night it opened and the flow of people has been constant ever since.

His solidarity with migrants has provoked attacks and harassment from xenophobic members of local communities, criminal gangs and local officials.

The biggest challenge for me to overcome is the constant intimidation from people who don’t want me to carry out my work helping migrants. Despite all their efforts to stop us, we must continue.” - Father Solalinde, October 2009.

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Photo: Father Alejandro Solalinde © Martha Izquierdo

Index: AMR 41/023/2010 Amnesty International 2010

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