According to information received, on 7 July, there was a confrontation between migrants and residents of the local area, provoked by people not connected to the shelter. When the confrontation took place, there was no police patrol present, in spite of the fact that ensuring the permanent presence of security patrols is an obligation of the Mexican state in line with precautionary measures ordered by the National Commission for Human Rights.
After the violent confrontation, the residents of the local area began to demonstrate with placards calling for the closure of the shelter, and prevented migrants from accessing it. Two days later, the person in charge of the shelter was threatened by some of the neighbours that had closed off the roads. The lack of secure conditions in which they could carry out their work forced those responsible for the shelter to close it.
“The closure of the shelter could have serious consequences for many migrants in extremely precarious conditions that arrive to the State of Mexico on their journey north,” said Rupert Knox, Amnesty International researcher on Mexico.
“The Mexican authorities have on many occasions recognised the vulnerability of irregular migrants travelling through the country, including the beatings, kidnappings, rapes and murders that many of them suffer each year. As a result of this, it is essential that civil society actors who offer humanitarian support to migrants receive the necessary recognition and support for them to be able to continue carrying out their important work.”
In its letter, Amnesty International has also asked the Governor to take all necessary measures to investigate these and other criminal and violent acts against migrants and migrants’ rights defenders and to bring to justice all those responsible.
Similarly, it has urged that the Governor ensures the effective protection of all migrants at risk and all human rights defenders that work with them, and that he creates the necessary conditions for the shelter to reopen, guaranteeing its security, either in its current location, or relocating it to another place in Lechería, in consultation with those affected.
A copy of the letter has been sent to the Minister of the Interior, the Sub-secretary for Judicial Affairs and Human Rights, and to the National Commission on Human Rights.
See a copy of the letter from Amnesty International to the Governor of the State of Mexico here:http://www.amnesty.org/es/library/info/AMR41/050/2012