Friday, December 29, 2017

The 'Trump of Oaxaca' cracks down on Central American migrants

Posted by DD Republished from Public Radio International

 
Railroad tracks in Chahuites. Some migrants spend weeks walking along train tracks in southern Mexico where they face high risks of robbery, kidnapping and sexual assault.
Credit:Levi Bridges
The town of Chahuites, Oaxaca, is a sleepy little village surrounded by mango farms. A line of train tracks cuts through the southern edge of town.

 Chahuites is in an isolated part of southern Oaxaca, about 170 miles north of the Guatemalan border. Migrants from Central America used to just pass through town riding on top of La Bestia, the train migrants traditionally traveled on across Mexico. But now immigration agents patrol the train, forcing migrants to walk northward along the railroad tracks. 

“People wait by the railroad with machetes and guns to rob migrants,” said Juan Vicente, a migrant from El Salvador who works at a construction site in Chahuites, “then they steal whatever you got.”


It takes some migrants weeks of walking just to reach Chahuites. Migrants now spend more and more time in southern Mexico, in part because of an immigration enforcement strategy called the Southern Border Program. Mexico launched the program back in 2014 when thousands of Central American families and children fleeing danger back home arrived at the US-Mexico border. Washington called their arrival a “surge” and pressured Mexico to stop the flow of migrants. Mexico created the Southern Border Program in response, an initiative supported with millions of dollars in US funding, that sent more immigration agents to southern Mexico, increased surveillance of trains and built new highway checkpoints.
 
The immigration checkpoint outside Chahuites. Some migrants spend weeks walking around checkpoints in southern Mexico where they face high risks of robbery, kidnapping and sexual assault.
Credit:Levi Bridges



 La Bestia, once loaded with migrants huddled on top of boxcars, is now largely empty when it passes through Chahuites.

In the years since the Southern Border Program began, the number of human rights abuses committed against migrants in southern Mexico has increased. Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission reported that incidents of Mexican authorities abusing migrants have increased by 40 percent since the immigration crackdown. The number of crimes against migrants has also increased. Since the Southern Border Program began three years ago, the number of migrants who reported incidents of robbery and violent assault in the state of Oaxaca more than doubled.

“I didn’t even have any money,” said Juan Vicente, the construction worker from El Salvador, “so they tore off my shoes and ripped them open with a machete to make sure I wasn’t hiding anything.” 

Migrants in Mexico aren’t the only ones who face an increased level of violence: 2017 is currently on track to become the most violent year in Mexico since the country started recording homicide data 20 years ago. Dead bodies have started regularly showing up in Chahuites, a small farming town with fewer than 10,000 residents. Many people here blame the rise in violent crime on the recent arrival of Central American migrants.

Leobardo Ramos burst onto the political scene in Chahuites last year with an ambitious plan to solve crime. He ran for municipal president promising to clean up Chahuites by getting migrants out of town. His campaign promises earned Ramos a new title: They’ve taken to calling him the Donald Trump of Oaxaca.

Ramos won his election in a landslide, garnering more than 50 percent of the vote. The president of Chahuites has said in interviews that — unlike Trump — he has nothing against undocumented immigrants. Ramos says he wants to kick migrants out of town because voters asked him to and, as a public servant, he has to do what the electorate asks of him.

In response to the number of migrants who began arriving on foot in Chahuites after the Southern Border Program took effect, a new migrant shelter opened in town. After Ramos became municipal president this year, locals pressured him to fulfill a campaign promise to shut down the shelter. Across Mexico, residents who believe Central Americans bring crime to their communities have also tried to shut down migrant shelters in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico City, Tapachula and Tultitlán.

The migrant shelter in Chahuites closed in June 2017 after the local municipal president, known as the “Trump of Oaxaca,” worked to shut it down.
“Unfortunately, Mexico has a big problem with xenophobia and racism against migrants,” said Jessica Cárdenas, a former volunteer at the Chahuites shelter.

 Ramos was instrumental in closing down the migrant shelter in Chahuites last summer. He negotiated with staff members to relocate the shelter outside of town.

 Today, the old migrant shelter sits abandoned behind a tall black gate on a dirt road just a short walk from the railroad tracks. Immigration agents now patrol Chahuites and the local prosecutor’s office has demanded bribes from migrants who try to report crimes that occurred on the nearby railroad tracks. Before the new municipal president was elected, Cárdenas described Chahuites as a sort of sanctuary city for migrants; now the Oaxacan Trump has put an end to that.

Even after the shelter’s closure, many locals in Chahuites are on edge. People who live on the dirt road near the old migrant shelter say they’ve gotten ferocious guard dogs or put stronger locks on their doors to protect themselves from migrants. María López, one of the neighbors who rallied to close the shelter, says migrants are nothing but trouble.

“I was afraid just to go to the bathroom,” López said, pointing to a small shack with a toilet outside her small house. “What if one of them gets inside our house while I’m in the bathroom, kills my husband and robs us?”

Advocates in Mexico say part of this reluctance to accept migrants comes from a lack of understanding about the violence and economic instability that often forces Central Americans to leave home. López, for her part, said she doesn’t understand how migrants could just up and leave their families behind — she believes Central America just sends its worst people to Mexico.
 
María López, 53, rallied to pressure the municipal president of Chahuites to fulfill a campaign promise to close the town’s local migrant shelter. She thinks the arrival of migrants has made Chahuites more dangerous.
Credit:Levi Bridges
 And yet, López also has a son who went north and lives as an undocumented immigrant in Texas. López says her son in Houston isn’t a criminal — he’s different from the Central American migrants in Mexico.

“I tell my son to keep his nose clean, to stay away from drinking and drugs and not to be like the migrants who come to Mexico,” López said.

Cárdenas, the former volunteer at the Chahuites shelter, says it’s easy for locals to blame Mexico’s problems on foreigners. But she sees attitudes toward migrants in this small Mexican town as part of a global phenomenon where competition and fear make people afraid of outsiders, similar to the arrival of Syrian refugees in Germany or Mexican immigrants to the United States.

“What happens in Chahuites is a little example of what happens to migrants all over the world,” Cárdenas said. “Here people say they take away jobs, they’re rapists, they’re delinquents. That’s exactly what Donald Trump says about Mexicans in the United States.”

Despite the local clampdown in Chahuites, it appears that even the Oaxacan Trump can’t totally stop migration. On a recent afternoon down by the train tracks, six guys from Honduras huddled in the shade near an old rail station with peeling yellow paint to escape the midday heat.

 The young men were all deported from the US, leaving family and kids there. Now they’re trying to make it back to Houston, Miami and Phoenix — the cities they were forced to leave. Although they spent a week walking to Chahuites, sleeping on the ground and begging for food, they say lots of folks in Mexico have actually treated them really well. Many have even offered them food and rides in their cars.


“People just say, ‘yeah sure,’ whenever I ask them for some beans or a piece of cheese,” said Alan Spencer, 21. “Mexicans are good people.”

Migrants who pass through Chahuites often arrive with an equal number of stories about the good Samaritans and the thieves they encountered on their journey. That’s because many communities in Mexico are just as divided on immigration as the United States is right now.

Several of the young men standing by the tracks in Chahuites said they’re done with Mexico and the United States.

“It’s a lot easier to get asylum in Canada,” Spencer said.

But Canada is still thousands of miles and two international border crossings away.

  From here, they’ll keep walking.

57 comments:

  1. FYI a lot of these crackdowns are from political pressure to detain inmigrants and or drug smugglers themselves from entering the U.S. through Mexico. It is also pressure to prevent these poor people from joining either willingly or as in many cases like with the Zetas forcebly to join the cartels.
    Most inmigrants from south America do want or plan to stay in Mexico.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 7:41. "...from joining either willingly or as in many cases like with the Zetas forcebly to join the cartels."

      from joining either willingly or as in many cases like with most cartels forcibly to join the cartels.

      German N

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    2. 8:42 most cartels do not force anyone to join them only the asshole Zetas and the Golfas and even Sinaloans in the Chihuahua Sierra force uneducated people to join their ranks. These are not most cartels only some.

      Delete
    3. 7:41 99.9% if not a 100% are seeking to come to Mexico or America for a job and an opportunity to have the things we take for granted.

      Delete
    4. 11:42 So your point is..........you would also do the same for your family.

      Delete
  2. Is there an address to send the 3 guys in the last picture some money? They look like they haven't had a descent meal in days if not weeks. If you are going to comment they spend it on drugs, then don't bother commenting. Principle

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    Replies
    1. I have a theory on why some Mexicans don't trust the immigrants.They say robbers (I'm assuming Mexican) wait to rob the immigrants so what happens after they are robbed?Yes they go to a migrant shelter then what?So maybe they are doing petty robberies the immigrants just to get by.I wonder how they pay their coyote when they get to the border and I wonder if they carry their life savings when they come or probably just get it transferred to Mexico as and when needed by a family member back home?

      Delete
    2. they spent it on dope and prostitutes

      Delete
    3. You do see the guy in the middle giving a hand signing as a shout out to the rest if his gang, don't you. Send him some money or better yet invite him to come stay at your house

      Delete
    4. Can I send my money to you so you can send it to them?

      Delete
    5. @8:39 If you are serious about helping someone in need, in Mexico send your gringo dollars to Chivis here. She can show you pics of those more in need & would be sure the funds were well spent.

      Delete
    6. @9:01. Have business license, so of course 901. Western Union or direct to P.O. Box?

      Delete
    7. 5:04 Why you making up lies with no basis?

      Brother; when you were born an American you won the worldwide lottery that a small percentage of the worldwide population win when they are born. But if you think you being a US citizen makes you a superior person, more intelligent or wiser, or of a higher species than those brown skinny young men that you labeled as dope users - your dead wrong because you are not.

      You may be enjoy security, a government house, a social welfare check and some money that you spend at your local bar, or maybe you work a W-2 job where your protected by employment laws that most people in the do not have, or maybe you even started a business and with the security of knowing the capital you invest is protected by laws when contracts are violated; but if you think your ANY better than those men you label as drug users you are so wrong. You've confused your luck of being born an American with a phantom superiority that exists only in your mind.

      Just Keepin It Real
      Dwight

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    8. @6:03. Now I know why my 16 year old niece makes that sign in photos. It's to signal her gang!!! I wonder what kind of gang a strait A student would be in....

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    9. Dwight, very well said!

      Delete
    10. Dwight you don’t speak much but when you do you “keep it real”. Happy 2018 Dwight and Avery one else!

      Delete
    11. @ Keeping it real
      Must admit I find your thinking quite impressing. Moreover, with truths that validate your point!

      E42

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    12. 5:04 You ain’t no better and you probably ain’t got half the work ethic that any those boys do. They ain’t lookin to get high - they looking for honest work why u just trollin!

      Delete
    13. These boys look like they forgot their ESL and their PhDs at home back in guatemala.
      I hope their mom sends it by FedEx or sompim',
      to make them socially acceptable on the US.

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. I love this Maria Lopez whining about migrants from Central America passing through while her son is an illegal in Houston. Can you spell h-i-p-ó-c-r-i-t-a? I knew you could. It makes me want to track her son down in Houston and call ICE on his ass. Give her a little instant karma.

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    Replies
    1. And yet, López also has a son who went north and lives as an undocumented immigrant in Texas. López says her son in Houston isn’t a criminal. I guess illegally entering the U.S. isn't the same... oh wait they entered Mexico illegally too, so then her son IS a criminal just like them. smh...

      Delete
    2. Yeah, she sounded kind of snotty about it, but my gestalt is that she's just ignorant and wants to emphasize that *her* son is doing well and not like those poor folks traveling upwards from the south of Mexico.

      I'm not saying it's right, but it's probably tough for her, missing her son, so she's living in fairy tale land to compensate.

      Delete
  5. They might look like they haven't ate. But they sure do have on better belts than me on. I gotta figure out what they doing right and me wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can purchase those belt buckles at any flea market

      Delete
    2. Obviously you have internet access

      Delete
    3. Your on BB, when you should be studying!

      Delete
  6. To walk one day in their shoes..........and they are still young and hopeful. I have personally talked with lots of good people who have walked that walk, some several times .Most of us Americans cannot fathom what it is like, unimaginable. Not only the dangers and hardships but the emotional toll and tenacity; irreguardless of politics.

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  7. So sad, these poor people need help. Are there any genuine aid charities that genuinely help if we donate? I feel I need to son something but don't know what.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Genuine charities?
      Wish every cent given to charity nowadays is 100% applied to the needy.
      Look at The Red Cross scandal.
      30 % if that went to its cause. While the remaining went into high salaries for those employees.
      Such programs for relief are in dire need. Good luck finding one that does not have his hands in it!

      E42

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    2. Red cross
      Financial Performance Metrics
      Program Expenses
      (Percent of the charity's total expenses spent on the programs
      and services it delivers) 89.8%
      Administrative Expenses 3.9%
      Fundraising Expenses 6.1%
      Fundraising Efficiency $0.25
      Working Capital Ratio (years) 0.06
      Program Expenses Growth -7.6%

      Delete
    3. I use several rating guides and navigators. You can search yourself if the charity is a 501C3 as is our Family Foundation, each year we must file with the IRS and that is public. it is difficult to attain 501c3 status so I would trust those organizations more so.

      Our foundation does not accept donations, we are 100 percent family funded. But I can steer anyone interested to a upstanding charity.

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    4. Upstanding Charity: Naivety House and Food Connection in Tacoma, WA. Any illegals are welcomed and not turned away nor turned in

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    5. I know central americans who have more than 8 kids and they can't even maintain themselves but their church forces them because "god has place for everyone" or some random excuse . This is what happens when you force a culture to embrace an alien religion to theirs. Judeo Christianity has done so much damage to native Americans

      Delete
    6. Just indicating what a 60 minutes report exposed about The Red Cross not long ago.
      Since that investigative reporting, Red Cross had to change its appearance. Rather damage control of how money is being allocated in the future.
      Truly a disappointing experience for those who give for a purpose.

      Nevertheless, thank you for this guide for ratings.
      Definitely will use this for my charitable purposes.

      E42

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    7. Bill Gates and his wife have a foundation, they invested all their money in it, Warren Buffet also gave them all his money and is now pennyless, but their accounts keep growing every day and getting tax breaks and tax reforms that put more and more money they don't even need in their deep pockets every second...they are all for profit, unlike the TEA PARTY non profits victimized by the IRS for their dubious propositions and smelly religions... the IRS WAS RIGHT, BUT LOST THE FIGHT TO THE RUSSIAN PUPPET WATCHDOGS IN CONGRESS, THE SAME ONES THAT WON THE WAR ON THE DEA over confiscations of illegal money and drugs diverted to the black markets...

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    8. I will never give a penny to the Red Cross after they used the tragedy of 911 as a fundraiser.

      Like many companies, mine offered to match donations to the Red Cross right after 911 and I figured my sacrifice of $100 was like giving $200. The pictures were all over the news of the disaster and there were lots of Red Cross TV ads for donations.

      Later I found out that only a portion of all that money raised actually went to the victims in NYC. Also, the Red Cross CEO makes like $700K.

      I used to give money and blood donation but never again.

      Delete
    9. @512 . I hear you . Salvation army gets mine . They are true . I have talked to veterans from world war one two and Vietnam . All condemned the actions of the red cross in those events . One world war 2 veteran said they were nothing but thieves and prostitutes . Another told me they would intercept shipments that were destined for the soldiers and sell them back to them . Heard the same from my grandfather in world war one . I was a few years young for Vietnam but guys that came back told me they weren't what they were supposed to be . Maybe a non profit but look what kind of wages the people who run it make . If they are doing it out of whats in their heart , it is selfishness . Just because a person is in a charity don't mean they are a good person . FACT

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    10. Can you steer us to YOUR Foundation or Charity ? please ! Por favor.

      Delete
    11. I go for PERSONAL Charity if at all possible. You don’t have to look far to find someone in need, even if it is only a phone call away. Right around the corner..........everywhere you look if you are observant. Think Globally
      act Locally .......surely , many here are old enough to remember that.
      Your nearest Latino Outreach Program could be of great value.........
      Think about it.

      Delete
  8. It's part of mexicos way of stopping the flow of migrants trying to go to the us. Trump is smart. There is probably a way to sue the Mexican gov for not stopping the flow into the us. Why do u think he is pressuring Mexico? He must have done his homework and read the regulations. I don't agree with this but lots of bad people are coming in and out of the country. And there has to be a point to stop this before something happens.

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    1. Yea, the USA has enough with their home grown mass shooters and random cults. Just tell your government leave the rest of the world alone PLEASE!

      Delete
    2. 9:57 Obamanos did not need the "flow of illegal immigrants" and refugees to texas, but Texas was ready with shelters and regulations even before the flow started and sparked the protests of the righteous who had their shters ready in texas...
      --Under President Obamanos, Mexico started repressing, imprisoning and returning a lot of refugees, AFTER indignant amercan protesters and lawmakers made it "a scandal", I suspect some zetas went and done overkill, but the tejanuses wuz ready with their shelters before it all even started at all...WHY?

      Delete
    3. 9:57 tromp does not "read" even one page memos about anything.
      His puppeteers, nannies and minders just make sure there is a wide dotted line for him to sign with a big marker and gettattathere...

      Delete
  9. If that isn't calling the kettle black!.

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  10. yeah, tell their countries to stop the crime in the countries they are from and keep the people home. I know it is hard but we can not take care of the world.we need to take better care of the people that is from here.

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    1. It would be nice if your government stops sending weapons to criminals and ISIS too.

      Delete
    2. Totally agree with that!
      A substantial financial burden given of money to only to be allocated elsewhere.
      It’s a bit troublesome that Mexico needs American taxpayers dollars to protect their border.
      While America has an issue of unauthorized
      entry at our borders.
      What I find most peculiar is the discriminating tone by Mexican people / government to those migrants from South America. Enforcing its deportation laws vigorously.
      While that same enforcement of laws applied in the US are condemned by many.

      I know it’s a difficult and sensitive issue for many. Rather a complicated one. With no winners in the end.
      Can someone give me a better understanding of how all this is supposed to work?

      E42

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    3. "Operation Mayan Jaguar" disemboweled the US drug traffickers that used to own the two planes captured loaded wit about 10 tons of cocaine on its way to the US, Air America still doing what it does best since the Vietnam War era for the CIA.
      "MEXICO" DID NOT INVENT the Mierda Initiative, it was all Americans led and imposed as a prelude to militarizing the Mexican police and the polesia nazional to keep murdering the Mexicans and to defend their interests in the friendly country

      Delete
  11. Every time you pay US taxes, you’re helping those who make to the US illegally. As tacky as that sounds, it’s factually correct!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. people are people
      we need to help those who need help

      Delete
    2. John, really truly , they are everywhere you look, right next door , right around the corner and borders, your neighbors , your local shelter or rehab center or old folks home; for heavens sakes , where is the compassion? I am not really a Christian, but have more Christian values than a lot of folks........do unto others............etcetcetc.

      Delete
    3. The US sent their School of the Americas to Guatemala, and their Guatemalan graduates make too many guatemalan run away to the US, same as the maras from El Salvador, honduras, and the mexicans, interventionism has always created refugees from the victim countries.

      Delete
  12. Bad hombres. Is a hint

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  13. I live in Chihuahua City. There is a woman here that is married to a man from Guatemala. They are living in one of the typical block homes that would be tantamount to a chicken coop in the USA. Metal rook with tires and rocks keeping the roof in place. He has a visa to be here. They were living in Cuauhtemoc, a dangerous fair sized city about one hour from here. He was working on a ranch and processed apples. The Mexican workers treated him with disdain and he was threatened often. They did not want him here and taking a Mexicans job.

    He is a small framed and mild mannered person. I was at their home. He said at night they were banging on the walls outside, throwing things on the roof and breaking windows. They felt they were in very much danger. They were able to move to Chihuahua and moved into a home with his wife's sister until they could get on their feet. I do not know where they are at this point. The guy was facing a two edge sword. Not only was he not wanted, but his wife was one of the most horrible people you could ever imagine. I am sure he was with her just to be able to have a visa.

    I see a lot of prejudice from South American countries towards Mexicans. They really need to realize people all want a better life. Too much hate in this world and disrespect of the laws of other countries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These same discriminating practices are exhibited throughout the world. Job security and lack of employment can bring a nasty side to many.
      This fear and discontent sentiment is what ignites nationalism. A shameful portrait if not nourished properly.

      E42

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    2. man, THAT is just tragic , any way you look at it.

      Delete

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