Migration Nightmare in Central America

The political sham, which was seized on with such enthusiasm by the official media in the United States, Mexico and Central America, is beginning to be exposed. By political sham, I refer to the phenomenon, blown up by the media, of the great tide of thousands of Central American boys, girls and adolescents who make their way unaccompanied to the United States every summer.

There just had to be something concealed below the water line: Thousands of children have always crossed the border unaccompanied, so why broadcast the fact as if it were a national emergency now? Something was going on, but our view of it was obscured.

A year has not yet gone by and already we are seeing the consequences of Obama’s speeches on national television, of his meetings with the presidents of Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras, and of those exclusive reports on Spanish-language television channels in the United States. It was all part of a plan, which only now is becoming clear.

The first blow came in July 2014 with the implementation of Mexico’s Southern Frontier Plan, portrayed as a plan to prevent human trafficking, kidnappings and disappearances, and ensure that migrants are treated with due dignity. There was talk of humanitarian visas and travel permits. There was talk of dealing a hammer blow to the drug trade.

But all of that only existed on paper. The reality in Mexico was the escalation of murders and the criminalization of migrants in transit. Obama ordered its implementation, and Washington is funding the Southern Frontier Plan, as a result of which the Mexican authorities — police, migration and army officers — have become the principal killers of migrants. Young girls, adolescents and women are raped at the National Institute for Migration itself. Police officers attack the train known as “La Bestia,” and they rape any woman who happens to be aboard, right there on the train. They murder them right there on the train. And who says anything to them? Which law punishes them? No law.

The same police officers deliver the women to organized crime, where they are destroyed by human trafficking practices such as sexual exploitation and forced organ harvesting. The Mexican authorities kidnap migrants, demand a ransom from family members in the United States, then enforce the migrants’ disappearance.

Most despicable of all is that when crimes like these are reported, the forces of impunity and corruption impede proceedings, and those who report the crimes end up getting attacked, for the most part, human rights defenders assisting migrants in transit. Going to the public prosecutor and filing a complaint poses a real threat to your personal safety.

Migrants in transit in Mexico are perceived as thieves and rapists among civil society, which is indifferent to the human drama, and among the legislators who promote laws attacking the migrants. The fate of the 43 Ayotzinapa students is a crude, grievous, but real example of what happens to migrants every day in Mexico. Thousands of people have disappeared, and hundreds of bodies have been discovered in secret mass graves, but since we are invisible, nobody says a thing.

The Southern Frontier Plan simply gave the Mexican narcostate a green light to do whatever it wants with migrants in transit. Obama, who has deported more undocumented immigrants than any other president in the country’s history, is aware of this, which raises the question: Is this how he attempts to curb forced migration, by criminalizing migrants? He doesn’t give a damn about the lives of people in transit, while the U.S. Border Patrol makes and breaks them at the borders and in detention centers. Complaints may be filed, but the United States has no legislation that protects the human rights of those entering a country illegally. And Mexico has even less.

Still Obama is not content to leave it at the butchery performed by the Mexican narcostate and the Border Patrol in the southern part of the United States. Now, he is trying to eradicate forced migration from its roots in Central America by paying the dictatorial governments of Guatemala and Honduras to implement the Maya-Chorti plan and criminalize our Central American brothers in their own home, turning those countries into an extension of what Mexico is today.

The Maya-Chorti Plan operates in the same way as the Southern Frontier Plan, except that it will extend 20 kilometers into Guatemala and another 20 into Honduras. And, just as in Mexico, the army, police, criminal intelligence, public prosecutors, customs and immigration are all involved.

It is immoral and inhumane that these governments agree to attack and stigmatize their own citizens, as occurs in Mexico. We should not find it strange if secret mass graves with the bodies of migrants begin to be unearthed between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. We should not be surprised if migrant organ trafficking begins in Central America, if trafficking in human beings who pose a “challenge” provides a lucrative source of income for those involved in the justice system and the protection of migrants.

Such was the origin, transit and destination countries’ dastardly design when they launched the unaccompanied-migrant-children media bomb: another double play by Obama with his superlative oratorical skills. People who flee their countries because their governments allow them no opportunity to develop should not be criminalized.

Those same governments use extreme poverty coupled with systemic and institutionalized violence to keep their citizens in a constant state of terror for the exclusive benefit of plundering tyrants.

Migration from Central America to the United States is and will continue to be forced migration. Nobody risks their life for the hell of it. Those of us that do it become pariahs. If we were in India under the caste system, the immigrants entering a country illegally would be the Shudras, members of the fourth and lowest caste of laborers, who work for food and a roof over their heads, unseen by all the social causes.

Once again, Obama demonstrates that he has no moral authority to speak of human rights. He deports immigrants by the thousand and approves and supports the denigration of migrants in transit in countries like Mexico and the Northern Triangle of Central America. As migrants entering a country illegally and immigrants, we continue to be invisible and are the hardest hit by the drama of forced migration. The sophistry of Obama’s executive action and the failure of immigration reform are issues for another day.

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