Sicilia Caravan Leaves Chiapas

Para leer en español:

Sicilia Caravan Ends Visit to Chiapas; They Ask That the INM (Migra) Disappear

** They demand that “Felipe Calderón’s war end”

By: Hermann Bellinghausen, Envoy

Palenque, Chiapas, September 17, 2011.

The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity’s “Caravan to the South,” culminated its tour through Chiapas with a caravan of hundreds of lighted candles through the central avenue and a generalized cry of sympathy and generosity for the Central American migrants that enter the country through the borders of this state and of Tabasco with Guatemala.

“We ask for the disappearance of the National Institute of Migration (INM, its initials in Spanish) because of its anomalies and abuses against migrants,” exposed a collective of Chol women from Palenque.

The agreed reception for the caravan that Javier Sicilia heads, along with a group of victims of the violence from different parts of the country through which it already passed (from Ciudad Juárez and Torreón to Cuernavaca and Oaxaca), was the responsibility of the Xi’Nich organization, civil organisms Sadec, parishes from the Northern Zone and base communities of the church, among others; also of migrants (undocumented, but here in the public plaza covered by the citizen mobilization), natives from Honduras and Guatemala, who were called “brothers” by all the speakers.

Women from Palenque denounced that in the Pakalná barrio (now almost another city), a scarce three kilometers from here, “the migrants encounter a market of crime, and the women are easy prey.” They demanded that “the competent authorities take notice of the issue” and they denounced that INM agents, “which ought to protect the migrants,” con are frequently responsible or remiss faced with the extortion, kidnapping, rape and murder.

The Xi’Nich Committee in Defense of Indigenous Freedom said it is against drug trafficking, which has had a presence in the region for a long time. But also, “from our communities, we point out that the policy of Calderón is one of death and poverty, and more migration.” In other words, it is also a problem for indigenous Mexicans: “Nothing else remains for us than to emigrate to the tourist centers or beyond the northern border. Calderón converted Mexico into a place of war, not into a place for living well. What he has constructed is the live image of the lie and of death.”

Xi’Nich, the organization that almost 20 years ago, before the Zapatista Uprising, walked for more than 50 days to Mexico City to demand an end to the repression and better living conditions, demanded a “stop to Calderón’s war, health and education, no militarization, respect for the migrant brothers and no more discrimination against indigenous peoples and migrants.”

On the extremes of the plaza there were two surprising installations. One, taking advantage of the intricate roots of a big tree, was displaying dozens of lighted candles and the names of dozens of the dead and disappeared in the North. At the other [extreme], Honduran migrants sheltered in the Migrant’s House in Tenosique, Tabasco, were drawing cardboard signs asking for respect and peace with all the colors of the world.

“Father Alberto,” parish priest of Palenque, denounced the widespread criminal extortion in the Chol Zone and pronounced himself in favor of “Christian hope that the violence ends.”

In a more dramatic way, Friar Tomás González, from Tenosique, who finds himself threatened, referred to the “mined field” that Mexico is for the Central Americans ever since cross our borders. Here, where organized crime operates, “their condition becomes a nightmare.” He asserted that: “the clandestine graves are not only in the North, but also in the South.”

And about the INM, he said: “We are witnesses to the fact that its agents operate like organized crime, and in Chiapas and Tabasco they are responsible for the journey of the brothers being so terrible. They pursue them, oblige them to go into the swamps, and put them in danger.” Besides, “the authorities are responsible for concealment” in this region, which has become “ungovernable.”

It was reported later in the evening that the religious man [Friar Tomás] was apprehended in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz.

Also was Alejandro Solalinde, of the Migrants’ House in Ixtepec (Oaxaca), who in referring to the national holidays said that: “today we have more dependency than ever,” and that without freedom “one cannot have democracy.”


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, September 18, 2011

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