By: Leopoldo Ramos, Jesús Estrada and Emir Olivares
A Honduran migrant died in front of his 8-year old daughter when police from the Coahuila Criminal Investigation Agency, belonging to the State’s Attorney General (FGE, its initials in Spanish), shot at a group of at least 10 Central Americans that left the Saltillo Casa del Migrante (Migrant House) Saltillo intending to take the railroad to reach the United States border.
“They shot to kill (…) they were migrant families, they were walking, others were already waiting for the train and they dispersed when they heard the shots; some found refuge in houses of neighbors,” assured the shelter’s director Alberto Xicoténcatl Carrasco, who detailed that the attack occurred before 9 pm on Wednesday in the streets of Colonia 5 de Mayo, in the southern part of Saltillo.
He affirmed that a woman left her three-year-old son in a store to keep him safe from the shots, but the fate of the mother is unknown; the Office for Protection of Children and the Family protected the minor.
He rejected that the foreigners were armed, because they are searched before entering the shelter to avoid carrying weapons. “The only thing they are allowed is a small knife that they use to open cans of food. Someone that has [the money] to buy a pistol doesn’t use the railroad to get to the border.”
He denounced that the persecution of migrants in Mexico has reached “an unsustainable extreme” and demanded “a stop to the institutional cruelty that is costing lives, leaving children orphaned, family separation and endless suffering provoked by the Mexican State and its institutions.”
The official version
For his part, the head of the FGE, Gerardo Márquez Guevara, gave his version of what happened and said that police from the Criminal Investigation Agency were investigating local drug dealing in the 5 de Mayo district and when people who later would have been confused among the migrants shot at them.
“It is not yet determine that it was the person who lost his life that shot at the agents; a square-type pistol was found at the place.
The investigations are underway. There are six agents Criminal Investigation agents involved; they are not detained, they are at the disposition of the general command,” he said.
A few days ago, the National Human Rights Commission Nacional asked Coahuila authorities for the issuance of precautionary measures in favor of the personnel and the Central Americans housed in the Saltillo Casa del Migrante, where on July 20, federal forces tried to break into its facilities to review the immigration status of foreigners. Likewise, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed its concern last week over police operations against that Saltillo shelter.
Meanwhile, the Guatemalan Consulate in Del Río, Texas, reported that Vilma Mendoza, a 20-year-old migrant, a native of Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, drowned in an irrigation canal adjacent to the Río Bravo (Rio Grande), in her attempt to cross the US border for the second time.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, August 2, 2019
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee