A Family From Matanzas Denounces the Indifference of the Mexican Authorities to Their Request for Refuge

Yadira San Martín and William Rodríguez have been stranded along with their daughters in Tapachula (Chiapas) since August 2023. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 9 February 2024 — The fear of being imprisoned for expressing their dissatisfaction with the regime led Yadira San Martín Grillo, her husband William Rodríguez Acosta and their daughters, Yisel Esthefany and Yinelis Chantal, to leave the Island last year. This family, originally from Matanzas, arrived in Tapachula (Chiapas) on August 15, 2023, with the intention of processing their residence, but the Migration offices collapsed due to the flow of irregular migrants and suspended administrative procedures.

In an attempt to stay in Mexico, they went to the headquarters of the Mexican Refugee Aid Commission (Comar). After several days outside the facilities, they were helped and filled out an application. “We went on the indicated date and told a woman the reasons that led us to leave Cuba and the repression we suffered,” San Martín tells 14ymedio. “We can’t return because the regime doesn’t give work to those who flee. We want to settle in this country; we are hardworking people.”

According to the organization Sin Fronteras [Without Borders], those who ask for refuge in Mexico face different obstacles to obtain humanitarian status

On January 9, Comar informed them that their request was rejected. Its reason was that they had not “managed to prove a well-founded fear (credible fear).”

According to the NGO Sin Fronteras [Without Borders], those who ask for refuge in Mexico face different obstacles to obtain humanitarian status. Migrants “do not have access to an adequate interview to determine if they can obtain the condition.” In addition, “accompaniment is also not provided to people with disabilities or needs for psychological care.” Sin Fronteras indicated that only one in 10 applicants received a favorable response.

Comar assisted 2,352 Cubans last January, behind the 3,213 Hondurans who are requesting asylum in Mexico.

Lawyer José Luis Pérez, in charge of processing an amparo (protection order) for this family, denounces the incongruity of Article 11 of the Mexican Constitution, which indicates that “every person has the right to seek and receive asylum” but doesn’t explain how to do it “when the National Institute of Migration denies these people any procedure to obtain a humanitarian visa or permanent residence.”

The lawyer filed an appeal in the second district court of Tapachula, so that the family can travel to Mexico City and try to “reverse” Comar’s response at the capital headquarters. In case of obtaining the humanitarian visa or permanent residence, they will opt for the Multiple Immigration Form, which gives them the right to legally stay in Mexico for a certain time.

“There are arguments from the family to support the repression they suffered in Cuba,” the lawyer tells 14ymedio. Article 13 of the Refugee Law is clear, he emphasizes, and refugee status is recognized for every foreigner whose “life, security and freedom have been threatened by widespread violence in his country of origin.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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