A Lawyer Denounces the Extortion of Cubans at Two Airports in Mexico / 14yMedio

The lawyer holds Mexican Migration and National Guard agents accountable

Abuses of migrants have also occurred in the state of Coahuila, bordering the United States / EFE

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mexico, 21 June 2024 — Cubans, Colombians and Venezuelans who try to reach the United States are charged bribes of 600 to 1,000 dollars at the airports of Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, says lawyer José Luis Pérez Jiménez, who blames the agents of the National Institute of Migration and the National Guard for this situation.

According to Pérez Jiménez, migrants take shelter in Tapachula, a city on the border with Guatemala, to avoid being arrested. “They are allowing them to advance to Oaxaca and Cancun,” he tells 14ymedio, and, from there, those who have money buy plane tickets to Tijuana or Ciudad Juárez.

However, “upon landing, the agents of the National Guard and Migration separate them from the group, demand their documents and take them to a room for an alleged interview. After a few hours they are required to pay in exchange for the delivery of their papers and allowing them to leave the facilities.”

The lawyer has documented cases of Cubans and Dominicans who have boarded flights at Xoxocotlán International Airport in Oaxaca bound for Tijuana. “In the General Abelardo L. Rodríguez air terminal, with all brazenness, the agents demand 600 dollars in exchange for not returning them to Tabasco or Chiapas,” he says.

The lawyer says that those migrants who arrive in Cancun fly to Ciudad Juárez

The lawyer says that those migrants who arrive in Cancun fly to Ciudad Juárez. Cubans have paid up to $350 for a ticket. “At the Abraham González terminal they are charged 1,000 dollars to not be returned to the southern border of the country.”

Unlike other years, Pérez Jiménez indicates that they have stopped threatening irregular foreigners with deportation. The authorities are making illegal returns. “Article 160 of the Amparo Law and Article 111 Sec. 5 of the Migration Law prohibit it.”

The Administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador “has turned the country into a retaining wall of the United States,” says the lawyer, who is also an activist. Chiapas has become “a laboratory of experimentation for social programs.”

Abuses of migrants have also occurred in the state of Coahuila, bordering the United States. The president of the Human Rights Commission in Monclova, Daniel González Méndez, said that at the bus terminal “they won’t sell tickets to Cubans and Venezuelans” with the argument that the authorities can imprison drivers for transferring migrants.

González Méndez explained that the terminal staff, when “noticing their accent and skin color, denies them the sale of tickets or prevents them from boarding.” The distance between Monclova and the border is 300 kilometers, and at this time, when temperatures of 43 degrees (109 Fahrenheit) have been recorded in the shade, “walking is exhausting and dangerous,” said the commissioner.

The authorities in the region maintain surveillance operations and have detained migrants for interrogation, demanding bribes of 50 and 80 dollars to let them transit.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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