14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 19 April 2022 — The detention of Cubans in the Acayucan Migration Center, in the state of Veracruz (Mexico), has become a way of collecting money for the officials’ coffers, lawyer José Luis Pérez Jiménez reveals to 14ymedio.
Due to the fact that the Migration Law does not establish a defined amount as bail to release foreigners from migratory centers, the Legal Department “interprets article 102, subsection A” in its favor and determines, as it deems, the amount of money it will demand to let people out.
This legislative loophole, says the migrant defender, “allowed the Legal Department of downtown Acayucan, under the direction of Ulises Sánchez Molina, to set a bond of 10,000 Mexican pesos for the release of each of the eight Cubans” that he defended and managed to get released last week.
Since most of them “do not have financial solvency,” only the amounts corresponding to Lázaro Manuel Álvarez Cruz, Orlando Rivero González and Eddy Gonzlez Gonzlez were deposited in a credit society account created by the Mexico government.
These migrants were arrested on March 24 at kilometer 19 of the highway that goes from Villahermosa to La Choapas, in Veracruz. And along with them were Carla Elisa Vásquez Corrida, Damicela Pérez Concepción, Danyela Muñoz Pérez, Adrián Pérez Dominico, Nicdael Ángel Borges Concepción. All, says the lawyer, “are dissidents and participated in the July 11 demonstration in San Antonio de los Baños.”
Around 500 migrants are currently detained in the Acayucan immigration center, 97 of them are Cuban and some have a trade to be able to transit through the country. The high number of arrests is caused by irregularities and the collection of fees. Every day thousands of foreigners are detained and confined in state stations.
“They do it because the Migration agents have to deliver a fee to the head of the representative office and the latter to the national commissioner,” denounces the defender who proposed to the Mexican Congress to add to article 102 of the Migration Law an amount of bail and that the money that enters the National Migration Institute (INM) for this concept be controlled to avoid “petty cash.”
“There is the goose that lays the golden eggs, ” says Pérez. “The tip for migrants and lawyers is that when they have a detained client and they don’t know how much the bail is, they can deposit the equivalent of one day’s wages in the Banco de Bienestar, which is 172 pesos and 80 cents, and show it before Migration, with which they comply with the tabulator marked in article 21 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States.”
“There is the goose that lays the golden eggs, ” says Pérez. “The tip for migrants and lawyers is that when they have a detained client and they don’t know how much the bail is, they can deposit the equivalent of one day’s wages in the Banco de Bienestar, which is 172 pesos and 80 cents, and show it before Migration, with which they comply with the tabulator marked in article 21 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States”.
The Acayucan immigration station “is a prison where human rights do not exist,” says Wilmer Mantos, a 27-year-old Cuban who was released after 37 days. “There you are without a cell phone, without papers, you eat out of hunger, but the food is spoiled and there is almost no water and they don’t even provide you with medical assistance.”
Zoileny Soto Almenteros, a musician from Caibarién, in central Cuba, spent 50 days detained in Acayucan. The food and water they gave her during her stay caused discomfort in the young woman. The reason, she later learned, was the high iodine content. After this nightmare on her journey through Mexico, she has been in the state of Kentucky (USA) for a week.
In early March, relatives and friends of the detained migrants blocked the main entrance to the place to demand their release. Some managed to get out days later, but others still remain there.
Attacks on migrants are a recurring theme. The Institute for Security and Democracy, AC Insyde, showed in 2017 that “one in three migrants who were detained in Veracruz suffered some physical, psychological or verbal aggression at the time of immigration verification,” the report reads. “Only one in ten people detained by the INM denounces the attacks suffered.”
This Monday a group of Cubans burned some mats and clothes in protest at keeping them “deprived of their liberty.” The authorities indicate that they are leading a riot, the third so far this month.
“The rights of these people and of free transit are being violated,” Gabriel Domínguez, defender of migrants from the island, tells 14ymedio, showing the official letter with folio 4840 endorsed by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), the Commission National Refugee Aid (Comar) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Acnur).
Elements of the National Guard, an anti-riot squad and state police arrived at the scene in support of the immigration agents. Anomalies at this site have been reported by this journal.
On the other hand, this Tuesday 17 Cubans were detained at the Puebla Passenger Bus Station. An anonymous call alerted Immigration and the National Guard about the group traveling on a bus headed to Mexico City. The natives of the Island said that they left the state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala.
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