14ymedio, Mexico, 27 February 2023 — Cubans Yudith Mandina, Roberto Montero and their son Roberto Mario have been detained at the Acayucan immigration station (Veracruz) since February 16. According to a relative, Niurka Almeida, they were taken off the bus in which they were traveling despite having proof of U.S. humanitarian parole. “There is no reason for their arrest,” he said.
Almeida told Telemundo51 that his relatives were unable to board a flight from Cancun to the U.S. due to “an inconvenience in the issuance of their travel authorization.” To resolve this situation, they traveled by bus to the headquarters of the U.S. embassy in Mexico City, but on the way were taken off the bus by Migration agents without being told the reason.
After two days without knowing about the Montero Mandinas, the relative hired an attorney, who secured an injunction to request their release. “Since Friday, we have been trying with the lawyer, but they told him on Sunday that it would take until Monday” before their situation would be defined. “They already know that the parole is real, but nothing happens and they are still imprisoned.”
A source from the immigration station told 14ymedio that the Cubans “are not detained” and that the “internment” in Acayucan is due to the fact that they “do not have a safe-conduct pass,” he said. However he refused to answer why Island nationals who have a U.S. humanitarian permit are being arrested and why it’s necessary for these migrants to have a safe-conduct pass.
Article 111 of the Migration Law establishes that the National Institute of Migration cannot detain an irregular migrant for more than 15 working days.
On the same day that this family was arrested in Veracruz, more than 355 miles away at the Mexico City International Airport, seven Cubans were forced to get off the plane that made a stopover before flying to the U.S. One of them, Dachel, informed his mother by phone that he and his travel companions Yida and Amehd were arrested and transferred to the station known as Las Agujas.
Mexican agents told Yida that they “didn’t know” about the benefit of parole and weren’t aware of “sponsorship or the flight permit or anything.” During their stay, a lawyer offered to release them in exchange for $5,000, arguing that at least one of the young women had false documents. After four days of uncertainty they were released.
Dachel specified that of the seven detainees, three, who apparently were a family, were taken to another place, and he did not know anything more about them. Luis Ángel Sánchez and Noelvis La O Pereira were also in the group and are still detained in Las Agujas. Both have humanitarian parole and safe-conduct passes.
Luis Ángel’s father, Luciano Sánchez, said that his son is desperate, has been “attacked” and “has a sore throat.” He said that an acquaintance of Noelvis’ family, another detainee, went to Las Agujas, but “they denied him information” because his surnames did not match any of the detainees.
In an attempt to free these Cubans, the relatives have shared videos requesting the intervention of the Government of Mexico, which have so far not been heard.
This Sunday Migration reported the arrest of a bus with 116 migrants on the road from Puebla to Mexico City. Among the detainees were people from Cuba, Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador. This group was transferred to Acayucan.
In Florida, this Sunday the U.S. Coast Guard repatriated 64 rafters to the Island aboard the ship Isaac Mayo. According to the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, 2,431 Cubans have already been expelled so far this year.
This new group of irregular migrants – made up of 52 men, 11 women and one minor – were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard at sea and returned to Cuba through the port of Orozco, in the province of Artemisa.
Two of these migrants who returned on Sunday are now subject to an investigation “for being alleged perpetrators of serious criminal acts, which were investigated prior to their departure.”
The majority of the group are residents of the provinces of Havana, Matanzas and Granma, and they have participated in five illegal exits from Cuba. The previous week, the U.S. Government deported another 98 rafters in three returns.
Since last October 1, the Coast Guard crews have arrested more than 5,740 Cubans.
Translated by Regina Anavy
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.