The Human Rights Commission Forces Mexico to Re-Accept a Family of Cubans

The Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (COMAR) has received 48,970 applications for refuge in the first four months of the year, of which 3,374 are from Cubans. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 5 May 5, 2023 — The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) on Thursday ordered the National Institute of Migration (INM) to repair the damage caused to a family of four Cubans that it deported in November 2022 “despite having refugee status.” The measure includes “some compensation,” without specifying what it consists of, in addition to “allowing them to enter” Mexico and “to be given the medical and psychological care they require.”

According to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), the agents violated the rights of these people by not “verifying their documentation,” detaining them for eight days in a way station in the state of Tabasco and “returning” them to the Island.

As punishment, the officers involved in the arbitrary deportation will only be given “training and education in human rights, focused on legal security, legality and the principle of non-return.”

According to its archives, on December 1 of last year the human rights organization received the complaint of one of the victims. In the letter he details that on November 8 they were arrested at a checkpoint on the road section that goes from La Venta to Villahermosa with the argument that the documents certified by the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (COMAR) were not valid.

Six months after the deportation of the Cuban family and five months after the complaint, the CNDH determined that the Migration agents “did not conduct a thorough interview” nor did they grant the necessary conditions so that the aggrieved people could file the appropriate appeals or trials.

In the interview with COMAR on October 11, one of the deported Cubans said: “Since 2018 it’s been hell for me and my family to be able to live in my country; we suffer constant police harassment.” He said that he was arrested in December of that year, “beaten and threatened with death for claiming my right as a citizen.”

This Cuban specified that on July 12, 2022, his father was intimidated at work by the police and “suffered threats against his life and that of his family.”

According to COMAR’s statistics, in the first four months of the year, 3,374 Cubans have applied for refuge, 333 have been accepted, 607 rejected and 2,434 Island nationals are still waiting for resolution of their cases.

The deportation of this family of Cubans “violated the Migration laws,” migrant defender José Luis Pérez Jiménez told 14ymedio. “During the past year, there were clandestine deportations of Cubans, despite the fact that they have stays granted by district judges or COMAR documentation.”

A month before the arrest of this family, journalist Mario J. Pentón denounced through his social networks that a group of Cubans had been taken with the deception that they would “process their refugee status” at the Mexico City International Airport, where they were put on a plane with the intention of deporting them. But thanks to the evidence, this was avoided.

In April, Ramón Tejera told this newspaper that together with his wife Yairely Andreu and daughter they were deported for not paying Migration agents an extortion of 1,500 dollars at a checkpoint. The family was transferred to the Border Bridge II of Piedras Negras despite having safe-conducts of legal stay for 180 days.

During their arrest, an officer told this Cuban naval engineer: “If you give me 4,000 dollars per person I will take you to the Rio Grande to cross.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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