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Organized crime attacks migrant shelters and camps in northern Mexico

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Tijuana-Ciudad Juárez (Mexico), November 29 (EFE).- Organized crime has been attacking migrant shelters on the border between Mexico and the United States for several months through threats, extortion and aggression, which has provoked migrants and civil society organizations. .

It was announced this Tuesday that a refuge called Embajada Migrante, located in the tourist area of ​​Tijuana’s beaches, just 50 meters from the border wall, will be closed due to these threats.

Hugo Castro, founder of the SOS Migrant Coalition, which owns the shelter, told the media that for at least four months, members of criminal groups have been harassing migrants and the coordinators of the said space.

“The asylum was subject to threats, extortion attempts, criminals who claim to be in control of the area, even entered at night and demanded $200 from migrants to try to cross the border,” he said. .

According to the activist, the criminals “may be assuming that all migrants are going to cross the wall at some point through this area,” which the activist said is “controlled by poleros (traffickers) in collusion with organized crime.” And that created a risk for everyone.

What is disturbing for the activist is that this situation is not only happening in this socially vulnerable community, but it is happening in the very tourist area where usually tens of tourists arrive and gather every day.

“That’s why we call on the authorities to respond to the requests for help from the homes and shelters of the migrants, because it would be too serious that they are slowly taking away these places that should be considered shelters for emigrating families. said..

As background, so far this year, shelters such as Ágape Misión Mundial, located in a threatened area, as well as Espacio Migrante, located one kilometer from the border port of San Isidro, have previously reported some form of extortion and attempted aggression. members of organized crime.

Similarly, an attempted kidnapping was reported at a migrant shelter located on the banks of the Rio Grande in the state of Chihuahua.

Recently, hundreds of undocumented immigrants, mostly of Venezuelan origin, were camped in tents on the banks of the Rio Grande, a point known as “Little Venezuela,” and a few weeks after settling there, they were evicted by Mexican authorities and are now scattered throughout Mexico City, Juarez, putting themselves at risk. .

Rosalio Sosa, a member of the Tierra de Oro network of migrant shelters, told EFE that “they wanted to commit a kidnapping, some of their belongings were stolen, and thank God it didn’t go too far. In this way, we want to demand more vigilance from the authorities, it is not fair that we are doing humanitarian work and they are still robbing migrants.”

He added that the night’s operation was down to organized crime.

The violent act took place in the early hours of Tuesday. “There were three late-model cars, three men each came, who said they would put us in different cars, one for women, one for children and one for men,” the migrant told EFE, who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons.

He added that they filled his face with oil and started to separate one after another. However, the criminals left because they clearly realized that the authorities would come.

Source: El Diario

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