A migrant mother from Honduras recalls the gang violence she suffered back home, Noeli, Honduran migrant recalls the incident. CCTV’s Franc Contreras has more.
“The gang members of the Mara Salvatrucha threatened that they would kill us. So we can’t denounce them because they would kill us. If we return, they will kill us, too”
This shelter in the Mexican state of Tabasco receives hundreds of Central American migrants each month. Most say violence and poverty prompted their exodus.
Migrants: “Migrants aren’t the only ones facing risks, the people who run this shelter received death threats last year and for that reason the federal government is providing security 24 hours a day each day of the week.”
The shelter’s founder says the threats came after workers accused Mexican officials of corruption. Fray Tomas Gonzalez Castillo, the shelter Director: “We have denounced the National Immigration Institute, the municipal police and transit police here, the state police, the federal police, the Mexican Army.”
El Salvador’s consular officer in Tenosique is working to document such cases. Fidel Argueta Benitez, the Consul of El Salvador: “In these parts, we have many cases of people who have been victims of robbery by police.”
Federal police deny these accusations-and point to criminal organizations as the biggest threat to migrants. Juan Carlos Esparza, Mexican Federal Police Officer: “Our mission is to safeguard the physical integrity of these migrant people so that no armed group comes and tries to hurt them, kidnap them or try charging them money for crossing through this country.”
Each part of the journey brings new dangers. Among the most vulnerable are the steadily increasing numbers of unaccompanied minors and migrant women.