The Decision that Facilitated the Massacre of 72 Migrants in Mexico

Immigration is a complex political topic in the United States. While the subject has focused on Mexico as the source of immigrants, the problem also origins in this nation’s southern border. Central Americans experience a dangerous journey through some of the most violent states in Mexico. In 2013, 72 migrants from Central America were massacred by a drug trafficking group in the state of Tamaulipas. According to a declassified document from the US embassy in Mexico, migrants were experiencing an environment of violence and vulnerability since 2007.

The closure of the Chiapas-Mayad train route contributed to increasing the vulnerability of migrants. This trail was typically used by migrants to get to the northern border and finally to their final destination, the United States. The owner of this railroad trail was the Genesee and Wyoming corporation, which closed the segment due to high-cost damages caused by Hurrican Stan in 2005. This decision influenced migrants to find “alternate rounds.” Consequently, some decided to go back to their country of origin and others were left stoke in Mexico. The Instituto National de Migracion (INM) reported that 2,500 and 3,000 migrants were living in improvised camps in the community of Tepisoque, Chiapas. Contrary to this statement, the local media reported that more than 7,000 migrants were living in this region. The closing of the Chiapas-Mayad round represented the disruption of a significant migration round, which contributed to making migrants vulnerable to abuses.

The report mentioned that migrants in Mexico were experiencing abuses by the authorities. According to the local media, the national government deployed military troops to clear the camps in Chiapas. It also reported allegations that military “troops beat and robbed migrants.” These accusations were denied in the official report by representatives of the INM. Moreover, the National Human Rights Commission in Mexico also recorded these cases and that the “situation in the region had stabilized.” The report was clearly demonstrating the intricate condition that migrants were experiencing and a lack of protection from Mexican authorities.

“Shutdown Slows but Doesn’t Stop Central Americans Headed North.” U.S. Embassy in Mexico, cable, sensitive, 3 pp. The information provided in this writing piece comes from this declassified document, which it is located in the National Security Archive.

The declassification of this report demonstrates the complexity of immigration in Mexico. The decision of closing the Chiapas-Mayad train route did not stop migrants from traveling to the United States, which emphasizes the precarious situation in which they live in their places of origin. Even though the report mentioned that some people went back to their homes, most of them continue risking their lives in Mexico. The Mexican government could have used the pretext of the 2006 “War on Drugs” to sent military units to clear the camps of migrants in Chiapas, but this issue was not mentioned in this report.

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