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April 18, 2006

Undocumented Workers Face Fear, Harrassment, And Police Corruption... In Mexico

I'm sure this is somehow Bush's fault. He was governor of neighboring Texas, after all.

Considered felons by the government, these migrants fear detention, rape and robbery. Police and soldiers hunt them down at railroads, bus stations and fleabag hotels. Sometimes they are deported; more often officers simply take their money. While migrants in the United States have held huge demonstrations in recent weeks, the hundreds of thousands of undocumented Central Americans in Mexico suffer mostly in silence.

But of course they do. As Hollywood taught, reality has followed: the only politically acceptable villain in the world is Caucasian, male, straight, and preferably American. (Jews-- extra bonus points!)

Mexican brutality against Central Americans? Hey, whatever happens in Tijuana, stays in Tijuana. A brown-on-brown crime is not a crime, or at least not one making a fuss about.

And though Mexico demands humane treatment for its citizens who migrate to the U.S., regardless of their legal status, Mexico provides few protections for migrants on its own soil. The issue simply isn't on the country's political agenda, perhaps because migrants make up only 0.5 percent of the population, or about 500,000 people — compared with 12 percent in the United States.

The level of brutality Central American migrants face in Mexico was apparent Monday, when police conducting a raid for undocumented migrants near a rail yard outside Mexico City shot to death a local man, apparently because his dark skin and work clothes made officers think he was a migrant.

By the way: this is an AP article. Just pointing out the incongruous.

Virginia Sanchez, who lives near the railroad tracks that carry Central Americans north to the U.S. border, said such shootings in Tultitlan are common.

"At night, you hear the gunshots, and it's the judiciales (state police) chasing the migrants," she said. "It's not fair to kill these people. It's not fair in the United States and it's not fair here."

Undocumented Central American migrants complain much more about how they are treated by Mexican officials than about authorities on the U.S. side of the border, where migrants may resent being caught but often praise the professionalism of the agents scouring the desert for their trail.

Mexico should drink itself a nice tall cool glass of shut your f'n' piehole juice.

This is nice:

...

Maria Elena Gonzalez, who lives near the tracks, said female migrants often complain about abusive police.

"They force them to strip, supposedly to search them, but the purpose is to sexually abuse them," she said.

Others said they had seen migrants beaten to death by police, their bodies left near the railway tracks to make it look as if they had fallen from a train.

So, there you have it. You have people waving Mexican flags and demanding US voting rights who silently (or more than silently) support a Mexican government that treats migrants as opportunities for robbery, rape, and even murder.

Thanks to Steve.


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posted by Ace at 09:59 PM

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