Mexican authorities have arrested two organizers of final spring’s giant Central American caravan that drew intense ire from the Trump administration, for allegedly transporting immigrants in change for cash.
Irineo Mujica, the director of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, was arrested Wednesday within the Mexican state of Sonora, and Cristóbal Sánchez, the founding father of Migrant Tradition Collective, was arrested at his dwelling by plainclothes officers.
In an announcement, Mexican prosecutors mentioned two Honduran immigrants in April and Could informed authorities that Mujica and Sánchez promised to deliver them into Mexico illegally, take them to the northern border, and smuggle them into the US in change for cash.
Mujica is accused of transporting immigrants, together with kids, whereas Sánchez is accused of serving to folks enter Mexico with out authorized documentation.
The arrests come because the US intensifies strain on Mexico to cease the surge of immigrants, many from Central America, from arriving on the southern border.
Pueblo Sin Fronteras denounced the arrests as a politically motivated transfer from the Mexican authorities to appease the Trump administration.
“The Mexican authorities has detained them to current them as trophies earlier than the US authorities,” the group mentioned in an announcement. “Regardless of assurances from the Mexican authorities that tells us that Mexico makes its personal migration coverage, this collection of occasions makes it clear that is not the case.”
The immigrant rights group identified the arrests occurred on the identical day Mexico’s secretary of state met with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The detention, the group mentioned, was made by, “a Mexican authorities that promised to defend human rights, however in actuality has bent below strain from the anti-immigrant authorities of the US.”
In an announcement, a number of human rights organizations denounced the arrests and mentioned it criminalized immigrant rights defenders. The teams mentioned the arrests have taken place below political and financial strain from the US authorities towards Mexico with a purpose to cease Central American migration.
“That is an arbitrary and unlawful act, and a illustration towards the necessary work of defending the human rights of the migrant and nice efforts to generate a extra simply and fewer violent Mexico,” Pueblo Sin Fronteras mentioned.
Mujica, who holds twin US–Mexican citizenship, has opened and operated migrant shelters in Mexico. In 2008, he helped set up a Holy Week caravan in southern Mexico.
Caravans have been first organized to focus on the plight of immigrants making the perilous journey via Mexico. The gatherings grew in dimension as extra would-be immigrants noticed them as a strategy to journey via Mexico whereas avoiding immigration checkpoints and routes that always resulted in falling prey to criminals.
In 2017, Pueblo Sin Fronteras organized the primary caravan that traveled via Mexico to the US border. It was adopted by one other caravan in spring 2018 that began in Tapachula, the southern Mexico metropolis on the Guatemala border, that attracted as much as 1,500 folks and the fury of the Trump administration. Days after it took off, President Trump demanded Mexican officers cease the caravan and ordered Nationwide Guard troops to the southwest border.
The US and Mexico have usually referred to caravan organizers as human smugglers. In February, Mexico’s inside secretary, Olga Sánchez Cordero, mentioned members of Pueblo Sin Fronteras are amongst these the federal government has recognized in selling and organizing caravans and recommended that some could also be concerned in human smuggling.
Final October, when one other caravan started, this time from inside Central America, a pretend Fb account claiming to be Bartolo Fuentes, a Honduran activist, journalist, and former lawmaker, mentioned Pueblo Sin Fronteras was organizing in an obvious bid to extend the variety of individuals.
However Pueblo Sin Fronteras was not concerned and opposed it over fears that the caravan could be used to drive an anti-immigrant agenda within the lead-up to the US midterm elections in November. A worry that changed into a actuality.
Finally, whereas Pueblo Sin Fronteras didn’t set up the caravan, it linked up with the group as soon as it entered Mexico. Numerous members of the binational group accompanied the group, providing their experience, however maintained they weren’t organizers.
It was throughout that point, in October, that Mujica was detained by authorities within the Mexican metropolis of Ciudad Hidalgo at a march in help of the Central People heading towards the Mexican border. He was later launched.