Why do Americans fear refugees?

Refugees must fear for their lives in Mexico

For the purposes of Article 2 of the UN Convention against Enforced Disappearance, “enforced disappearance” means arrest, deprivation of liberty, kidnapping or any other form of deprivation of liberty by state officials or by persons or groups of people who are authorized, supported or tolerated by the state act, followed by a refusal to acknowledge this deprivation of liberty, or to cover up the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, thereby removing them from the protection of the law.

Article 3 of the UN Convention against Enforced Disappearance states that each contracting state shall take appropriate measures to investigate acts within the meaning of Article 2 that are committed by persons or groups of persons without the authorization, support or tolerance of the state and to bring those responsible to justice .

The security strategy of the former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, the so-called war on drugs, leaves a record of many thousands of people who have disappeared. However, exact figures are not available and the information fluctuates constantly. The extent of the involvement of state actors in this crime is not recognized and the extent to which the crime is still being used is not mentioned.

The migrants who have disappeared are particularly affected and ignored by the Mexican authorities. Mexico has increasingly become a transit country for hundreds of thousands of people from Central America in recent decades. Increasingly repressive migration controls, assaults and kidnappings by criminal groups and cartels have turned the American dream into a nightmare. New crime cases are constantly coming to light. The majority of the migrants who disappeared in Mexico are not found.

At the latest since the recent numerous reports on child migrants from Central America, the issue of serious human rights violations against migrants in Mexico has increasingly come into the public eye.

Relatives who go to search for the missing person in Mexico usually do not receive help from government authorities. Although the Mexican state has signed international conventions and enacted national laws that oblige it to act, it does not fulfill this obligation. The missing migrants and the family members who are looking for them are often criminalized and discriminated against and seek help from Mexican non-governmental organizations and migrant hostels.

Our partner organization, the Foundation for Justice, Rule of Law and Democracy (Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado de Derecho Democrático) supports Central American migrants in Mexico. They advise and support family committees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who have been looking for their missing family members and to whom the Mexican state has refused any help.