During the week of September 16, two hurricanes caused devastation on Mexico’s Pacific and Atlantic coasts. There has been significant media coverage of the storms in both the United States and Mexico, and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, while visiting Mexico on September 20, told Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that the United States was ready to offer assistance if it was requested by Mexico.
Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, recipients of the 2009 WOLA Human Rights Award, is based in the La Moñtana region of Guerrero State and has been documenting the storms’ impact and government response. The Montana region was particularly vulnerable to these storms, which killed over 110 people throughout the country. According to Tlachinollan, several indigenous communities in the region suffered from landslides; roads have been destroyed, crops vital to their survival have been washed away, and the communities are without electricity and phone service. Communities lack food, water, medicine, and gasoline but the government response has been slow and insufficient.
WOLA joins Tlachinollan in calling for federal, state, and local authorities to respond to the immediate needs of communities in the La Montaña region of Mexico in a coordinated and transparent manner, and to plan for addressing the medium-term necessities that have resulted from the storm, especially food security and housing.
For more information, please visit www.tlachinollan.org