WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
17 Aug 2010 | | News

Alarming Human Rights Abuses against Migrants and Shelter in Saltillo, Mexico

WOLA Urges Action on Human Rights Abuses against Migrants and Shelter in Saltillo, Mexico.

Each year, thousands of migrants traveling through Mexico on their way to the United States are victims of abuse including robbery, sexual assault, human trafficking and murder. It is estimated that as many as six in 10 women and girl migrants are sexually assaulted during their journey. There are few options for migrants who experience or witness abuses. Most do not make formal complaints out of fear, and those that do run the risk of either having their claims ignored or even suffering more abuse. Belén, Posada del Migrante, a shelter for migrants located in Saltillo, the state of Coahuila, has recently been the victim of several attacks. This has resulted in Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to grant precautionary measures for the staff of the shelter which require the Mexican government to adopt a series of measures to guarantee their safety.

In light of recent attempts to kidnap migrants from the shelter, WOLA wrote a letter to José Francisco Blake Mora, Secretary of the Interior, urging him to implement the precautionary measures granted by the CNDH and the IACHR. WOLA also asked that the authorities investigate the abuses against migrants and the threats against human rights defenders who work at the shelters so that these cases do not remain in impunity.