Every year, hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants travel through Mexico on their way to the U.S. border, fleeing spiraling violence and poverty in their home countries. Many are left with few options other than to travel clandestinely through regions dominated by criminal groups and corrupt officials who target migrants because they can be exploited with impunity. Advocates estimate that kidnapping, robbery, assault and extortion of migrants generates tens of millions of dollars each year for organized crime, funds that are fed back into organized crime’s infrastructure, strengthening its ability to commit violence against both Mexicans and migrants. Brave human rights defenders and faith communities provide humanitarian assistance and work to protect and defend migrants, but consequently fall victim to targeted attacks from both organized crime and corrupt officials. Join us to learn more about the current situation and what strategies for solidarity are likely to be most effective in this challenging context.
- Jenny Johnson, Senior Associate for Mexico and Border Policy, Latin America Working Group Education Fund
- Mary Small, Assistant Director for Policy, Jesuit Refugee Services/USA.
- Ruth I. Turaew, Program Associate, Latin America Working Group Education Fund