Caravan migrants cross river into Mexico, throw stones at police

Mexico City, January 21 (RHC)-- Hundreds of Central Americans waded across a river into Mexico on Monday, some clashing with waiting security forces, in a new challenge for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador efforts to contain migration at the bidding of the United States.

Scattered groups launched rocks at a few members of Mexico's National Guard who were on the banks of the river attempting to thwart any illegal crossings, as hundreds of others ran past into Mexico, video footage of the scene showed.

The mostly Honduran migrants appeared to grow impatient on the bridge over the Suchiate River that connects the two countries, after some were denied permission to cross by assembled Mexican migration officials.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to punish Mexico and Central American countries with economic sanctions if they fail to curb migrant flows, resulting in a series of agreements aimed at taking pressure off the United States in absorbing the numbers.

At least 2,000 migrants had been camped in the Guatemalan border town of Tecun Uman, opposite Ciudad Hidalgo on the Mexican side.  Mexico has offered migrants work in the south, but those who do not accept it or seek asylum will not be issued safe conduct passes to the United States, and most will be deported, the interior ministry said.

The Mexican ministry said in a statement that authorities had already received nearly 1,100 migrants in the states of Chiapas and Tabasco and set out various options to them in accordance with their migration status.

According to Guatemala, at least 4,000 people entered from Honduras since last Wednesday, making for one of the biggest surges since three Central American governments signed agreements with the Trump administration obliging them to assume more of the responsibility for dealing with migrants.

In late 2018, a large caravan of migrants sought to break through the Tecun Uman border. At that time as well, many crossed via the Suchiate River dividing the two countries.

Edited by Ed Newman

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'Mexico Won't Let the Caravan Pass' Guatemala's President Says

Mexican Foreign Ministry has not made any official comments on Giammattei's words.

Guatemala's President Alejandro Giammattei Wednesday revealed that Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told him that the Honduran migrants' caravan heading towards the United States would not be allowed to enter into Mexican territory.

RELATED: Honduran Migrant Caravan Repressed On Guatemala Border Crossing

"The Mexican government told us that they won't let it pass," Giammattei said, adding that they told him "they will do everything in their powers to stop it from passing."

So far the Mexican Foreign Ministry has not made any official comments on President Giammattei's specific remarks. 

Nevertheless, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) administration warned that it will not deliver safeguards so that the pilgrims can cross its territory to the U.S., although it will study the refuge requests of those seeking to stay in Mexican territory.

"Mexico is not simply a transit country," the Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez said.

@GranadosCeja
If the caravan manages to cross the Honduras-Guatemala border, Mexico’s AMLO will face a big test: how will he respond to the exile of thousands fleeing poverty and violence? He claims to want a humanitarian approach toward migration but his record says otherwise. https://twitter.com...
 
@hondurassol
The second & largest group of the #migrantcaravan left this morning on foot. Some say the 2020 caravan bigger than the first caravan, involving over 10,000 people but hard to get an estimate. #Honduras
 

In October 2018, thousands of Central American migrants, who were fleeing poverty and violence in their homelands, entered Mexico intending to reach U.S. territory.

Their caravans caused tensions between the Government of the United States and Mexico, especially in June 2019 when President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all Mexican products if Central American migration flows were not reduced.

Both countries reached an agreement whereby the AMLO administration deployed the National Guard on Mexico's border with Guatemala, which has reduced the flow of migrants by 60 percent over the last year.

 

"It is a country that opens its doors to people who want to enter and migrate to our country; however, in no way, we have transit visas."​​​​​​​

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Mexico ratifies asylum to Bolivian refugees at embassy in La Paz

Mexico City, January 3 (RHC)-- Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) reaffirmed Thursday that he will not fall to "any provocation" and ratified that he will not hand over the former officials from Evo Morales government that have been granted asylum at his country's embassy in La Paz, Bolivia.

"The instructions they have are to assert the right of asylum, that we cannot waver in this matter of giving protection to those politically persecuted people who received asylum in our embassy and who later received arrest warrants," the Mexican president said.

AMLO then added that "if we give these people up we would be ending the right of asylum that is sacred for Mexico, it is part of international law, but in the case of our country, always, even in more difficult circumstances, it has been enforced, it is a matter of principle."

The president's position comes after he ordered the withdrawal of his ambassador to the Andean country, Maria Teresa Mercado, "to safeguard her security and integrity" and who left the country on December 31st after being declared “persona non grata ” by the President of the de-facto government of Bolivia Jeanine Añez.

The decision was taken after an "alleged interference" by the Mexican ambassador in an incident that occurred on December 27, when Spanish officials were prevented from entering, within the framework of a protocol visit to the residence of Mexico by the Bolivian police, generating tensions at the international level which resulted in the  European Union delegation in Bolivia expressing "deep concern."

The bilateral crisis that began with Mexico dragged on into Spain when the de-facto government also declared two Spanish officials as “personas non-gratas,” ordering them to leave Bolivian territory in 72 hours, something the Spanish government called a "hostile gesture."

Mexico has not expelled Bolivia’s ambassador in Mexico City and AMLO said he would not react to provocations and that his position on the matter will always be to defend the principles of foreign policy.  Relations have been difficult between the Mexican government and the de-facto government led by Añez since Mexico gave asylum to former Bolivian socialist leader Evo Morales last November, after a coup d'état was carried out against his government.

Edited by Ed Newman
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At Least 16 Killed, 5 Wounded in Mexican Prison Riot

At least 16 inmates in a central Mexico prison were killed and five more were wounded in a riot that closed out a violent 2019 for the country, authorities said. 

Zacatecas state security secretary Ismael Camberos Hernandez told local press that authorities had confiscated four guns believed to have been brought into the Cieneguillas state prison during visits Tuesday. He said the prison had been searched for weapons on Saturday and Sunday and that no guns had been found. 

The melee broke out around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and the prison was brought under control by 5 p.m., according to a statement from the state security agency. Fifteen of the victims died at the prison and one died later at a hospital. 

One prisoner was detained with a gun still in his possession and the other three guns were found inside the prison, the statement said.  

Camberos said not all the victims died from gunshot wounds. Some were stabbed and others beaten with objects. No guards or police were wounded, he said. 

Camberos did not offer a possible motive for the attacks, but such killings frequently involve score settling between rival cartel members or a battle for control of the prison's illicit business. 

Mexico has a long history of deadly prison clashes. In October, six inmates were killed in a prison in Morelos state. 
In September, Nuevo Leon state closed the infamous Topo Chico prison, the site of many killings over the years. In February 2016, 49 prisoners died there during rioting when two factions of the Zetas cartel clashed.

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Bolivia expels Mexican ambassador amid ongoing diplomatic row

La Paz, December 30 (RHC)-- The de-facto regime of Jeanine Áñez ordered the expulsion on Monday morning of the Mexican Ambassador, María Teresa Mercado, and two Spanish diplomats.  The move was conveyed to the Mexican Ambassador by the Bolivian Foreign Minister, Karen Longaric, prior to the self-proclaimed president's announcement.

Áñez explained at a press conference in the government's palace that her regime "has decided to oppose people pleasing" to the officials mentioned, as well as "to the group of allegedly hooded and armed diplomats."  The decision taken by the de facto government means the Mexican Ambassador and two Spanish diplomats have 72 hours to leave the country.

Áñez specified that the "hostile behavior, trying to surreptitiously and clandestinely enter Mexico's residence in Bolivia, challenging Bolivian police officers and citizens themselves, are things that we cannot allow."

For its part, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed the Mexican Ambassador to Bolivia, María Teresa Mercado, to return to her country in order to protect her security and integrity after the expulsion.

The Mexican Embassy in Bolivia has named, Ana Luisa Vallejo, the current head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Mission, as reported by the Mexican Government in a  statement, which also indicates that Mexico's diplomatic representation in Bolivia will continue to operate normally after this movement.

Edited by Ed Newman
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Mexico Passes Amnesty Law To Release People For Minor Offenses

The legislation calls for the release of all people accused of committing crimes such as abortion, including people who terminated the pregnancy like doctors or midwives.

The Chamber of Deputies of Mexico approved on Wednesday a new amnesty law that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ( AMLO ) called for and whose objective is to benefit people from vulnerable groups.

RELATED: Mexico's Ex-Head Of Public Security Took Bribes From Cartel

In a message posted on Twitter, the lower house of the Mexican legislative branch said that "with 306 votes in favor, 129 against and 4 abstentions, it was generally endorsed to issue the Amnesty Law."

He pointed out that the rule, which will enter the discussion phase in particular, has the objective of benefiting "vulnerable people and non-repeat offenders, who have been criminally prosecuted in the federal order for minor offenses."

Deputies of the official National Regeneration Movement (Morena) defended the law by arguing that it seeks to provoke a paradigm shift because it will stop criminalizing poverty and may at some point harmonize the situations in different states.

With this legislation, people accused of committing crimes such as abortion, including people who terminated the pregnancy like doctors or midwives are expected to be released.

People who - being in a state of vulnerability - have committed crimes against health by possession and transportation of narcotics will also be released.

It will also benefit members of incarcerated indigenous peoples, to whom due process has not been guaranteed.

The law indicates that the benefit of amnesty will not be granted to persons who have committed crimes against life or bodily integrity, or to those who committed the crime of kidnapping, or when firearms have been used in the commission of the crime.

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AMLO and his impact on Latin America

The arrival of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the presidency of Mexico had an important impact on the boost to anti-neoliberal struggles in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC, by its Spanish acronym).

As the presidential elections were nearing and his nomination was growing, the revolutionary and progressive circles of Our America were filled with joy and hope. Let us make a review.

When the Mexican presidential election took place in July 2018, our region was undergoing a significant political regression to both the right and neoliberalism’s hegemony as a result of the temporary victories achieved by an unfettered oligarchic imperialist offensive, which continues. After the blow meant by the electoral defeat of the left in Argentina in 2015, there came the parliamentary-judicial-media coup against the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff in 2016, and the establishment of a pro US stooge government in the country, event that marked a big turn to the right in the regional balance of forces. Then, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was incarcerated to prevent him from running in the October 2018 presidential elections in Brazil, where he would have been a clear winner, indispensable move to consolidate the neoliberal comeback. This, along with a huge smear campaign against the Workers’ Party (PT, by its Spanish acronym), many of whose members were incarcerated and prosecuted without the slightest evidence just as Lula. Another huge fraud in Honduras in 2017 prevented the return of the progressive forces to the government and allowed criminal and imperialism’s agent Juan Orlando Hernández to remain in office. Lawfare spread to Argentina, where Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) and several of her collaborators were subject to a fierce judicial persecution and some of them were imprisoned through concocted causes.

To all such, shortly after Donald Trump took office in the United States, he unleashed an extraordinary onslaught for its ferocity and impudence against the Cuban and Bolivarian revolutions, as if Barack Obama’s punitive and unilateral anti-Venezuelan measures had been little and as well as those Cuba continued to suffer after the discreet opening of the Afro American president. The goal is to make Cubans and Venezuelans die of starvation and diseases, not punishing their rulers as spokespeople of the empire shamelessly affirm.

In this context, AMLO’s electoral victory caused a huge joy in the Latin American and Caribbean left, which quite rightly celebrated his victory as their own. Likewise, the record against neoliberal policies in his first year in office, with an extraordinary transfer of economic resources to largely disadvantaged sectors of the population, particularly native peoples, the recovery of the energy sector from ruin and the hands of transnational companies in which neoliberal governments left it, the defense of sovereignty, non-intervention and other very important foreign policy principles enshrined in the Mexican Constitution, are measures that have exerted a very significant incentive in the outbreak of the current anti-neoliberal uprising of the peoples of Our America. It does not mean that the Mexican government had intended it or had anything to do with the organization of the ongoing protests. Not at all, What Mexico has done is just to set the example that an alternative path to neoliberalism can be undertaken at a time when right-wing sectors and self-styled left authors have already given the so-called progressive cycle in Latin America and the Caribbean as closed. We would allegedly enter an endless stage of conservative restoration, but what we are actually seeing is a bloom of defiance against the brutal suppression of neoliberals. An important evidence, along with what we have mentioned, is the electoral victory of the Fernández-Fernández pair in a country as important as Argentina.

A fact that has magnified and earned the government of Mexico huge respect in our American lands has been the remarkable rescue operation and political asylum granted to Evo Morales and Álvaro García Linera, President and Vice-President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, ousted by a fascist coup d’état. AMLO has been very clear: “Evo is not only our brother who represents with dignity the majority of indigenous people of Bolivia. Evo was the victim of a coup d’état. And from Mexico, we tell the world: Yes to democracy, no to militarism.”

A not less important fact is that the first state visit of a president to Mexico in the “Fourth Transformation” (4T) was that of Cuba’s Miguel Díaz-Canel.

It is very significant for Our America that Mexico will take over the presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC, by its Spanish acronym) from January 2020, because it entails a guarantee that unity and integration will revive in our region.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

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Trump threat: Against our Beautiful and Beloved Mexico

In his usual rude language, Donald Trump said he will regard drug traffickers as illegal groups operating in Mexico.

Such statement was immediately retorted by the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Thus, the AFP repeated the essence of his words:

In his morning press conference he asked Trump for "cooperation, not interventionism in the fight against drug trafficking."

However, he rejected controversy on the eve of Thanksgiving, "a very special date for Americans."

"In my case, I don't want to discuss anything today or tomorrow. I just want to say cooperation yes, interventionism no," he said before sending a "hug to the American people."

With this position, the president further stressed the difference between a true statesman and a barbarian from the north.

What Trump said, AFP added, unleashed criticism among different political sectors in Mexico, which they even believe it "could lead to a US intervention."

Earlier, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard rejected any meddling by his northern neighbor on Twitter.

“Mexico will never admit any action that means violation of its national sovereignty. We will act firmly. ”

I have already transmitted our position to Washington, as well as our determination to fight back organized crime, Ebrard said.

“Mutual respect is the basis of cooperation,” he wrote.

AFP recalled that Mexican-American ties share a border of almost 3,200 kilometers, and both nations have experienced moments of tension during 2019, especially due to a large traffic of undocumented migrants from Mexico to the United States.

After Trump suggested the possibility of increasing the cost of Mexican import tariffs, Mexican troops were deployed to stop irregular migration.

Now, facing this new grumbling of the rumbled and brutal North that hates all of us, Mexico's honor is endorsed.

Recently exalted when that nation saved the Indian president of Latin America, Evo Morales, from the fascist claws.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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