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Violence Forces Immigrants to Seek New Routes Towards the US Border

Juan Carlos Zavala - El Universal
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September 13, 2017

Southern Border Plan: Mexico's own fight against illegal immigration (France 24)

In the last three years, violence against immigrants in Mexico has forced them to look for new routes to cross the state of Oaxaca to avoid becoming victims of crimes.

According to a report by The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), in partnership with other civil organizations, between 2014 and 2016 there were 5,248 crimes were committed against immigrants in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Sonora, and Coahuila.

The Immigrant Orientation Center (COMI), as mentioned in the WOLA report, says Oaxaca has seen an increase in abuses and crimes against immigrants, in which several agents of the National Institute of Immigration (INM) have been involved.

Official figures detail there have been reports of robbery, extortion, kidnapping, sexual assault, and illegal incarceration; this increase of violent crimes has modified the traditional immigration routes.

According to priest Fernando Cruz, coordinator of the COMI and The Good Samaritan shelter, immigrants are now crossing almost 367 kilometers into the mountains to arrive at the capital of the state of Oaxaca. On foot, the entire journey would take an approximate of 87 hours – that is, three and a half days without rest.

If they choose to travel along the coast, immigrants have to walk 272 kilometers and then decide whether they go to Oaxaca's capital or continue on their way towards Acapulco, in the neighboring state of Guerrero.

Read the rest at El Universal

Related: Metaphors of Immigration, from Mexico to the Mediterranean (WorldCrunch)

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