Statement of the Latin American and Caribbean Region of the International Federation of Social Workers IFSW-LAC for the humanitarian crisis on the border of Mexico with the United States and the violation of the human rights of hundreds of Latin American migrants.
June 30, 2019, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The Latin American and Caribbean Region of the International Federation of Social Workers (FITS) expresses our rejection of the humanitarian crisis provoked on the border between Mexico and the United States and the violation of the human rights of hundreds of Latin American migrants. This situation has caused hundreds of people to lose their lives
The border crossing between Mexico and the United States is the second migratory corridor with the most deaths of migrants worldwide, after the Mediterranean Sea. In 2018, 400 immigrant people lost their lives. In the past weeks, the international media have returned to report, the tragedies that migrant children and families face every day through this step. Neoliberal policies, issues of geopolitical power, as well as political and economic crises, which take place in the context of a globalization of markets in North America, have led to the expulsion of thousands of people from their territories of origin. Human mobility is the result of poverty, hunger, violence, and environmental disasters. All this, because of the exploitation of the land and the environment, and the effects generated by the extractive economies forcing thousands of people to leave their countries. Every day, thousands of people have been desperate and forced to abandon their lands of origin. All this occurs in the presence of the dismantling, restrictions, and lack of social rights such as education, employment, and health. Others send their sons and daughters, protecting their lives from the violence they face in their villages as a result of induced social and economic inequality.
Our region and the Social Work professionals who work in Latin America have witnessed the transformation of migratory flows, increasing their numbers, the complexities and characteristics of the population. The profile of the caravans and the migratory flows that have been observed during the past years have faces mainly of children and women. The story of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his daughter Angie Valeria, as well as the transgender woman Johana Medina León (25 years old) and the children Carlos Gregorio Hernández (16 years old), Wilmer Josué Ramírez (2 years old), Juan de León Gutiérrez (16 years old) ), Felipe Alónzo Gómez (8 years old), Jakelin Caal Maquin (7 years old), among so many others and others who have died in the custody of the United States, are evidence of what we denounce.
The response of the United States to the great quantity and complexity of migratory flows has been to establish responses aimed at border control and the criminalization of migrants, conceiving migration as a problem. Strategies such as the closing of borders with the construction of walls, rigorous surveillance and control programs, the severity of migration policies and the socialization of dehumanizing and anti-migrant political discourses are some of the measures. As a result, this population faces violence (physical, mental, sexual), lack of protection, and total violation of their human rights, imprisonment and deprivation of their freedom, deportations, family separations, disappearances, threats to life , labor exploitation, chronic and infectious diseases, and even death.
As professionals of Social Work, we understand that the problem is not the immigrant with irregular migratory status, the problem lies in the legal apparatus that daily produces conditions that violate and control the migrant. We denounce the current political and anti-migrant climate that violates the lives of thousands of children and families who exercise their right to freedom of mobility in Latin America and demand the recognition of the human rights of all people regardless of their nationality or country of origin . We call on all our national organizations for political mobilization in the claim, defense, and expansion of human rights.
Larry Alicea Rodríguez, MTS, JD, President IFSW-LAC Region
Dr. Tânia Maria Ramos de Godoi Diniz, Vice President IFSW-LAC Region
Lic. Xanthis Suárez García, IFSW-LAC Human Rights Commissioner
Lic. Alicia Yáñez Merino, IFSW-LAC Commissioner UN-CEPAL Santiago
Dr. Iván De Jesús Rosa, IFSW-LAC Commissioner Global Agenda
Dr. Marinilda Rivera Díaz, IFSW-LAC Education Commissioner
Magister Kenia Batista, IFSW-LAC Ethics Commissioner
Magister Jenny Linares, IFSW-LAC Indigenous Commissioner