Friday - Nov 16, 2018

Texas plan to deploy National Guard at border worries Mexico


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The Mexican government on Tuesday expressed its “concern” over the decision by Texas authorities to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the border to help stem the massive arrival of undocumented child migrants from Central America.

“Attention to the immigration phenomenon must be paid from a long-term regional perspective and based on the principles of good neighborliness and shared responsibility,” the Foreign Relations Secretariat said in a statement.

“The strategy for responding in an effective and humane manner to this phenomenon includes the necessary shared responsibility among the countries of origin, transit and destination of migration flows,” the statement continued.

The secretariat declared its commitment to the protection of the migrants’ human rights and the orchestration of “specific actions directed at the most vulnerable, including unaccompanied children and teenagers.”

The secretariat emphasized that Mexico had opted for a strategy favoring dialogue and cooperation, and it is working “with the countries of Central America to improve conditions in the medium and long term that contribute to the development of that region and strengthen its prosperity.”

More than 57,000 unaccompanied immigrant minors have entered the United States via the border with Mexico over the past 10 months, most of them coming from Central America, a situation that has spurred the governments of the region to try and halt what has been described as a humanitarian crisis.

 

192 arrested in U.S. crackdown on human smuggling

As part of the U.S. Government’s aggressive campaign to respond to the recent rise in illegal migration into South Texas, federal government officials targeted human smuggling networks in the Rio Grande Valley.

On June 23, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) surged personnel to the RGV as part of HSI’s efforts to target and dismantle human smuggling operations across the southwest border. Less than a month into this operation, 192 smugglers and their associates have already been arrested on criminal charges, more than 501 undocumented immigrants have been taken into custody and more than $625,000 in illicit profits have been seized from 288 bank accounts held by human smuggling and drug trafficking organizations.

 

Honduras criticized for its harassment of journalists

Reporters Without Borders denounced Tuesday the judicial harassment of news professionals in Honduras, asserting that journalists are being prosecuted for giving voice to minorities and reporting on subjects the authorities want to keep hidden.

The Paris-based watchdog group known by the French initials RSF pointed to the sedition case involving 36 members of the Honduran Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations, or COPINH.

Among those facing charges are Radio Progreso journalist Albertina Manueles Pérez and a number of correspondents of COPINH-affiliated community radio stations.

In the majority of cases, RSF said in a statement, they are accused of inciting protests and undermining the internal security of the state, though many of those reporters have in fact covered corruption scandals and other subjects the government finds inconvenient.

“This judicial harassment of ‘social communicators’ and civil society organizations is indicative of a desire on the part of the authorities to restrict free speech,” the head of RSF’s Americas desk, Camille Soulier, said.

“We call for the withdrawal of all the charges in this case,” she added.

The case opened against the COPINH group comes amid this week’s abduction and murder of Honduran television journalist Herlyn Espinal, RSF noted.

“Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to do everything possible to shed light on Espinal’s murder,” Soulier said. “A thorough, independent investigation must be carried out as quickly as possible, as it should with all the other media workers murdered in Honduras.”

Honduran authorities’ “dangerous tendency to rule out any link with the victim’s work makes it easier to silence critics with complete impunity,” she said.