MEXICO CITY (CNS) — An advocate for undocumented migrants has left a Catholic-run shelter in southern Mexico after receiving death threats, a statement from a coalition of nine Catholic and human rights organizations said.
Staff at the shelter, La 72, in Tabasco state reported receiving death threats June 8 in a call advising an activist, Ruben Figueroa of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, to stop impeding the activities of organized criminal groups. The suspected caller was arrested, along with three suspects accused of kidnapping migrants for ransom, but all were released June 10, the statement said.
The departure marks yet more difficulties for the shelter and its operator, Franciscan Father Tomas Gonzalez Castillo, whose work with undocumented migrants on the Mexico-Guatemala border has brought him into conflict with both criminals and government officials.
It also marks more problems for migrants as they transit Mexico — especially in southeastern Mexico, where Father Gonzalez said they are now charged at least $100 by criminals to climb aboard northbound trains. Migrants transiting Mexico are often kidnapped by gang members, who demand ransoms from relatives already living in the United States.
The June 12 statement, distributed by both the Diocese of Saltillo and Jesuit-run Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center, said the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had issued an April order to provide more protection for the shelter and its staff.
Federal police, however, have not maintained a permanent presence at the shelter, while other proposed security measures — such as installing panic buttons and closed circuit cameras — have not been carried out.
Win free tickets, help support CatholicPhilly.com
CatholicPhilly.com often partners with our region's top cultural venues. During this two-week period, you can benefit by our association with The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
Make a donation of any amount during this period and you will receive two general admission tickets to Philadelphia's premier educational museum -- that's a $60 value.
Use our secure credit card form by clicking the link below. That will enable us to contact you so we can send the tickets, which are valid to September 2018.
Your donation helps us to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith. Your gift gift of $40, $50, $100, or more will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here: