Kidnapped at Gun Point

July 5, 2011

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ACTION ALERT

On June 24, over two hundred migrants were kidnapped at gun point in Media Agua, Veracruz Mexico. These migrants were traveling on top of a freight train between Oaxaca and Veracruz, when the train stopped in an isolated area and ten armed men forced them at gun point into vehicles. Every minute these victims are in the hands of their kidnappers, their safety and well being are further endangered.

BACKGROUND

The reports of extortion, abuse, rape, kidnapping, and mass executions against migrants passing through Mexico continue to skyrocket. In 2010, the world was shocked to hear of the 72 Central American migrants that were systematically executed by a drug cartel when they refused to smuggle drugs. Since then, reports of mass graves of immigrants have become common. Often the kidnapped victims are held ransom for thousands of dollars and when their love ones cannot afford to pay, torture and dismemberment are used to pressure the family members. If ransom is not paid, many migrants report their organs are extracted.

Central American immigrants are often targeted by gangs, cartels and corrupt government officials. According to the Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission) over a six month period in 2010, more than 11,000 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico. CNDH also cites over 100 cases where victims reported law enforcement’s involvement in their kidnapping. Even if a kidnapper is arrested, the judiciary system has failed to prosecute these criminals. Out of the 141 cases of migrant kidnapping between January 2008 and April 2010, there were only two people sentenced for this crime. The impunity of kidnappers and the corruption within law enforcement has significantly increased the threat migrants’ face.

ACTION REQUESTED

As a matter of our religious convictions to promote and protect dignity of every person, we ask for your assistance in calling on the Mexican government to: authorize an investigation into the mass kidnapping of migrants, establish their whereabouts and bring those responsible to justice.

APPEALS TO:

Minister of the Interior
Lic. Jose Francisco Blake Mora
Secretario de Gobernacion
Bucareli 99, 1er. Piso, Col. Juarez
Delegacion Cuauhtemoc
Mexico DF, CP 06600
MEXICO
Fax: 011 52 55 50933414 ext. 32356
Salutation: Senor Ministro/Dear Minister
E-mail: secretario@segob.gob.mx

Attorney General of the Republic
Marisela Morales Ibanez
Procuradora General de Justicia de la Republica,
Av. Paseo de la reforma 211 – 213,
Col. Cuauhtemoc, Del. Cuauhtemoc,
Mexico D.F.
MEXICO
Fax: 011 52 555 346 0908
Email: mmoralesi@pgr.gob.mx
Salutation: Dear Attorney General

Governor of Veracruz
Lic. Javier Duarte de Ochoa
Palacio de Gobierno
Av. Enriquez S/N, Col Centro,
CP 91000, Xalapa, Veracruz
MEXICO
Email: javierduarte@veracruz.gob.mx

COPIES TO:

Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan Casamitjana
Embassy of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20006
Fax: 1 202 728 1698
Email: mexembusa@sre.gob.mx

SAMPLE LETTER OR SAMPLE SCRIPT

Dear _______________,

Mr/Ms. ______, as you know, the excessive violence against immigrants passing through Mexico, has dramatically increased in the last few years. These crimes against humanity are troubling and need to be addressed urgently. As a concerned individual, I sincerely ask you, to address this situation. Speaking from my faith convictions to promote and protect dignity, justice and respect for all life, I call on government officials to work for a productive outcome to the crisis.

Central American immigrants are often targeted by gangs, cartels and corrupt government officials. According to the Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, over a six month period in 2010, more than 11,000 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico. CNDH also cites over 100 reports of the local, state and federal police involvement in the kidnappings. Even if a kidnapper is arrested, the judiciary system has failed to prosecute these criminals. Out of the 141 cases of migrant kidnappings between January 2008 and April 2010, only two people were sentenced for this crime. The impunity of kidnappers and the corruption within law enforcement has significantly increased the threat against migrants.

I am deeply disturbed by the reports of mass execution of migrants or the horrors kidnapped victims face while being held for ransom. Most recently, I am worried about a situation on June 24, where over two hundred migrants were kidnapped in Medias Agua, Veracruz. These migrants were traveling on top of a freight train between Oaxaca and Veracruz, when the train stopped in an isolated area and ten armed men forced them at gun point into vehicles. I urge all law enforcement to immediately investigate this kidnapping and the whereabouts of these migrants. Once found, the Mexican government must actively prosecute all the members involved in the kidnapping. If the Mexican government makes it apparent that kidnappers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, many of these crimes against humanity could be prevented.
Sincerely,

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT

Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
1320 Fenwick Lane
Silver Springs, MD 20910
301-565-4547