López Obrador denies the announced measure on preventing NGOs from accessing immigration stations | International

The last migrant caravan in Tabasco. On video, the president of Mexico denying having prevented access to NGOs. PHOTO: Teresa de Miguel | VIDEO: REUTERS / EFE

In less than 24 hours, the Government of López Obrador has announced a measure and the opposite in terms of migration, one of the key issues of his Administration and the relationship with the United States. On Tuesday afternoon, a statement from the National Migration Institute announced something unusual: the suspension of NGO access to migration facilities where there are stranded thousands of migrants. The report made an official complaint that the organizations had been claiming for months and the measure became an international scandal. The UN defended the associations that same night. And the president, in his morning conference on Wednesday has settled the chaotic management of his dependencies: “Prohibit prohibit. He will not be prevented from accessing anyone.”

Almost two weeks after the last caravan of Central American migrants, formed by about 3,000, of the repression against them of the National Guard on the southern border and a day after Donald Trump declared that Mexico is already paying the wall, the López Obrador Executive has revealed the contradictions in two of its dependencies : the Ministry of Interior (Interior) and the National Migration Institute, subordinated to the previous agency.

Shortly after the document of the Migration Institute was released, which prevented, until further notice, the access of NGOs to migrant centers, a government statement confirmed it. Until that moment, it seemed that the measure came into effect immediately. The reason: to ensure the “operability of the facilities” given the “migratory contingency” of the last days. According to what the institution reported and confirmed their superior dependence, migrants they would no longer have the support and legal advice which recognizes the Migration Law itself.

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Civil organizations they were preparing to take legal action against the government and resort to a measure that they considered violated their rights to defend migrants and their fundamental rights. The Mexican offices of the UN, through another statement, supported these associations. And shortly after, another announcement from the Ministry of the Interior denied what he had previously reported: ” [La dependencia] he ignores the trade “and blamed an official, Antonio Molina Díaz, for having issued the document” without the authorization of the higher authorities. “

The government chaos and uncertainty for dozens of civil and religious organizations has not been resolved until the morning of Wednesday, with the announcement of López Obrador to the question of a journalist. “We are not conservative. That is how the previous rulers acted before. How do you imagine we are going to leave without being able to attend a shelter for religious, members of civil society, social organizations … No!” President. Although not even his predecessor in office, Enrique Peña Nieto, criticized for his hard hand against migration, took a similar step in his six years of government. And, without explaining why there had been conflicting information from within its Executive, nor a statement of Migration or Government clarifying what happened, the issue has been settled.

Sources of the Migration Institute have assured this newspaper that what the president has announced will be applied and that only the NGO visits will be rescheduled, but access will not be prevented. The Migration Law establishes in its article 226 that every migrant who is in a temporary station or stay has the right to be visited by relatives or “representatives of non-governmental organizations”. These organizations had permanent access permits and a calendar of visits agreed with each institution.

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On the other hand, the organizations that denounced the restrictions on entry to these centers – in the spotlight for a year for accusations of overcrowding and human rights violations – are skeptical. “It illustrates once again the disorder of the Government regarding migration policy,” said Salvador Lacruz, coordinator of the area of ​​political advocacy at the Fray Matías Human Rights Center, based in Tapachula (border with Guatemala), an NGO to which Since the beginning of January they have been denied access to the Siglo XXI immigration station, where 1,100 migrants were detained. And he adds: “It is especially worrying that the approach is absolutely far from respect for human rights, beyond the official discourse. Everything seems improvised or decided according to the interests to fulfill the role of guardian of the United States border.”

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