Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CentAm migrants possible victims in train crash

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants make the perilous journey northward to the U.S. in search of a better life. The risks are many, especially for those who travel hundreds of miles through Mexico on the tops of freight trains.

According to Mexican police at least thirteen people were killed yesterday when a train hauling corn slammed into a group of empty freight cars. The incident occurred in the northern state of Sinaloa and may have been due to a mechanical failure along with human error. Among those dead were a private security guard and reportedly migrants travelling to the U.S. based on comments made by local officials.

A 2009 report by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission highlighted how drug gangs and other criminals target Central American migrants. The study found that between September 2008 and February 2009 nearly 9800 migrant men, women, and children had been kidnapped as part of an “alarming, growing trend.” An Amnesty International report released last April blamed authorities for “turning a blind eye” to the difficult situation migrants face:
"Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis leaving them with virtually no access to justice, fearing reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses," said Rupert Knox, Mexico Researcher at Amnesty International.

"Persistent failure by the authorities to tackle abuses carried out against irregular migrants has made their journey through Mexico one of the most dangerous in the world."
Online Sources- BBC Mundo, The Latin Americanist, Amnesty International, AFP, MSNBC, UPI

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