Mexico and Migration

There is no doubt that Mexico has to do more when it comes to migrants in their own land. Migrantes are not only victims of coyotes, gang members and thieves, they also have to worry about corrupt immigration officials.

Now, there is news that the Mexican government is planning to “shake up” its immigration agency.

Eduardo Castillo of the Associated Press reports:

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico plans a shake-up of its corruption-ridden immigration institute, officials said, after a year that saw some of the worst atrocities against illegal migrants trekking through the country – including the mass slaughter of 72 Central and South Americans trying to reach the United States.The dismissals early this week will include several top directors of the National Institute for Migration, according to two government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been made public.

The government of President Felipe Calderon also plans to reform practices that have led to omissions, oversights and acts of corruption, though the officials didn’t provide details.

The hardships migrants face in Mexico have long been a source of discomfort for a country that lobbies hard for better treatment of its own immigrants in the United States.The shake-up comes less than two weeks after El Salvador reported the kidnapping of 50 migrants from a train in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Mexico angered its Central American neighbors by initially denying the Dec. 16 abduction took place, but now says it is investigating and has several migrants who escaped in protective custody. El Salvador later denounced a second kidnapping in Oaxaca: nine migrants who apparently were taken from a train Dec. 22. Five escaped and reported the kidnapping and one was killed trying to flee, the Salvadoran Foreign Relations Department said in a statement.

The bodies of 72 migrants were found Aug. 24 at a ranch about 100 miles (80) kilometers south of the U.S. border they were trying to reach. Authorities have said the migrants were killed by the Zetas drug gang after refusing to work as traffickers. The Zetas have also been linked to the disappearance of the 50.

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