HomeNewsBriefMexico-Guatemala Border Program to Protect Migrants from Criminal Groups
BRIEF

Mexico-Guatemala Border Program to Protect Migrants from Criminal Groups

GUATEMALA / 8 JUL 2014 BY CAMILO MEJIA EN

The governments of Mexico and Guatemala have announced a new border program to protect migrants crossing into Mexico from Central America, as both countries attempt to combat the exploitation and mistreatment of migrants by the region's criminal groups.

Speaking alongside Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina on July 7, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto outlined a Southern Border program designed to increase security and protect human rights. The program includes initiatives to organize border checkpoints and strengthen security cooperation between Mexican and Guatemalan authorities to combat criminal groups attacking migrants, reported El Universal.

Under the Southern Border program, migrants from Guatemala and Belize will be eligible to receive a free visitor card allowing them to remain in four of Mexico's southern states for a period of 72 hours.

In addition, the plan includes a regional initiative to provide specialized attention to the large number of unaccompanied minors currently flooding into Mexico on their way to the United States.

InSight Crime Analysis

Migrants traveling through Central America and Mexico en route to the United States often become the victims of criminal organizations. In addition to being extorted, migrants have been kidnapped, trafficked, and used as drug mules by criminal groups like the Zetas. There have also been recent reports that factions of El Salvador's Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang are extorting and kidnapping migrants in Mexico's Chiapas state near the Guatemalan border.   

Even with increased security measures, migrants will still be at risk of exploitation, not only from criminal groups but also from those charged with protecting them. In the past there have been cases of Mexican officials selling migrants to criminal groups, and the Southern Border program does not appear to contain specific proposals to combat such corruption.

SEE ALSO: Target: Migrants

The border program will also likely complicate Mexico's relationship with its northern neighbor. The United States has seen a recent surge in unaccompanied children attempting to cross the Mexican border, many of them driven by the deterioration in security in parts of Central America. This has prompted a backlash from both anti-immigration sectors and from those outraged at the conditions the children had to endure in the United States, and so the US government is unlikely to welcome measures designed to facilitate the safe passage of more migrants from Central America into Mexico.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 26 AUG 2020

A Guatemala political operator accused of taking millions in bribes has surrendered after four years as a fugitive and is…

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 25 JUL 2016

The founder of Mexico's notorious and now defunct Guadalajara Cartel, Rafael Caro Quintero, has been linked to two recent events…

MEXICO / 30 AUG 2013

Police in Mexico have captured the alleged head of Sinaloa Cartel operations in Chihuahua, who is closely linked to cartel leader…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.