Mexico City. On the official visit of the US Vice President, Kamala Harris, to Mexico and Guatemala next week, she will have to discuss with the leaders of these two countries issues of human rights and the rule of law, as there are measures and even government policies that are trying against those guarantees.
This was stated in a joint statement issued by the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs, the Latin American Working Group, and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Center, Center for Justice and International Law, and Due Process Foundation.
A few days after Harris’s tour of both countries, where one of the central topics will be immigration and support to address its causes, the five civic organizations lamented that members of Joe Biden’s administration praised the military’s strategies for the immigration control measures it had implemented. Mexico and Guatemala, “measures that provoke further human rights violations,” which were carried out largely under pressure from the United States, during the administration of Donald Trump.
In this sense, they stressed that migration policies in the region should not focus on deterrence and control of flows, but on humanitarian matters.
Harris, whom Biden named last March to be responsible for leading his administration’s efforts to jointly address Mexico and Central America’s causes of regional migration, including poverty, insecurity and corruption, will be in Guatemala on Monday. June 7 and in our country on Tuesday 8.
NGOs criticized this after Harris’ recent virtual meetings with the presidents of Mexico, Andres Manuel López Obrador; And from Guatemala, Alejandro Giamatti, US training strategies for Guatemalan border security forces and a possible US request for Mexican authorities to increase immigration detention and deportation were agreed.
They also requested clear indications from the Biden administration to align its border policies with its legal and international obligations to allow access to its asylum system, beginning with ending deportations on health grounds under Title 42, which Trump created but so far new. The government maintains.
In the document, the five NGOs considered the US government’s recognition of the need to strengthen the rule of law and combat inequality and economic insecurity in the region “a positive change after the disastrous policies of the Trump administration.”
However, they added, “We are concerned that, in the name of establishing immigration control agreements to limit arrivals at the US-Mexico border, the Biden government may fail to address some of the most urgent human rights issues, the rule of law and governance, which should be discussed with the governments of Mexico and Guatemala.” .
They stressed that prioritizing deterrence and immigration control measures over access to protection threatens the safety of thousands of people, many of whom are traveling as a family, fleeing their countries of origin to save their lives.
In the case of Mexico, civilian groups said they were concerned about security, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, human rights abuses, and the role of the armed forces.
They said that no tangible progress had been made in disarming public security or improving the investigation and prosecution of crimes.
They have made Harris know their concern about recent reforms such as the Attorney General’s Office Act, which “impairs the accountability and independence” of the institution; extending the powers of the President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, Arturo Zaldivar, and other members of the judiciary; or the increasing role of the armed forces in civilian tasks, both within and outside of public security.
They also drew attention to the proposals that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that he would send to reform the various independent bodies, or his generalized accusations against civic organizations and journalists.