Guatemala Launches Inquiry into Migrant Rights Amid Crackdown

By Jason Peña on July 9, 2019

Guatemalan officials have raised concerns over the treatment and condition of Guatemalan citizens being held at a migrant shelter in Comitan, Mexico. According to the Mexican daily La Razon, Ranger Morales, the Guatemalan Consulate in Comitan de Dominguez, Chiapas, questioned the treatment of 59 Guatemalan migrants between June 19 and June 23. Consul Morales' chief compliant, lodged at the National Institute of Migration (INM), was that his office was notified six days after the initial arrests had been made. The practice of detaining illegal aliens in Mexico requires that arresting agents submit a "migrant assurance" message, which is a notification sent to the ambassador's office of the migrant's country of origin.


El Universal reports that Consul Morales and his Vice Consul Fernando Castro-Molina traveled to the migrant facility to observe the living conditions after numerous allegations of mistreatment. The Guatemalan officials reported a lack of food, toiletries, medical assistance, and communications. The detainees included men, women, children, and infants. The Spanish news source El Periodico reports that Consul Morales has made a request to the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) to investigate the matter further.


The ongoing problem of illegal immigration in the Western Hemisphere has facilitated a dialogue between Mexico and Guatemala. La Jornada reports on a recent meeting between officials from both nations in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas to establish effective border enforcement. During the meeting, Brigadier General Vicente Antonio Hernandez, head of the National Guard in Mexico’s southern region, stated, "…foreigners entering the country must have their documentation in order and if they do not prove their legal stay in the national territory, they will be taken to the migratory stations and stays of the National Institute of Migration (INM); to initiate administrative procedure."

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador is considering the deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops on Mexico’s southern border to help stop the illegal influx.