Media ignore the precariousness of migrants detained in Mexico

Leaky roofs, wet mattresses, lack of drinking water, children separated from their parents and indefinite periods of detention are just some of the problems with migrant stations and immigrant detention centers in southern Mexico, said Fabián Sánchez, of the organization i(dh)eas, during the 9th Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas.

This year, the forum, Sept. 8-10 in Austin, Texas, is dedicated to Media Coverage of Migration in the Americas.

Sánchez represents i(dh)eas, a civil society organization dedicated to the legal defense of human rights of immigrants crossing through Mexico. During his presentation, Sánchez highlighted the findings of the report In Nobody's Land, Labyrinth of Impunity, that examines the conditions that more than 70,000 immigrants detained in Mexico in 2010 faced. Roughly 95% of those migrants came from Central America.

“Mexico follows the immigration policy of the United States, Sanchez said. "It's a policy of closing borders, detaining and expelling immigrants."

Very few of the rapes and abuses of migrants committed by immigration authorities or bosses in Mexico who employ Central Americans are ever reported in the Mexican media, Sanchez said. For more details on these abuses, see this Knight Center post in Spanish.

The Austin Forum, organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and the Latin American and Media programs of the Open Society Foundations, continues Friday and Saturday. A complete program is available here.