The Reyes Méndez family was kidnapped three times by officers of the Mexican Federal Police, including one time with their 11-year old son Tonatihu. They came to Canada seeking safety in 2008 but were informed that their refugee application had been refused.
The parents and their two teenagers are well integrated into Quebec, contributing to society in a number of ways through work and community involvement. If forced to return to Mexico, the family will be in grave danger at the hands of police and members of organized crime, who have close links with the police. In the current political climate in Mexico, no citizen contacts the police for help.
The decision to refuse the Reyes Méndez family refugee status once again throws into question the Canadian immigration system. The fact that Mexico is not a "safe country" was implicitly recognized today by the government, who did not include Mexico on its newly unveiled list of Ottawa's "designated countries of origin". Nevertheless, Mexicans are deported at a rate of 7 per day from Canada.
Mexico is in the midst of a bloody "war on drug trafficking". Mexicans are targetted by violent organized crime, caught in the crossfire between criminal groups and law enforcement, and subject to the violence of the army, deployed throughout the country to fight the drug cartels. Moreover, violence against women is perpetrated with complete impunity; there are attacks, intimidation and frequent murders of human rights defenders, journalists, activists and militants; and sexual minorities face widespread persecution.
International Migrants Day is an opportunity to reaffirm and emphasize the importance of migrants around the world and in Canada. Migrants enrich societies, bringing knowledge, culture, traditions and their labour. It is an opportunity to reject the Conservative government's system of categorizing people and excluding migrants.
Publicado: 18 de diciembre, 2012