Above Photo: Ken Shin/Flickr
Thousands of migrants from Central America have made politically and socially visible the structural violence and systematic violation of their human rights that they experience on a daily basis, without governments attending to the causes or the basic necessities of survival, through their organisation into caravans. These are some of the reasons that forced them to flee their countries, with only what they carry on their backs and suffering the hardships of a long journey towards an uncertain destination. They flee from capitalist criminal, institutional, state and patriarchal violence. They advance in defiance of the threats of the police and military who guard the different borders, as if at war with the wretched of the earth.
Solidarity with migrant sisters and brothers suffering from hunger, thirst, disease and exhaustion has been expressed by thousands of people who have supported them with food, water and clothing to mitigate their hunger and thirst and the inclement weather. Impelling all the actions of support and solidarity in the towns and cities they pass through is a task born out of social consciousness, that they should not be left on their own. This solidarity of the peoples is preventing diseases from worsening and reducing the risk factors. Thus, the passage of caravans is touching the hearts of those who understand that today these are women, men, LGBT+ people, young people, adolescents, girls and boys who are in the middle of a tremendous humanitarian crisis of forced migration. And it is becoming clear, too, that these caravans are only the concentrated expression of what about 250 million people who are forced to migrate in any corner of the planet experience.
The first large caravan started in Honduras, in October of this year, made up of thousands of people, almost half of them women and children, passed through Mexico City and now continues its journey to the northern border with the United States. They had overcome the obstacles of police violence on the southern frontier of Mexico, the threats and assaults of criminal groups, the disappearance of a hundred at the hands of armed groups, extortion of all kinds and a xenophobic hate campaign and racist discrimination promoted and stimulated by the US government of Donald Trump and the right-wing. Those who feed reactionary and fundamentalist ideologies through different media, stimulate prejudices, fears and rumours that proliferate as part of the dominant ideology, which penetrate even amongst ordinary people, awakening selfish individualism and alienated competition that obscures the knowledge of reality.
Against those who think that the caravan is a great media montage and the product of an orchestrated operation, we denounce the growing economic, political, insecurity, murder, feminicide and disappearances in Honduras that have caused this growing organized migration. Likewise, we denounce the misery and unemployment generated by neoliberal policies and the systematic repression of a government established by the military dictatorship, which mounted a coup against the timidly progressive government of Manuel Zelaya, in 2009. This is coupled with the high levels of criminal violence that exists in Honduran cities, such as San Pedro Sula, considered the most violent city in all Latin America. All these are the immediate causes of the current forced migration.
The other caravans on the way, from El Salvador and Guatemala, also show that terrible conditions of survival, as in large regions of Mexico, lead to a degree of despair to thousands of people who see no other perspective than to cling to a possibility of improvement by fleeing their countries. Although without any security, especially because of the racist, xenophobic and discriminatory policies that lead the Trump government to militarize the border with Mexico with heavily armed soldiers, also with armed, racist, right-wing supremacist and fundamentalist groups of civilians, who have already committed atrocious crimes against Latin American migrants.
So far, more than three caravans, totalling more than 10,000 people, have decided to cross Mexico these days with the aim of reaching the United States; and everything indicates that more people will follow with this objective. Although we must emphasize that this forced displacement has been happening for many years, but in a clandestine manner. Thus, according to official figures, from January to September 2018, more than 41,000 Hondurans and Hondurans who travelled through Mexico were registered, although the great majority have already been deported by the Mexican government.
What is new now is that instead of this permanent and long term “ant” migration, it is now a mass, collective migration which faces together the great risks and dangers of murder, femicide, sexual violence against women and disappearance that crossing Mexico involves. It should be noted that, for more than a decade, this led families and mothers of Central American migrants disappeared in the Mexican territory to organize an international movement for their search. Therefore, the current collective, massive mobilization of broad sectors of the Central American peoples is an escape from the catastrophic conditions imposed by capitalism in the region and the extreme violence it has unleashed. It is a social response that has decided to change these conditions, to jointly walk a long and dangerous path in search of a dignified life. Given this situation, Trump’s threats only encourage an attack or confrontation on the border with Mexico. We consider that both the outgoing Mexican federal government and the incoming one have the obligation to guarantee respect for the human rights of migrants as they pass through the country, and we hold them responsible for not guaranteeing their right to freedom of transit. and their human rights, in addition to protection, security, medical attention or transportation in transit through Mexico.
For an anti-capitalist alternative and social and political solidarity with migrants
Faced with this serious humanitarian crisis, the only effective response is to reject the consideration as a “problem” of migration and to satisfy the social needs of millions of women, men, LGBT+ and children, migrants and indigenous peoples. We demand that the richest countries are host countries, as other countries in the world already are.
We demand the right to migrate, to have freedom of movement, transit and residence. As internationalists we demand the human rights of all people to live with dignity and enjoy all the political and social rights of the country in which they reside. The constitutional reform on human rights approved in Mexico in 2011 establishes precisely that these rights are recognized not only for the Mexican population, but also for a foreign population residing in Mexico or passing through the country.
In turn, migration should be a freely adopted option. However, millions of people are forced to migrate to escape misery, poverty, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, war, ecocide, ecological crisis, lack of perspectives and so on. All people should enjoy full rights, including, but not limited to, the right of asylum for those fleeing war and persecution.
We support the self-organization and struggles of migrants, starting with their specific and particular demands, but seeking to build the necessary links with class, gender and anti-racist discrimination issues and showing how this is a single interconnected process. We promote experiences of mutual aid between the exploited and discriminated class and their common struggles, either by building social and union struggles that include workers of all kinds or through collective projects, such as self-managed housing projects, cooperatives, solidarity associations and informal groups of economic and social mutual aid.
As internationalists we consider that freely decided migration and the mixing of populations are positive for societies. Building links between popular and social movements in the countries of origin and host countries is a vital part of the development of social movements of resistance to capitalism, ties that point to the possibilities of a new world based on sorority, solidarity and mutual aid.
Because no human being is illegal, let us strengthen solidarity and internationalist struggle with the migrants who are on the road today.
Enough of racism and xenophobia!
Sorority and solidarity
For a workers and peasants’ government
November 12, 2018
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