Newspaper La Jornada
Tuesday, March 29, 2022, p. 5
How do you choose a case that represents
all the drama of migration? Perhaps it is only possible with the commitment and experience of the nun Dolores Palencia, who since 2010 has been in charge of a shelter for migrants in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz.
Palencia chose the case of a 17-year-old Honduran woman who arrived at the Decanal Guadalupano shelter on a rainy night in November 2020, after being the victim of violence and abuse on the trip from Chiapas.
He was looking for his mother and decided to continue on his way. In the vicinity of the train station he failed in his attempt to get on The beastfell and suffered the amputation of both legs (one from the hip and one from the knee).
She was taken to the port of Veracruz because in Tierra Blanca she had no chance of being treated. From the hospital they called the shelter:
The girl has covidthey were told, so that they would turn on the alerts for the possible contagion.
With the passage of time, they learned that the young woman did not have covid, but her lungs were damaged from having grown up in a house in which she cooked with firewood.
Currently, the girl is in a shelter in Celaya, Guanajuato, which welcomes people who require prostheses, which are managed by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Palencia sums up the tragedy:
If she had been able to explain (to the immigration authorities), in Chiapas, that her mother was already in Saltillo, and with papers in order, she would not have had to get on the train.
The report condenses the work of organizations serving migrants on the ground, and presents, with collaboration between shelter staff and academic institutions, an overview of migration in the first year of the pandemic. The title defines its meaning: Human mobility in confinement: containment, violation of rights and lack of protection in Mexico (can be consulted on the social networks of @RedodemMX).
Among the many effects that the pandemic had on the migratory phenomenon are the difficulties that the organizations that assist them had to face, from the drastic reduction of their staff (many volunteers decided to confine themselves) and donations, to difficulties in applying the questionnaires to the migrants (who are the raw material for Redodem reports).
Among the main conclusions of the report, they highlight that the member organizations of the network served a total of 15,195 people during 2020; that the Covid-19 pandemic
came to restructure the dynamics of human mobility in our country, but did not paralyze the migratory flow.
The nun Palencia asked to return to 2020, a year in which fear of the pandemic was installed and during which many people, with the conditions to do so, chose to confine themselves. In those days, she used to ask the migrants if they were thinking of taking shelter. And she received responses like this:
My confinement is the air, it is the train, it is the street.
For the migrant population, he argued, there was no possibility of confinement: many countries closed their borders and migrants could not even return; and there was the closure of immigration stations and shelters, some of which chose to shelter people who had already started their refugee process.
For the Network of Organizations and Shelters, what happened in 2020 was that the governments of Mexico and its northern neighbors
they saw in the pandemic the opportunity to strengthen immigration control and increase their militarization strategiesabove
protection measures and access to rights.