| 24 May 2024, Friday |

Mexico condemns violent actions by migration agents caught on video

The National Migration Institute (INM) of Mexico has denounced the conduct of agents who were seen on camera slamming a migrant to the ground and kicking him in the face with the assistance of National Guard troops over the weekend.

Hundreds of security personnel were deployed by the government to stop a caravan of migrants and asylum seekers from leaving the southern city of Tapachula on Saturday for Mexico City, where they hoped to get accelerated asylum hearings.

Videos uploaded to social media showed clashes between members of Mexico’s paramilitary National Guard and migrants, many of whom were accompanied by small children or holding newborns, along a highway in the state of Chiapas.

One of the videos shows an INM agent, with the help of National Guards wearing riot gear and shields, grabbing one of the migrants and knocking him to the ground, as another agent kicks him in the face.

Describing the incident, the INM said in a statement on Sunday that the immigration agents behaved “inappropriately” and that it “condemns any action that endangers the human rights of people in movement.” It did not say if the agents in question would face disciplinary action.

Another video showed members of the National Guard using their shields to beat a migrant carrying a minor.

Neither the INM or National Guard made any mention of the videos. It was unclear who had recorded the videos.

Amnesty International’s Mexico office called on Twitter for Mexico “to act with a humanitarian approach in the face of the arrival of Central American and Haitian migrants fleeing the violence and crisis generated by natural disasters.”

The National Guard, responding to Amnesty International, said on Twitter: “we have increased supervisory controls to improve procedures and prevent abuses.”

  • Reuters