The Voices of Migration
It’s 9:30am and there is a cacophony in the large kitchen at the Centro de Orientación del Migrante de Oaxaca, A.C. (Migrant Orientation Center of Oaxaca; COMI). La señora Gina’s voice rings out as she makes sure everyone gets their breakfast. The TV is on in the background, but the sound gets drowned out temporarily by la Licenciada’s greeting. There is a low hum of conversation coming from the two large tables in the middle of the room where all the houseguests and some of the volunteers are seated. Today Jacky and I are listening to one of the migrant’s story. He tells us about violence in his home country, his love for his family, and how to him every part of his journey is a learning experience. It is moments like these, when we have the honor of interacting with the migrants, that give a human face to the work that we have been doing.
The stories we have heard have not only humanized the experience of migration but caused us to become ardently angered at the inhumane situations migrants experience. The act of emigrating has transcended purely economic factors. Central American migrants are fleeing their home countries for various socio-political factors, making it a forced migration. However, the act of migrating is more and more dangerous, especially with the presence of human right violations, drug cartel extortions, and the implementation of the Programa Frontera Sur. The program, which is a migration policy implemented by the Mexican government in July 2014 was meant as a means to deter migrants from reaching the U.S. Mexican Border, and has largely been contextualized as a response to the “child migrant” crisis. However, many accounts from people working directly with migrants indicate that the policy, far from accomplishing its goal of ensuring the “security and protection of migrants” instead has turned into a migrant hunt. Our time at this migrant shelter has given us a small glimpse of the realities migrants face.
If you are interested in hearing more of these migration stories, and the state of migrant rights in Mexico, please consider the links below, which have a variety of information about the topic.
Also, please consider making a donation to COMI. Having volunteered at the agency for 5 weeks, Jacky and I have been witness to the incredible work that is done there, and are certain that your generous gift will be put to good use.
Donation Page (*Note: Donation through PayPal available.)
Like COMI on Facebook!
Links to more Information on Migration in Mexico
Official Communication about the Programa Frontera Sur from the Mexican Presidency
Critique of Plan Frontera Sur from Animal Politico
Coverage of Unaccompanied Minors
Report on the state of Migration in Mexico from the Red de Documentación de las Organizaciones Defensoras de Migrantes (Redodem; Documentation Network of Organizations Defending Migrants)