World Refugee Day is observed each year on 20th June in order to commemorate the obstacles faced by refugees across the world. World Refugee Day was commemorated by the United Nations since 2001 and more 100 nations observe this day each year.
Mexican human rights organizations marked World Refugee Day on Monday by speaking out against the government’s response to migrants entering the country, as record refugee claims are met with mass arrests and deportations.
“We feel like we’re enemies of the government, especially when we raise our voices in the face of violations,” said Magda Renteria, director of the Network for Documentation of Migrant Defense Organizations (REDODEM), noting the difficult conditions that detained migrants face.
“Suddenly Mexico is not the kind space to find rest,” added the activist, who represents 23 migrant advocacy organizations.
Between January and May, 48,981 people from more than 100 nations arrived in Mexico requesting refuge, 8,245 more than during the same period in 2021, according to the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR).
Human rights organizations have criticized Mexico for its migratory containment policies, highlighting that this has increased abuses against migrants, including minors.
In another event on Monday, National Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said 28,463 members of security forces are currently enforcing “four containment lines” on migration, and 518,668 migrants have been “rescued” during the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Every year tens of thousands of migrants fleeing violence and poverty arrive in Mexico en route to the United States, straining institutions like COMAR.
“We have refugee applicants from all continents and from all latitudes of the world and this requires timely and concrete responses,” said Alejandro Encinas, Undersecretary for Human Rights of the Mexican Interior Ministry, during the same event to commemorate World Refugee Day.
“Faced with this reality, our country has to adapt,” he said.