UN reporter: not only crime causes displacement in Mexico

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – Violence linked to cartels and organized crime is the main cause of internal displacement in Mexico, but not the only one: Big development projects tend to overdo it, a UN official said.

“It’s a trend … and it covers a wide variety of projects,” said Cecilia Jiménez-Damri, of the United Nations Coordinator on Forced Displacement, in an interview at the end of a visit, legal and illegal, from logging to mining. told. Up to two weeks to Mexico.

Jiménez-Damari did not provide further details about the areas affected by this cause of displacement, which on occasions intersect with organized crime, but cautioned that, despite the lack of official data, the current estimate is that most are native to the affected towns.

The officials, who have visited Chiapas, Chihuahua, Guerrero and the nation’s capital and met with federal and state officials and civil society members, will present their report with recommendations in June.

Figures compiled by NGOs estimate there are 400,000 displaced Mexicans, although those who fled because of development projects, sectarian conflicts or religious intolerance would not be included, according to Jiménez-Damari. He said 40% of them would be from indigenous people.

The current executive has recognized the incident, but official data is lacking and a federal law that was approved in the Chamber of Deputies two years ago is blocked in the Senate.

The reporter hoped the rules would go ahead, but stressed the urgency of having a displaced persons registry without legal implications – as many are afraid to report or register as victims – in order to offer basic services such as health or education. can be done. displaced minor.

Furthermore, he stressed that “it is important that the government assumes its primary responsibility towards the displaced and the first step is to be where the people are.”

Residents of remote communities in the middle of the mountainous or sierra controlled by the cartel complain that the authorities barely reach their cities.

The UN official also recalled that the fight against impunity and guarantees of access to justice are critical to tackling the causes of displacement.

According to estimates from the Center for Internal Displacement Monitoring, which belongs to the Norwegian Refugee Council, more than 59 million people worldwide were displaced in their own countries in 2021.

In Mexico they are located in states such as Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Michoacán, Guerrero, Zacatecas or Jalisco, where there is a strong activity of organized crime, but also in places such as Chiapas or Oaxaca, where the presence of armed groups adds to community problems. of decades.

Women who migrate because of gender violence, minorities, and have recently left their homes because of drought or floods as a result of climate change or natural disasters, should also have specific treatment, according to the United Nations.


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