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News > Guatemala

Guatemalans Ask For The Release Of A Migrant Detained In Mexico

  • Relatives of Indigenous migrant Juana Alonzo, Guatemala.

    Relatives of Indigenous migrant Juana Alonzo, Guatemala. | Photo: Twitter/ @PrensaComunitar

Published 8 February 2022 (6 hours 8 minutes ago)
Opinion

"This case once again highlights the inhuman and degrading treatment of Indigenous migrants, for whom migration in most cases is not an option but a necessity," lawyer Solares stated. 

On Monday, relatives of the Maya Chuj woman Juana Alonzo went to the Mexican Consulate in Guatemala City to demand the release of the Indigenous migrant, who is being held in Tamaulipas for alleged abduction charges.

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In August 2014, this Guatemalan woman attempted to migrate to the United States. However, she was abducted nearby the northern Mexican border by a human trafficker, who forced her to work inside a private house that he controlled.

Eventually, the Police raided the redoubt, and Alonzo was wrongly accused of belonging to her captors’ crime network. Since she had no access to a lawyer or a Chuj interpreter, she could not explain her situation and signed a self-incriminating statement after being beaten by some Police officers.

In 2019, Alonzo began to study Spanish, which allowed her to inform her family of the arrest and denounce the abuses she was suffering while remaining in custody.

"This case once again highlights the inhuman and degrading treatment of Indigenous migrants, for whom migration in most cases is not an option but a necessity," Guatemalan lawyer Pedro Solares stated.

Mexican Foreign Ministry Chief in Guatemala Abel Escartin received Alonzo's relatives in the embassy but assured them that he does not know the case and that giving them a response is not within his competence or capabilities.

“It is not that I do not want to help. It is that I cannot,” Escartin regretted. Nevertheless, he promised to deliver the letter to the relevant authorities for follow-up.

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