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  • Rigoberta Menchu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation.

    Rigoberta Menchu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation. | Photo: Wikimedia

Published 16 July 2019 (13 hours 45 minutes ago)

The Guatemalan leader reminded Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government that human rights have to be protected in the Guatemalan-Mexican border.

Guatemalan Indigenous leader and 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu expressed Tuesday that one must be energetic to defend human rights and considered that the raids in the United States are an offense to the migrants of the world.

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“What happens in the U.S. can be replicated in other parts of the world and this is not good news, because it is confining young people and mothers, it is humiliating people, so who we are to think that the world belongs to us and not to them as well," Menchu said during a conference to the Mexican Senate. 

The Guatemalan leader reminded Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government that human rights have to be protected in the Guatemalan-Mexican border, as the nation has intensified its anti-migration policies deploying over 20,000 soldiers to both its northern and southern borders to curb migration. 

“Mexico is at the forefront so what happens here has an impact on the whole continent and the whole world,” she added.

This comes a day after the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security issued a joint rule that blocks all migrants from applying for asylum at the southern border, requiring them first to attempt international protection in a safe third country, amid an increasing anti-migrant rhetoric by Donald Trump’s administration. 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office (UNHCR) warned Tuesday that the new asylum application policies go against international obligations because they highly violate basic rights and freedoms. 

"We are concerned because some areas to which asylum seekers are being returned are very violent in Mexico,"  a spokesperson from the U.N. Human Rights Office commented.

According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. is currently detaining more than 50,000 migrants a day, most of them are asylum seekers protected by international law, escaping political persecution, gang and drug-related violence from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. 

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