Tag Archives: Mexico & Central America

Panama News | Colombian, Venezuelan & Nicaraguan Immigrants

Panama announces plans to crack down on immigration from Colombia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua
  • Panamanian officials have announced new restrictions on immigration from the three countries, including conducting financial checks and shortening the duration of tourist permits from 180 days to 90 days.
  • Anti-immigration sentiment has grown over the last year, with Colombians and Venezuelans particularly targeted and maligned as connected to drug trafficking and other crime in the country.
  • Around 250,000 have immigrated to Panama from the three countries since 2010.
Read

Panama to Crack Down on Immigration, Colombians and Venezuelans” (teleSUR | May 2017)

Panama cuts stays for Colombians, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans” (The Associated Press via The Washington Post | May 2017)

Panama to tighten immigration policy for Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua” (Reuters | May 2017)

Mexico Feature | Afro-Mexicans

The Political Reemergence of Mexico’s “Invisible” Minority


Source: Fusion YouTube

Despite a half-millennium of life in Mexico, Afro-Mexicans have seen their political visibility decrease dramatically as the ideology of mestizaje (racial mixing) has become central to Mexican national identity. As in many parts of the Americas, how blackness is defined in Mexico is distinctive, unique to the convergence of circumstances that shaped identity through culture, economics, geography, ideology, and law. Today, the contemporary political landscape, with its interest in multiculturalism and the rectification of historical disadvantage, has pressed black Mexicans to seek greater administrative recognition. But with relatively small numbers and lacking a non-Spanish native language, Afro-Mexicans have been officially indistinct from either the majority non-indigenous and mestizo population or minority indigenous groups, unwilling to acknowledge the historical circumstances that have made recognition of Afro-Mexicans as a minority a priority and denying the financial and political support that such recognition would bring.

However, in 2015, an interim census allowed for respondents’ self-identification as “black”—itself a disputed term among Afro-Mexicans—for the first time, giving new visibility and coherence to the more than 1 million black Mexicans in the country. Mexican blackness—as defined historically, culturally, psychologically, and geographically—has joined the global stage of Afro-consciousness in the call for recognition and reparation of injustices against the community of African and Afro-descendent peoples. The official reemergence has attracted the attention of media outlets covering the renewed consciousness and political agency of Mexico’s “invisible minority.”

Read:
Afro-Mexicans: No longer ‘erased’” (The Daily Kos, April 2016)
The black people ‘erased from history’” (BBC, April 2016)
Now Counted By Their Country, Afro-Mexicans Grab Unprecedented Spotlight” (NPR, February 2016)
Mexico Finally Recognized Its Black Citizens, But That’s Just The Beginning” (The Huffington Post, January 2016)

Also:
The secret lives of Afro-Mexicans in America” (Fusion, February 2016)
México Negro A.C.

Central America Feature | Women & Girls

Young Central American Women’s Fight to Flee

The situation for girls and young women in the “Northern Triangle” of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras has perhaps never been more dire. The persistence of organized crime, with its emphasis on patriarchy and the subjugation of women, has forced many women and girls from their homes, fueling a migration crisis in Mexico and the U.S. From education disruption to sexual slavery, young women have found their prospects circumscribed by a culture of entitlement, intimidation, and violence that severely limits women’s agency in the region. The Guardian investigates the conditions young women face in the region and

Read:
‘It’s a crime to be young and pretty’: girls flee predatory Central America gangs” (The Guardian)

Additional:
Central America’s rampant violence fuels an invisible refugee crisis” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: via The Guardian)

Mexico News | LGBT

Mexican congressional committee rejects proposal to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples
  • President Enrique Peña Nieto’s office had asked for an amendment to the constitution to allow couples to marry irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.
  • The constitutional committee voted 19-8 (with one abstention) against allowing the proposal to proceed.
  • While same-sex marriage is permitted in several Mexican states and a judicial ruling declared marriage bans unconstitutional, the executive proposal was an attempt to secure marriage rights nationwide.

Read more:
Mexican congressional committee rejects Pena Nieto’s bid to legalize gay marriage” (Reuters)
Los diputados fulminan la propuesta de Peña Nieto de avalar el matrimonio igualitario” (El País, in Spanish)
Diputados desechan iniciativa de matrimonios gay” (El Universal, in Spanish)

Mexico News | Haitian Migrants

End of special immigration protections diminishes hopes of Haitians looking to cross into U.S. from Mexico
  • Thousands of Haitians have become trapped in Mexico as an ongoing migration crisis has been exacerbated by the recent destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew in their home country.
  • The U.S. recently ended special protections for Haitian migrants in the country in place since the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000, though activists have begun pressuring the government to renew them in light of the most recent natural disaster.
  • Monitors estimate as many as 40,000—many coming from an economically distraught Brazil—may be en route throughout the Americas as they pay upwards of thousands of dollars to pass through the most legally treacherous parts.

Read more:
Far from Hurricane Matthew, a Haitian crisis flares in Tijuana” (Reuters)
Haitians, After Perilous Journey, Find Door to U.S. Abruptly Shut” (The New York Times)
Haitians throng at U.S.-Mexico border despite deportation policy” (AP via CBS News)

(Image Credit: Adam Ferguson/The New York Times)

Costa Rica News | Haitian Migrants

Haitian migrants in Costa Rica seeking passage to U.S. pose as West African to avoid deportation
  • The ongoing migration bottleneck in Costa Rica continues to pile up, with 100 to 150 new arrivals each day adding to the 2,500 already stranded in the overwhelmed country.
  • The majority of undocumented migrants are Haitian, many coming from Brazil with some posing as West African in an attempt to avoid deportation, deprioritized for those from distant countries because of the high cost.
  • Haitians point to ongoing economic destitution in their home country, poor prospects in host countries like Brazil and Ecuador, and what they perceive as a double standard of preferential treatment for certain migrants as motivation for migrating and the tactical deception.

Read more:
IOM Reports Growing Number of Irregular Migrants Stranded in Costa Rica” (International Organization for Migration, via ReliefWeb)
95% de los migrantes irregulares son haitianos ‘disfrazados’ de africanos” (La Nación, in Spanish)
Flood of ‘Muhammad Alis’ Highlights New Migration Toward U.S.” (Bloomberg)

(Image Credit: José Cordero/La Nación)

Mexico News | LGBT

At least 5 dead following May shooting in Mexico gay bar
  • On May 22, gunmen entered La Madame in Xalapa, Veracruz, and opened fire, with reports indicating between five and seven dead and 12 to 14 injured.
  • Reports indicate that six men entered the bar and began firing on patrons, with at least one witness reporting the attackers targeted a group of men before firing randomly on those present.
  • Security officials blamed the shooting on a territorial dispute by drug cartels, while LGBT activists argued police were downplaying the homophobic nature of the crime.

Read more:
Cae presunto implicado en ataque al bar ‘Madame’” (El Universal, in Spanish)
Ataque en bar de Xalapa fue contra ocupantes de una mesa: testigo” (Milenio.com, in Spanish)
The Massacre at a Mexican Gay Bar That No One Talked About” (teleSUR English)
7 people were killed in a Mexico gay bar, but it’s not big news” (PinkNews)

(Image Credit: El Universal)