[Video] Recording Of A Haitian Mother Pleading For Medical Help For Her Son Has Been Recovered And It Is Heartbreaking
Caravans crowded with Central Americans fleeing violence from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have made international headlines for their journeys through Mexico to the country’s northern border, but asylum-seekers from other parts of the world, increasingly Africa and Haiti, are also seeking temporary refuge in Mexico and are experiencing a different reality from immigration officials.
On Tuesday, hundreds of Black migrants housed at the Feria Mesoamericana shelter, which is located in Tapachula, Chiapas, attempted to flee the facility, claiming mistreatment and malnourishment.
In a video capturing the uprising, the third one in a month, a Haitian mother of two is seen stretched out on a dirt pavement, crying for help for her sick son, 5, while her toddler crawled nearby.
“My son has been sick for a lot of days. I have suffered a lot,” the woman shouted in Spanish through the bottom of a gate in front of a group of reporters outside the facility. “They haven’t given us a bit of food. There is no drinkable water.”
She continued, imploring: “Help, help me with my son. He is sick. I have two sons, a five-year-old and a -month-old. … Help me please. My son is dying.”
According to EFE news agency, the National Institute of Immigration called the revolt nothing more than a “disturbance” at the facility and alleged that all migrants had been fed and given medical attention.
The Daily Mail reports that the facility is a branch of the Siglo XXI shelter, which has also been criticized for inhumane conditions, like guards starving and abusing migrants and housing them in facilities with overflowing toilets, rats and roaches.
Mexico’s lax immigration rules has encouraged more migrants from Haiti, Cuba and Central and West Africa to trek through the nation in hopes of making a case for asylum at the US-Mexico border. However, as the Trump administration’s immigration policies hold thousands up at the border, many are left in limbo in northern Mexican regions.
Unlike most migrants, those coming from African countries also rarely cross between ports of entry, preferring to follow US and Mexican law and wait their turn at the border.
“They’re getting the worst end of the stick,” Mike Smith, a Methodist pastor who runs a migrant shelter in Laredo, told USA Today. With little language comprehension and even less money, he says these migrants are “not very well-received in Mexico.”
Groups, like Casa de Misericordia, a Laredo-based shelter for abused migrant women, have popped up to help the migrants.
Sister Rosemary Welsh, who runs the safe house, says many of the women have lost everything and don’t have anywhere else to go, yet they remain locked up, with no one willing to hear their asylum case, for more than a year.
“It’s just more complex for them to try to work through the process,” Welsh said. “Getting people to support them, getting people to take their cases, it’s all more difficult.”