[Communique] From Melilla to Ciudad Juárez: It is urgent to build together transnational solidarity for the Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples

[March 31, 2023] We have received the latest news and Statement of La Via Campesina-North America on the horrific death by fire of 39 migrants on March 27, in the Migrant detention center of the Mexican National Migration Institute (INM) in Ciudad Juárez on the Mexico-US border with El Paso. The migrants, mainly from Central America, had earlier been arrested and were locked in the detention cell when the fire broke out.

We express deepest condolence with the families of the migrants – displaced by lack of livelihood, violence and multiple crises – political, economic and climate change – and like so many thousands globally undertake these life-threatening journeys to seek the means to live, work and survive.

We likewise express the strongest protest at the regime of war against the movement of migrants and refugee people being normalized with the application of policies and measures legitimated by the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration signed in Marrakesh in December 2018. 

This has contributed to racist policies and intolerable conditions globally for migrants and refugees: the denial of legal pathways for migration and asylum, countless deaths on land and sea routes, detention, deportation,  militarization and externalization of borders and summary returns to third countries (to Rwanda as proposed in Europe) with inhumane and unacceptable consequences as we witness from Melilla to Ciudad Juárez.

We act in solidarity with the families, relatives and organizations who are demanding justice for the migrant and refugee people who have lost their lives in this fire. We call on the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, Mr. Felipe González Morales, to urgently conduct a Fact-Finding Mission to the Mexico-US border area to investigate the prevailing conditions and circumstances leading to this avoidable loss of lives.

We call for an end to camps, detention and militarisation of borders, and inhuman labour and living conditions. We reach out globally, to all those who believe that to Migrate or Seek Asylum is not a Crime – It is a Human Right!

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