ICE force-feeding detainees on hunger strike in El Paso

Are there any proposals in Congress to reform the excessive cruelty of immigration detention in the USA?  This is not new.  My own experience with these systems goes back to the mid-1980s and Oakdale Federal Detention Center in Louisiana … We must reiterate whenever we can:  the vast majority of immigration detainees have committed NO CRIME. Many long-term (two years or more) detainees have presented themselves at ports of entry and asked for asylum (a right under US and international law), so they are not even guilty of entering the US illegally. So, this cruel treatment of prolonged detention, solitary confinement, and the attempt by detainees to resist by refusing food, and then to be subjected to force-feeding…an action that has been equated to torture at Guantanamo and other sites associated with the “war on terror…”  People who are refugees are now experiencing this torture at immigration detention centers… right here in our communities.  And the congressional bargaining over border security is most certainly going to consider adding thousands more “detention beds” … perhaps as some sort of exchange for less “wall…”  This is not a legitimate bargain. The privately-run, tax-payer funded, cruel and unusual detention of people seeking asylum in the US should never be expanded and it needs to be abolished.

Kudos to these AP reporters for revealing the conditions inside the El Paso detention center… What can be done?  molly molloy

https://apnews.com/c4b201dac8bf48eba17485a5c357b810?utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_medium=AP

Associated Press: ICE force-feeding detainees on hunger strike
By GARANCE BURKE AND MARTHA MENDOZA    today

Immigrants have gone on hunger strikes over the past month to protest conditions inside detention facilities, prompting officials to force-feed six of them through plastic nasal tubes at a Texas location, The Associated Press has learned.


More reporting by Bob Moore in Texas Monthly:

Citing Inhumane Conditions, Detained Asylum Seekers in El Paso Go On Hunger Strike

109 homicides in Juárez, January 2019

The Washington Post reports today that the Department of Homeland Security is preparing to implement its “Remain in Mexico” (or, as officially known by its Orwellian name, Migrant Protection Protocols) at the El Paso/Juárez border crossing. Under this policy now in effect at the San Diego/San Ysidro border crossing, people who have passed a credible fear interview are being returned to violent border cities to wait indefinitely for a hearing in immigration court in the United States, with no procedures in place for how asylum seekers will meet with U.S. immigration lawyers, or how they will survive in a dangerous foreign country where human traffickers and violent gangs flourish on extortion, kidnapping, and street-level drug dealing.

There were 109 homicides in Juárez in January 2019, according to the statistics compiled by the Fiscalia of the state of Chihuahua for the Northern Zone. In January 2018, there were 70 homicides, so this is a 55.7 percent increase from the beginning of last year.  Last month, December 2018, ended with 100 homicides.

According to the report, victims in January 2019 included 94 men, 11 women, and 4 children (one girl and 3 boys)…
The lead prosecutor, Jorge Nava Lopez said that most (75 percent) of the homicides occurred in the southeastern area of the city where conflicts between the Artistas Asesinos and Mexicles gangs generate the violence.  The most violent day was January 28, when 9 people were killed in different areas of the city.   molly molloy

Ejecuciones aumentan 55%

Staff/
El Diario de Juárez
Viernes, 01 Febrero 2019 | 06:00

El mes de enero terminó con 109 homicidios dolosos, de acuerdo con cifras de la Fiscalía General del Estado (FGE) en la Zona Norte.

La estadística indica que respecto al mismo mes del año pasado, ese delito se incrementó en un 55.7 por ciento, al registrarse entonces 70 asesinatos.

El recuento de víctimas de enero de 2019 es de 94 hombres y 11 mujeres, así como cuatro menores de edad, entre ellos una niña de 5 años apuñalada en su casa del fraccionamiento Sierra Vista Sur el pasado día 16, junto con su hermano de 11 años.

De los homicidios, 62 fueron con arma de fuego

En enero de 2019 la Fiscalía registró cuatro menores de edad asesinados, 94 hombres y cuatro mujeres.

De los 109 homicidios cometidos en el mes que acaba de terminar, 62 fueron con arma de fuego, 11 con arma blanca y cinco a golpes.

La autoridad ministerial tomó conocimiento de dos cuerpos decapitados, cuatro asesinatos mediante la asfixia y dos calcinados, así como el hallazgo de una cabeza humana.

De acuerdo con el fiscal en la Zona Norte, Jorge Nava López, un 75 por ciento de los crímenes de este tipo ocurrió en el sector suroriente de la ciudad, donde el detonante habría sido una disputa territorial por dos grupos de la delincuencia organizada.

En esa zona están ubicadas las pandillas “Artistas Asesinos” y “Mexicles”, según identifica la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Municipal en detenciones.

Servicios Periciales de la FGE levantó de la vía pública los cadáveres de 13 personas envueltos en cobijas, se informó oficialmente. Otros cuatro cuerpos se localizaron maniatados.

El lunes 28 fue el día más violento de enero, cuando en se registraron nueve homicidios dolosos en diferentes partes de la ciudad, de acuerdo con el seguimiento oficial. (Staff / El Diario)

redaccion@redaccion.diario.com.mx

 

 

 

The U.S. sends thousands of deportees each month to Mexico’s most dangerous border areas…WaPo

I am going to nitpick some numbers here… What a surprise! I don’t see any mention of the homicide rate in Ciudad Juarez in this article. Juarez is also a major border city where people are repatriated. And where thousands of migrants and refugees from Central America and other world regions wait to cross the border legally to ask for asylum. According to the numbers reported by the Chihuahua state Fiscalia (and my own tally from local media), there were about 1,250 homicides in Juarez in 2018, an increase from 772 in 2017. To get the murder rate (# of homicides per 100,000) you divide the city’s population (Juarez = about 1.3 million) by 100,000 = 13. Then divide the # of homicides by that number. 1,250 / 13 = 96. So the murder RATE in Juarez last year was 96. For comparison, during the worst year of the hyperviolence in Juarez, the rate was between 200 and 300, so things are not as bad as they were in 2010.

Based on the numbers provided for Reynosa in the WaPo article below, there were 225 homicides in a city of 600,000. So, 225/6 = 37.5. That means the murder rate in Reynosa is 37.5. Thus, Juarez is 2.5 times more violent than Reynosa… Yet according to the article, Reynosa is the most violent city on the border. That is simply not true. Although, it is generally believed that the media in Tamaulipas has been threatened into virtual silence in terms of reporting the criminal violence in the city, so it is possible that the place is more violent than the official numbers indicate.

Facts are difficult to come by on many border issues. I don’t disagree with the main thrust of the article. While Trump and co. holler about the chaos and crisis and disaster on the US side of the border, the real issue of the security crisis on the Mexican side of the border (that primarily affects Mexican citizens and migrants and refugees) is underreported and misunderstood. US border towns, cities and counties experience practically zero cross-border violence. The homicide rate in El Paso is generally one of the lowest in the United States…about 2.5. For other comparisons, Chicago has a murder rate of about 24. St. Louis (one of the most violent cities in the US) has a murder rate of about 60.

I have effectively reached the limit of my mathematical ability. But I think these numbers are important. molly molloy

The U.S. sends thousands of deportees each month to Mexico’s most dangerous border areas

Detention camps for immigrant children…

The story of Tornillo continues to get more disturbing. How is this not an internment camp?  Just in terms of the lack of legal representation, think about the implications of thousands of detained children and teenagers, 40+ miles from the nearest city where immigration lawyers might be found…and even then, only the lawyers from one agency in the region are allowed to represent the children?  Notwithstanding the good work and professional intentions of DMRS, how can that possibly be any kind of real representation? When there are more than 2000 people interned at this camp.
I have been at the court in El Paso when these kids are brought to court. They fill up the several dozen seats in the waiting room. They wear uniforms. They are not allowed to speak to anyone. The workers escorting them also say they are not allowed to answer questions or speak to anyone.

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 14.48.28.png

I know several attorneys and at least one other non-profit who have asked to be allowed in to interview and possibly represent the children, but as far as I know, they have not been admitted.
This facility is in the US, although just barely, as it sits at the Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry. Imagine the barriers to providing legal assistance to the asylum seekers “REMAINING IN MEXICO” if this proposal from Trump and the Mexican government goes forward. An attorney discusses this here:
How will lawyers find their clients if they are living on the Mexican side of the border? I assume that if this happens, the people will be allowed to apply for asylum affirmatively since they are not present in the US and thus cannot be considered “in removal proceedings…”  But even if USCIS asylum officers go to Mexico to interview people, how will the applicants get asylum forms (the i589 form can only be submitted in English…all documentation including identification documents, police reports, medical reports, news articles, human rights reports, etc. must be translated into English)? Where will applicants find translators, or the money to pay them, while living in Mexico? Where will they even get access to the internet to get the information they need from US government websites? Where and how will they be able to pay for internet, printing, computers, etc.  No one can submit an asylum claim online.  In the immigration system, everything is still filed on paper.  Even a basic asylum application can be 50 or more pages with copies of documents, translations, etc.
If a USCIS officer denies the claim, will the people have the right to appear before a judge, as they would if they were on US soil? If the people must REMAIN IN MEXICO, do they have any of the constitutional rights that people applying from inside the US have?  Do the Mexican and US governments plan to create a “Guantanamo-type” of extra-constitutional zone for asylum? Isn’t this a complete denial of both US and international law?
Perhaps I see things in the extreme…
And “REMAIN IN MEXICO” is not the Guantanimization of asylum in the United States… But when I wrote about prison camps for immigrant families, there were perhaps 300 kids at Tornillo. Now we are told there are 2,300 with room for 3,500…  I did not mean for that to happen. I just predicted it.  molly molloy
______
GO TO LINK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS…

TORNILLO, Texas – About 40 miles southeast of El Paso, past the billboards for fast food joints and rugged desert hills, residents of this small community sometimes can see the lights of the nearby detention camp glowing in the night.

Some of them have brought gifts for the roughly 2,300 children inside, only to be turned away by guards.

Months after the government erected a tent city in the desert, most of what happens inside the encampment remains hidden, even from curious neighbors in the nearby town of 1,600 residents. The only images of the minors in the camp, standing outside in an orderly line or playing soccer, have been released by the Department of Health and Human Services.

GO TO LINK FOR FULL STORY FROM REVEAL: https://www.revealnews.org/article/no-one-on-the-inside-can-talk-about-whats-happening-at-the-tent-city-for-migrant-kids/

Clarification… Re: Border apprehensions 2000-present

A bit more clarification on these numbers as the media continues to report that the numbers of FAMILIES crossing the border is higher than ever…

See for example:
These reports seem to contradict what I reported yesterday in terms of the fact that much higher numbers of people came in the early 2000s than are coming now…

The keyword is FAMILIES.  As I said before many more PEOPLE were apprehended in earlier years… in the early 2000’s there were more than 1 million for several years in a row.  But by far, most of those were individuals and most were men.  At that time, very few women with children or unaccompanied children came… When families (including children) cross together, they are counted separately as family units and also the total number of individuals. So the number of people crossing in these family groups is now higher than it ever has been on a monthly basis, at least according to the CBP numbers.  

When families with children are arrested or detained at the border (whether they cross illegally and are caught or whether they cross at a POE and ask for asylum) they can only be detained for 20 days (mas o menos), according to law and a legal settlement (the Flores settlement) from the 1990s that Trump is trying to get overturned. But for now, the government can hold only about 3000 family units in a few special detention centers. When more families keep coming, they have to release them because they do not have space to keep them in detention. They are not releasing them to be reasonable or kind. They are releasing them because they don’t currently have enough detention space. That is why I’ve been harping on the fact that we will be seeing a huge expansion of new detention facilities in the near future.  [See: Prison camps for immigrant families ]
It is important to note that SINGLE men and women are still being detained.  I worked recently with a boy from Guatemala who was 18 when he crossed the border. He applied for asylum and he has been detained since Dec 2017 in Otero. He lost his case last week and he is still detained and will soon be deported. He decided not to appeal his case because he could not stand being locked up any longer. It will probably be close to a year in the prison for him before he is deported back to the life-threatening situation he left. I know many people in detention here who spend more than a year detained. Some even win their cases and are released, sometimes after more than two years imprisoned.
While families and children get most of the media attention, there are still tens of thousands of adults detained for these long periods and many have horrific asylum claims and they still lose and get deported. I know another man who has been detained at Otero since September 2016–more than 2 years. He is from Venezuela and presented himself for asylum at the El Paso POE. He did not commit any crime or any kind of illegal crossing. He lost his asylum case, but he has kept fighting through appeals–after more than two years behind razor wire in the Otero County, New Mexico detention center.
There is certainly some truth to what is said that people come with their children because they think it will keep them from long term detention. At least for now, it is true. But this government will not allow the situation to continue. They will either try to keep the people from crossing, or they will drastically increase long-term detention capacity… or both.  These things are already underway…
There was a good piece on NPR this week that at least mentioned this difference…a couple of excerpts are posted below.

BURNETT: Well, a Homeland Security spokesperson told me that they’re compiling the year-end figures right now, and she says the numbers of immigrant families arriving at the border will likely break records on a monthly basis. Now, it’s important to keep this in context, Mary Louise, because back in 2000, they were arresting 1 1/2 million undocumented immigrants a year. So far this year, it’s been under 400,000. But still the Trump administration is upset and frustrated. They continue to blame everything on Congress for allowing what they call catch and release loopholes in the law. The DHS spokesman told me that the agency is examining all options to secure the border.

….

But if they put it into practice, the question is, where would they detain all these families? Currently there are a little over 3,000 spots for family members in what are called special family residential centers. But you’re talking about thousands of these immigrant families that are arrested every week at the Southwest border these days. The government doesn’t have enough detention beds. So for the foreseeable future, you’ll see the continuation of families being arrested. They’re processed for a few days. And then most are released with ankle monitors with their kids to show up for immigration court. And that’s what’s been bedeviling the Trump administration all along. 

I hope this explanation is helpful in terms of the hyperbolic Trump and media pronouncements about the “huge numbers” of people crossing our border.

Molly Molloy

 

Border apprehensions 2000-present

Someone pointed out the contradiction between what I have said in previous postings on the Frontera List, that is, that the numbers of people crossing the border illegally now are actually much lower than in past years.  This certainly seems out of whack with the border crossing hysteria coming from the White House. But it also seems to contradict what people here in the border region are experiencing in terms of large numbers of people being released by ICE and needing shelter. Much of the shelter is provided by a network of church groups in the region and they are struggling to receive more than 1,000 migrants and refugees each week–numbers that are much higher than in recent years.

So how to resolve this contradiction and what data am I citing?  Here’s my attempt to answer this:
I’m using the data provided by CBP and posted online.  Back in the early 2000’s many more people were apprehended, but most of them were Mexicans, most were single men crossing to work. Those apprehended were generally not detained for a long time, but were just sent back. They did not go to immigration court. They would often cross again and try to evade the Border Patrol and many of them succeeded after several tries. The numbers during those years were as high as 1.6 million apprehensions in 2000; 1.2 million in 2005; 723,000 in 2008; 463,000 in 2010; 486,000 in 2014; 310,000 in 2017…
Fewer of the people apprehended in the early 2000’s were going through a long term process to seek asylum and fewer people came as family units or came with children. In 2017, the total apprehensions were about 310,000 [compared to 1.6 million in 2000]. This decrease is often attributed to the “Trump effect” as people making the journey held off in reaction to the threats from the new POTUS.  But, as we know, the conditions of violence and extreme poverty have continued to get worse in Central America and more people have been coming to the border to seek asylum since the beginning of 2018.
These days, more people who are apprehended are prosecuted criminally for crossing the border illegally and then they are detained before being deported. If the people are seeking asylum, and especially if they have children, they cannot be detained for long periods. The people now being released and being sheltered by volunteer groups in our region and in Arizona, the Rio Grande Valley, etc… are mostly family units who cannot (at least for now) be detained long term. And since many are seeking asylum, they must go through a lengthy court process before they can be deported.  What is happening now is that many more family units are coming and ICE is releasing them because they do not have enough long-term detention space (YET). As I’ve written here and elsewhere…
 
…I think that the government is seeking to expand detention space as quickly as possible. But to continue to hold families and children long term, they will also have to change some law. And they are trying to do that also. 

You can see many more border apprehension and other Border Patrol statistics here: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/media-resources/stats?title=Border+Patrol
The monthly apprehensions (including a separate chart for FAMILY UNITS) are reported at this site.
 
The latest now online are from August 2018. But just yesterday the Washington Post reported a big increase in the family units in September. Those numbers should be updated online soon…
From the Washington Post:
Border Patrol agents arrested 16,658 family members in September, the highest one-month total on record and an 80 percent increase from July, according to unpublished Department of Homeland Security statistics obtained by The Washington Post.      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/record-number-of-families-crossing-us-border-as-trump-threatens-new-crackdown/2018/10/17/fe422800-c73a-11e8-b2b5-79270f9cce17_story.html?utm_term=.d189ac2851a5
 
In comparison to the 16,658 family members apprehended in September and reported yesterday, the number in August was 12,774. So the increase is big and getting bigger.  But, still nowhere near the total apprehension numbers in the early 2000s.  The difference is that most of the people coming now are claiming asylum, they are being detained for a short time and then released, many to shelters in the border region before they can join family members in the US.  Of course, if they are single adults seeking asylum, they are likely to remain detained for the duration of the immigration court proceeding, sometimes more than a year.
The total SW border apprehensions as of August were 355,106. So that is already much higher than the 310,000+ in 2017.
I’ve probably missed something here, but this is my best explanation of the differences in the apprehension numbers, past and present.  Corrections/comments welcome.  molly molloy

90 homicide victims each day in Mexico in 2018: new data from SESNSP

There were a total of 2,861 victims of intentional homicide (homicidio doloso) in Mexico in August 2018, according to the data released a few days ago by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP). These statistics are reported by the Fiscalias (the state attorneys general) in the different Mexican states. This is a slight decrease over the number of 3,020 homicide victims reported for July.  So far in 2018. there have been a total of 21,857 homicide victims in the country.  The statistics also now report another category of victims of “feminicidio.” There were 68 female victims in August and a total of 554 for the year.  It is unclear if this is a subset of the total, or if these murders of women are in addition to the overall total of 21,857.  I’m also not certain if there is a nationwide definition of feminicidio consistently applied in all of the state jurisdictions.
On average there have been about 90 murders PER DAY in Mexico so far in 2018. A brief article is below from Animal Politico + screen shots from the SESNSP data.
Also a detailed report from the Wall Street Journal published a couple of days ago, looking at homicide data throughout the region.

Latin America Is the Murder Capital of the World

Riven by drugs, gangs, weak institutions and lawlessness, the region is facing a crisis

_______

Asesinatos en 2018 llegan a 22 mil víctimas y se registra el agosto más violento en 20 años

Son asesinadas en el país casi cuatro personas cada hora. Agosto dejó un saldo de 2,861 víctimas de homicidio, a los que se suman 68 mujeres víctimas de feminicidio; de acuerdo con las estadísticas actualizadas del Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública.

En agosto pasado casi 3 mil personas fueron asesinadas violentamente en México. Con ello, ya son más de 22 mil las víctimas de homicidio y feminicidio en el país en lo que va del año. Se trata de una cifra récord, que equivale a un incremento de casi el 85 por ciento de los asesinatos en comparación con lo registrado apenas hace tres años.

Las estadísticas actualizadas del Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública (SESNSP) revelan que agosto dejó un saldo de dos mil 861 víctimas de homicidio, a los que se suman 68 mujeres víctimas de feminicidio.

Links to data for 2015-present here: https://www.gob.mx/sesnsp/acciones-y-programas/victimas-nueva-metodologia?state=published

2018 data available here, including details on homicide and other crime victims state by state:

http://secretariadoejecutivo.gob.mx/docs/pdfs/nueva-metodologia/CNSP-V%C3%ADctimas-2018.pdf

SCREENSHOTS FROM AUGUST REPORT:

Screen Shot 2018-09-22 at 13.58.46.png

Screen Shot 2018-09-22 at 14.00.22.png

 

 

Prison camps for immigrant families

Some folks on the list today criticized my choice of words in calling out the Trump administration’s plan to violate the Flores settlement agreement and to hold families and children in long-term detention. See:

Trump administration to circumvent court limits on detention of child migrants

This move will definitely spur more investment and construction of long-term detention facilities–much of it already underway in the border region. In a serious plug for Mark Dow’s excellent 2005 book, American GulagI advocate for the hashtag #Americangulag. I do think it is reasonable to call these new and expanded immigration detention facilities internment camps, or even concentration camps.

A list member wrote in response:

“I think we need to come up with a new name as internment camp, concentration camp and gulag all invoke other history, motivation and circumstance. To me it needs to be something that encapsulates the fact that we’ve made migrants into a commodity for corporate profit. Also something that belies the fact that once profit is part of the equation the impetus to solve our border issues (whatever solve might mean) is diminished or removed entirely. Just like the border security industrial complex, once you create an economy, it becomes very hard to dismantle it.”

These are excellent points, but I am invoking the other history on purpose in this case as I think the parallels are real. For one thing, the detention center complexes in the border region have been called “camps” for many years by both immigrants detained there, guards who work there, judges in immigration courts, and lawyers for immigrants and for the government.  I have always thought it odd, but it is the custom.  Conversations like: “Where is your client?”  “At the camp…”  Or, I spent all day at the camp interviewing asylum seekers…”  etc. I think the terms internment and/or concentration camps are even more apt now in light of this planned expansion of family detention.
This practice of long-term, indefinite detention for immigrants and refugees parallels in many ways what was done to Japanese Americans, to Jews, to Soviet citizens and millions more people before, during and after WWII. I believe that many of the camps in Europe also began with profit as a major driver, to take advantage of slave labor performed by the people imprisoned, before they were murdered. See this recent article on an artifact of that terrible history: https://www.thelocal.de/20170222/stolen-work-will-set-you-free-gate-returned-to-dachau   The slogan, ARBEIT MACHT FREI, was suspended in iron over several work camps and death camps in Nazi-occupied Europe.  See also the book One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, by Andrea Pitzer.
I think that immigrant detention facilities (those in existence now, those under construction, and those being planned) are an important piece of the border security industrial complex and that’s another good term for this phenomenon. But the treatment of the people inside these immigration prisons comes from a long tradition of criminalization, isolation, and torment of “the other…”
I first visited immigrants and asylum seekers in an immigration prison in Oakdale, Louisiana back in 1986. It was a brand-new compound in a clearing in a Louisiana pine forest, surrounded by razor wire, and staffed mostly by working class family guys in one of the poorest regions of one of the poorest states. Many of the people there were refugees from civil wars in the poorest places in our hemisphere–wars designed and fucked up by the CIA. For much more on the story of Oakdale see: Other People’s Blood: U.S. Immigration Prisons in the Reagan Decadeby Robert S. Kahn.
Louisiana is another place where the immigration detention industry keeps expanding, taking advantage of a bad economy, a rural population in need of jobs, and friendly politics for the private prison industry. See (for example) https://www.ice.gov/detention-facility/lasalle-ice-processing-center   and https://www.splcenter.org/news/2018/08/09/splc-fights-back-against-trump-administrations-attack-immigrants
I now visit people detained in El Paso and Sierra Blanca, Texas and in Otero County, New Mexico in the course of helping with their asylum cases. It is not possible for me to be inside of these places without a profound sense of depression and awareness of the evil committed in service to the state. While it may come across as sloganeering, these places exude the “banality of evil…”
Just one example: I visit a teenager from Guatemala in Otero. He is seeking asylum after surviving beatings and death threats in his rural community. He traveled alone for several months through Mexico, often sleeping on the ground by the side of the road. He only speaks his native indigenous language and has never been to school. He has been detained since the day he crossed the border at the end of December 2017. He has not been able to speak in person to anyone in his own language since that day. To the best of my knowledge, he has only been able to talk to one relative in the U.S. by telephone, and to one interpreter by telephone who was hired by the attorney who represents him. That is the only way we have of learning his story in order to prepare his case for asylum.
While the government is obligated to provide competent interpreters for court proceedings, they are not obligated to help in any other way in terms of legal assistance or interpretation. But so far, the government has not even managed to provide a competent court interpreter for this young man. Rather, they have provided interpreters who speak two different indigenous languages that this young man cannot speak or understand.
I have trouble imagining the level of isolation forced upon this young detainee. Two lawyers have petitioned for his release on bond or humanitarian parole so that he can travel to the place where his one relative in the US lives. All requests for relief have been denied.
And this is only ONE of so many stories that could be told. For a first hand account of what it is like to be interned, see this from Emilio Gutierrez, the Mexican reporter who spent a total of 15 months in the El Paso ICE prison: https://www.cjr.org/first_person/reporter-detained-by-ice.php
I agree (in part) with the list member who pointed our in our email discussion that:
“We are dealing with a different context and I think that, like border security industrial complex, we need to draw connections AND demonstrate how this is a new manifestation. Since we are among the people who are creating these terms, I want something that isn’t easy to dismiss as rhetoric. I feel it’s one of those subtle but important manifestations of language that can work for or against an argument. In my retrospective view, the ‘no one is illegal’ slogan had/has a similar problem because the law and order segment of our society could dismiss it so easily and, more importantly, it doesn’t effectively address our collective culpability in the immigration situation or its history. I agree with the politics but I’m not sure it served our argument. I don’t know that I have a better term right now… Your point about the ‘banality of evil’ is not sloganeering at all. I think that’s the crux of the situation: How do we frame this in a way to compel understanding that what we are doing is inhumane, reprehensible, and irredeemable. Maybe there isn’t a better term, but it seems worth the effort to think about it.”
[I hope the list member will forgive me for quoting these words from our conversation. I really value them.]
I’m not sure there is a simple way to resolve this. Though the contexts are very different (from WWII internment/concentration camps to 21st century immigration prisons), I believe that the banality of evil underlies the current persecution, isolation, imprisonment, and deportation of immigrants and refugees, and the policies become more normalized and entrenched (and thus, more evil) as the border security industrial complex grows and generates greater profits.
And as I noted when I passed on the Washington Post article early this morning, such policy announcements divert attention from the insane and incompetent leader who commissioned these policies. The venality of power and greed in our country continues to expand and corrupt. Absolutely.

Molly Molloy, Las Cruces, NM, September 6, 2018

 

182 murder victims in Juarez during August…about 900 so far in 2018

El Diario reports that the month of August is the most violent so far in 2018 with a total of 182 homicides in the city of Juarez.  The article reports the monthly totals for the year as: Jan 72, Feb 43, March 56, April 65, May 126, June 178, July 177, Aug 182–a total of 898 in the eight months of 2018. 

The Fiscalia states that the sharp increase in homicides beginning in May was the result of an internal fight in the Azteca gang (affiliated with the Juarez cartel and La Linea), now complicated by another war between the Artistas Asesinos and the Mexicles, said to be allied with the Sinaloa cartel. These eight months of 2018 surpass the annual totals for any year since 2012. The report says that 18 women were murdered in August (about 10 percent of the total), as well as seven minors.

In response to criticism that the police are not doing their job, the Fiscalia’s report points to legal issues that require those arrested for crimes to be released until tried and convicted. Thus, 8 out of 10 criminals arrested, even for crimes such as murder, are released pending trial.

The tone of the article is that all of the victims of these crimes are gang members and drug dealers, even though little evidence of their criminality is provided.

The numbers I’ve recorded for previous months differ slightly from those reported in this September 1 article in El Diario. But not by much.  We can say for certain that about 900 people have been killed so far this year in Juarez. If the average of 113 per month continues, the year will end with more than 1,300 victims of homicide.  molly molloy

Juarez 2018
January 76
February 45
March 58
April 65
May 124
June 179
July 177
August 182
TOTAL                                                                        906

Agosto, el más violento del año

S. Castro / M. Vargas /
El Diario | Sábado 01 Septiembre 2018 | 00:01:00 hrs

Ciudad Juárez— Agosto fue el mes más violento en lo que va del 2018 al cerrar ayer con 182 homicidios dolosos, derivados de dos guerras entre pandillas  –‘Aztecas Vieja Guardia’ contra ‘La Línea’, y ‘Doble AA’  contra ‘Mexicles’–, cuyos integrantes han tomado las calles de la ciudad como campo de batalla.

Al cierre de este mes, el 2018 se convirtió en el más sangriento de los últimos siete años al llegar a la cantidad de 898 homicidios contando los ocurridos de enero a agosto.

Estadísticas de la Fiscalía General del Estado (FGE) señalan que en estos ocho meses se superó –por 109– la cifra de 789 asesinatos cometidos de enero a diciembre del 2012.

Toman pandillas las calles como campo de batalla

El reporte señala que en el 2013 se cometieron 514 homicidios, en el 2014 fueron 438, en el 2015 fueron 311, en el 2016 fueron 546 y en el 2017 fueron 772, dentro de una racha violenta que desde el pasado mes de junio superó los récords de hace siete años, de acuerdo con cifras de la Fiscalía Zona Norte.

Un análisis de la Fiscalía General del Estado (FGE) y la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Municipal (SSPM) señala que los integrantes de la Doble AA (Artistas Asesinos) y los Mexicles formaban parte en esta localidad del Cártel de Sinaloa y tienen su presencia en la zona oriente de la ciudad, donde se han declarado la guerra.

Pandillas fraccionadas

En tanto que desde mayo pasado las pandillas ‘Barrio Azteca’ y ‘La Línea’, que funcionaban como brazo armado del Cártel de Juárez, también se dividieron y entraron en una guerra sin cuartel, según informes proporcionados por la FGE.

El mes que acaba de concluir fue escenario de ejecuciones múltiples, encobijados, y homicidios en horas de entrada y salida de escuelas primarias; la mayoría de las muertes fueron con arma de fuego, entre ellas las de 18 mujeres y siete menores de edad, de acuerdo con reportes de la Fiscalía.

La mayoría de las víctimas, al igual que los 23 presuntos homicidas capturados en agosto por la Policía municipal, tienen entre tres y cinco ingresos a la cárcel por robo, narcomenudeo y daños, entre otros delitos, aseguró Ricardo Realivázquez, secretario de Seguridad Pública Municipal.

La dependencia ministerial informó que en el mes pasado 124 homicidios fueron con arma de fuego, 11 con arma blanca, cinco a golpes. Hubo dos decapitados, dos incinerados y cuatro cuerpos fueron encontrados en cajuelas o en tambos de basura.

El reporte dado a conocer por Julio Castañeda, vocero de la Fiscalía, dice que 11 de las personas asesinadas fueron envueltas en cobijas, una persona más fue mutilada, otro atropellado intencionalmente y se hallaron cinco cuerpos en estado de descomposición en diferentes eventos.

El día 3 de agosto fueron encontrados los cuerpos de 11 personas en un domicilio de la colonia Praderas de los Oasis, donde todas las víctimas murieron asfixiadas. La Policía municipal resolvió el crimen a los pocos días y se conoció que se trató de una venganza orquestada por el líder de una pandilla a quien le habían asesinado a su hijo.

El secretario de Seguridad Pública aceptó que hay una percepción social en el sentido de que las autoridades no hacen su trabajo.

Realivázquez refutó esa hipótesis y dijo que son las actuales leyes las que no permiten contener la violencia al facilitar la salida de la cárcel a los delincuentes. “Salen a matar, o a que los maten”, expuso.

Hizo alusión a que cada mes hay importantes decomisos de armas y droga y detenidos por homicidios e intentos de ejecución, pero existe una puerta giratoria. “La Policía sólo ejecuta la ley, pero no la escribimos nosotros”, dijo el mando.

El fiscal Jorge Nava insistió que las ejecuciones se están generando en el marco de una disputa por pandillas que se encuentran divididas.

La teoría es que esa fractura interna en la pandilla Los Aztecas arreció desde el mes de mayo, cuando se registraron 126 homicidios. Junio le siguió con 178 asesinatos al igual que julio, con otros 177, en tanto agosto cerró ayer con 182.

Los meses previos tuvieron el siguiente comportamiento de homicidios dolosos: enero, 72, febrero 43; marzo, 56 y abri l, 65, dice el reporte de Fiscalía.

Liberan a 8 de cada 10

En junio del 2016 entró en vigor el Nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal Acusatorio en el Estado de Chihuahua, un nuevo modelo aplicado en toda la nación para sancionar los delitos sin la necesidad de mantener a los delincuentes en la cárcel mientras se investiga su acusación.

Entre otras cosas legisladores determinaron que no ameritan prisión preventiva los delitos como el homicidio imprudencial, portación ilegal de arma de fuego, robo, robo de auto, narcomenudeo, daños, lesiones, violencia familiar y hasta el abuso sexual (salvo en menores).

La cárcel se aplica hasta en tanto un juez resuelva por medio de sentencia la culpabilidad probada de quien cometió el delito, pero en los casos antes mencionados el detenido lleva su proceso en libertad. El juicio puede llevar hasta dos años, según el código actual.

Desde que esas leyes entraron en vigor ocho de cada 10 detenidos en la Fiscalía son liberados en 48 horas, dijo José Luis Contreras Cruz, coordinador de la Unidad de Personas Detenidas en la dependencia.

Robos, daños y lesiones, así como el narcomenudeo, son los delitos que más se cometen en esta ciudad, y apegadas al sistema de justicia vigente, las personas detenidas son procesadas en libertad, señaló. (S. Castro / M. Vargas / El Diario)

mvargas@redaccion.diario.com.mx

 

 

Record 3,017 Mexican homicide victims in July

The Mexican agency, SESNSP has released homicide data for July 2018.  Those numbers are posted in the table below with links to sources. Also, several articles in the press on the record number of homicides during July, for example: https://torontosun.com/news/crime/murderous-mexico-july-homicides-shatter-grim-record

I will note that this article cites a lower record number of “homicide investigations” opened in July. The figures in the table below come from another SESNSP report providing the number of VICTIMS, a more realistic figure for the actual death toll. molly

Mexico Homicides: 2007- July 2018

Compiled by Molly Molloy

The numbers in the table below include official Mexican government homicide statistics from 2007-May 2018, using INEGI figures for 2007-2017, with data from the SESNSP for Jan-July 2018.

The data on the numbers of homicide victims for January-July 2018 show an overall steady increase, with a very slight decrease from March-April, and again in June. Victims of homicidios dolosos (intentional homicides) increased significantly in July to a total of 3,017—nearly 100 people killed EACH DAY during the month of July 2018. During the first 7 months of 2018, there were a total of 18,994 homicide victims—an average of 90 people have been murdered each day in Mexico this year.

Homicides in Mexico, 2007-July 2018

YEAR #Homicides Rate=#/100,000 population
2007* 8,867 8
2008 14,006 13
2009 19,803 18
2010 25,757 23
2011 27,213 24
2012 25,967 22
2013 23,063 19
2014 20,010 17
2015 20,525 17
2016 23,953 20
2017** 31,174 25
TOTAL 2007-2017 240,338  
     
2018***     
Jan 2,549  
Feb 2,390  
Mar 2,751  
Apr 2,724  
May 2,894  
June 2,669  
July 3,017  
SUB-TOTAL 2018 18,994  
     
CUMULATIVE 2007-July 2018 259,332  

*INEGI: http://www.inegi.org.mx/saladeprensa/boletines/2017/homicidios/homicidios2017_07.pdf

**http://www.beta.inegi.org.mx/contenidos/saladeprensa/boletines/2018/EstSegPub/homicidios2017_07.pdf

***SESNSP 2018 reports: http://secretariadoejecutivo.gob.mx/docs/pdfs/nueva-metodologia/CNSP-V%C3%ADctimas-2018.pdf

*INEGI: http://www.inegi.org.mx/saladeprensa/boletines/2017/homicidios/homicidios2017_07.pdf

**http://www.beta.inegi.org.mx/contenidos/saladeprensa/boletines/2018/EstSegPub/homicidios2017_07.pdf

***SESNSP 2018 reports: http://secretariadoejecutivo.gob.mx/docs/pdfs/nueva-metodologia/CNSP-V%C3%ADctimas-2018.pdf

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