Migrant Activist Clears Charges In Mexico Again, Still Accused In The U.S.

By Rodrigo Cervantes
Published: Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 6:14pm
Updated: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 10:50am

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Irineo Mújica
Rodrigo Cervantes/KJZZ
Irineo Mújica, a migrant rights activist and head of the nonprofit Pueblos Sin Fronteras, at the Mexican Senate in Mexico City.

MEXICO CITY — It’s the second time that a migrant rights activist who has worked at the Arizona-Mexico border and with migrant caravans cleared charges in Mexico for human smuggling. But the Trump administration is still accusing him of harboring immigrants. 

Irineo Mújica has been an activist for almost 20 years and is the leader of the nonprofit Pueblos Sin Fronteras. The Mexican court rejected a second attempt trying to put him on trial. 

“The Mexican government, under the pressure of the Trump administration, has been pushing a lot of human rights defenders,” Mújica said.

According to Mújica, the Mexican government is still investigating him. He said the Trump and López Obrador administrations targeted him because he is one of the most visible faces from the Central American migrant caravans from 2018.

In the U.S., Mújica is named as a non-indicted co-conspirator in the case of Scott Warren, an Arizona activist accused of harboring undocumented immigrants.

“It’s a witch hunt for anybody that helps the migrants,” Mújica said.

The activist said he doesn’t even have a relationship with Warren. He blames President Donald Trump for using Mexico to block migrants and for criminalizing activists.

“Immigrants are not for sale, and we should stand up to Donald Trump and his ambition for power,” Mújica said.

Mújica plans to stay in Mexico to clear his name, but he said he will go to the U.S. if needed.

The activist said the newly created Mexican National Guard is focusing on migrants instead of on the rising crime wave in Mexico, while migrant facilities in the U.S. look like cages, keeping people in subhuman conditions.

For him, the current U.S. migration policies don’t represent the values of the American people.

“I’m paying some of the price, and I’m glad to pay for the price as long as we know that we are doing the right thing for the right reasons,” Mújica said.