Doctors Without Borders Calls On Mexico To Release Detained Migrants

Published: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 2:21pm
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The international medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says releasing migrants from Mexican detention centers is the only way to save lives and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"With the current expansion of the pandemic in Mexico, keeping migrants in detention centers puts their health at risk," Sergio Martin, head of the group’s mission in Mexico, said in a public statement Monday. "We demand the Mexican government release as soon as possible people who are still being deprived of their freedom."

The call for migrants’ release comes in response to a riot and fire at a detention center in the southern Mexico town of Tenosique, Chiapas, on March 31 that that left a Guatemalan migrant dead and more than a dozen others injured.

In the Sonoran capital Hermosillo, detained migrants also rioted last week, many asking to be returned to their home countries. More than 300 men, women and children are reportedly being held in a facility with a maximum capacity of 60 people.

Doctors Without Borders is asking Mexico to ensure the safety of migrants within its borders, and help those who want to return home do so.

Migrant advocates and aid groups have similarly called for the release detained migrants detained in the United States, where there are already confirmed cases of COVID-19 among ICE detainees, and to allow entry to asylum seekers waiting in Mexico.

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