Ciudad Juarez on the Chihuahua-Texas border has historically been a nexus of migration and global capital flows. Now that the presidency of Donald Trump has revived international debates on both, the international small farmers’ organization, Via Campesina, gathered from around the world there in early November to examine the connections between low-wage work, migration and the environment.
After weeks of rumors and tweets, Donald Trump announced his decision to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a notorious racist and anti-migrant advocate, broke the news with the gleeful expression he reserves for when he’s destroying the lives of thousands of Latino or Muslim or Black or Indigenous people.
The Washington Post published the full transcript of the January 27 phone call between Donald J. Trump and Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto and it has stirred up the usual voyeuristic interest in the inner workings of the U.S. president’s disturbed mind. But more than that, it reveals the bizarre relationship between an ego-driven domestic agenda and a rudderless and opportunistic foreign policy.
After traveling the 3 kilometers to the border, the Laguna Larga community arrived in Campeche, Mexico. There, the refugees were met by the Mexican Nacional Institute of Migration (INM) and armed federal and state police who had been informed days before of the impending eviction by the Guatemalan authorities. Barred from entering further into Mexico, the villagers were forced to stay in makeshift tents made from plastic bags on the 8-meter border zone between Campeche and El Petén.
The Miami meeting ignored human rights and refugee rights. There appears to have been no discussion of government abuses as a result of intensified joint operations to stop migrant flows to the United States, particularly by Mexican security forces and increasingly by Central American forces charged with controlling outmigration of their own people.
Mexico’s Secretaries of Government and Foreign Relations and Defense and Marine Secretariats will stand beside their U.S. co-hosts June 15 and 16 to launch the new Plan Pentagon for Central America. They won’t call it that, of course. Vice President Mike Pence will open the event “Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America”, before the presidents, the generals and representatives from observer countries.
This viacrucis, or Stations of the Cross, was made up of about 300 migrants, including women and children, who traveled through Mexico, ending up in Mexico City. According to one of its communiqués, its fundamental purpose is “to escape the southern border, which has condemned many people without papers to precarious work, discrimination and the absence of state protection.”