Mexico Migration Falls (El Sol de Tijuana, 12/17/12 by Victor Manuel Chávez Ogazón)

Guadalajara, Jalisco - December 18th is celebrated as Día del Migrante (Day of the Migrant), and perhaps today we should celebrate that recent internal migration into the country has declined. On the other hand, our country has become a mandatory stop where we see Central and South Americans pass through in greater numbers in search of new routes on their journey as some States are so dangerous – due to the presence of armed groups who kidnap them - as the deserts confronts our fellow nationals.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), at the local level, the population noted a change of residence from their previous home of five years earlier at 4.9% in 1990 and 3.3% in 2010, indicating a downward trend. The Federal District is the entity with the greatest loss of population due to internal migration with a 6.3% population growth since 2010. In 2010, the estimated number of international migrants worldwide is 214 million, representing 3% of the population on the planet. Six of every 100 migrants were born in Mexico.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, routes have changed and today the migrants arrive wanting to reach the northern border of the country. Migrants use the railway, the so-called "bestia" (beast), as the only way from the South to reach the so-called 'line' with the United States.

During the International Forum II on Migration and Development, organized by the Center for Strategic Studies for the Development of the University of Guadalajara, it was expressed that this phenomenon "is sensitive and sometimes sad," according to Carlos García de Alba Zepeda, the Mexico Ambassador to Ireland.

The Mexican diplomat added that "it is certainly a topic that lends itself to interest and debate", so the panel analyzed this with a multifaceted range of participants. He pointed out that only 76 countries in the United Nations experience this phenomenon. García de Alba Zepeda said that they estimate 250 million people live in a country other than that of their birth and that another five million people change their country as the product of this phenomenon.

Dr. Patricia Arias Rozas, academic researcher at the Centro Universitario de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades (CUCSH), spoke of the phenomenon and migration from Mexico, which, he said, went from being limited in the first 90 years of last century toward greater freedom between 1990 and 2001 and finally returning to encapsulation.

He said that in the case of the Mexican migratory phenomenon, 98% of migrants in the country go to the United States, until problems arose from the security implemented in 2001 and went from 600,000 crossings per year to only 100,000 today.

The discoveries of massacres and mass graves filled with migrants who didn’t provide extortions to organized crime groups and were executed, revealed the risks in Mexico especially for those coming from Central and South America. Amnesty International warned of such events in Veracruz, Tamaulipas and other border States, even before the series of this type of events occurred.

In a statement in October, Amnesty International warned: "Hundreds of thousands of migrants attempt to cross Mexico from Central and South America to reach United States. Many of them are detained by Mexican immigration authorities and must return to their countries of origin. Amnesty International has visited Mexico to investigate complaints and reports of violations of human rights against these people on the move. During the visits, Amnesty International found that many of them has been abducted by criminal gangs that sometimes, working in complicity with local authorities. Impunity for abuses against migrants, who are extremely vulnerable, has allowed these abuses to increase, despite commitments made by the Government to ensure respect for the human rights of migrants", it said.

Amnesty International has launched actions to give visibility to the plight of migrants traveling through Mexico and provide necessary assistance to migrants who pass through the country. To take action, visit


Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader