¡No me peguen, duele!!¡No golpeen!
"Don't hit me! It hurts! Don't beat me!"
That's what the illegal aliens shouted—in vain—as they were detained and beaten by immigration (and military) authorities.
You probably didn't hear much about this on the U.S. Mainstream Media, because it happened in Mexico, and it was Central American illegal aliens being beaten up by Mexican authorities.
Remember the infamous Riverside County Beating in 1996, which was widely publicized? That's when two sheriff's deputies in Riverside Country, California beat a couple of Mexican illegal aliens after a high speed pursuit.
But that incident was minor compared to what happened on March 31st, in the southern state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. (For a map, see here).
A freight train was passing through Oaxaca, and on board were 600 Central American illegal aliens (from countries, remember, that are poorer than Mexico). At Las Palmas, in the municipio (somewhat equivalent to a county) of Niltepec, the train was stopped by a 50-man (though one witness says 100-man) detail composed of INM (Mexican equivalent of ICE) agents and Mexican marines. (In Mexico, military units can and do enforce immigration law). The agents and Marines were armed and some brandished clubs.
Chaos ensued. Hundreds of illegal aliens escaped, but those who couldn't get away were, according to witnesses, detained and beaten with sticks. Agents and Marines entered local houses seeking escapees, and there's even a report of a rape in an abandoned building. [Denuncian paliza contra migrantes, Maria de Jesus Peters, El Universal, April 5th, 2008]
"It was a moment of terror that we lived. I feared for my life" said Eva Serrato, a Honduran who walked 3 days to get away.
¡No me peguen, duele!!¡No golpeen! some of those being beaten cried, but to no avail. [Los Roban en Juchitán Tras Recibir Paliza By Alberto López Morales, El Universal, April 8th, 2008]
"They beat us like they club the seals in Canada", Rosa Elba, illegal alien. She says her brother was thrown to the ground and beaten until blood came out of his mouth and nose—"why do Migracion and the police treat us worse than animals? ["Migrantes: "Nos Golpean Como a Focas en Canadá" , By Alberto Lopez, El Universal, April 7th, 2008]
There was also a photographer on board the train, and when he was spotted by a female agent with a radio, she ordered him tossed overboard and his camera confiscated. But he was able to escape with his camera, and therefore, photographs of the incident were taken.
On April 5, these photographs appeared on the front page of El Universal, Mexico's paper of record (you can see them here
The headline read "Apalean a Centroamericanos" which literally means "They Beat up Central Americans with Sticks".
(The topic of mistreatment of Central American illegal aliens in Mexico is not covered up by the Mexican media, which runs numerous reports on the subject.)
Unsurprisingly, the El Universal article and photos were also reprinted in a Honduran newspaper.
As for whether anything will be done about it, that's another question entirely. As of April 7, the INM and the Mexican Navy made a joint statement reporting that they hadn't received any complaints lodged against any of their personnel, but they would investigate. One problem is the Central American victims are afraid to testify, fearing deportation from Mexico!
Far from being an isolated incident, there are numerous reports of mistreatment of Central American illegal aliens in Mexico. See my earlier article "More Hypocrisy: How Mexico Handles Its Own Illegal Immigration"
We must distinguish between the sort of mistreatment and abuse displayed in Oaxaca, and simply enforcing immigration law. Open borders promoters try to confuse the two. There's no reason illegal aliens can't be humanely detained and deported.
In many respects we can learn from Mexican immigration policy. To provide one example, although the Mexican government is horrified at the prospect of U.S. cops enforcing immigration law, in Mexico the police are not only allowed to enforce immigration—
they are required to do so. (See my previous article on that topic).
And while we must condemn the sorts of abuses which took place in Oaxaca, I would certainly support Mexico's right to control its own borders and manage its own immigration policy, and to detain and deport illegal aliens, as it does.
But what's tiring are the constant lectures from Mexicans on how badly Mexican illegal aliens are treated in the U.S., in the light of the Oaxaca incident (and many others).
Just as in the U.S., illegal aliens in Mexico frequently perish in accidents, such as the one in which 8 illegal alien Guatemalans died on April 5, when their vehicle fell into a Mexican lake.
There's lots of bad, bad stuff that happens to illegals in Mexico. For example, a recent NGO report arriving to the Mexican Congress asserts that 7 out of 10 of all young migrant women from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua (all countries poorer than Mexico) are attacked in Mexico by customs agents, police (federal, state and local) and military personnel, and 60% are raped. Some of these young women are actually sold for $200 for slave labor or sexual exploitation (or both). [Mujeres migrants: 7 de cada 10, victimas de aduanales y policías, By Gustavo Gonzalez, Cimac Noticias, March 4th, 2008]
It's a humanitarian disaster, stretching across our entire continent ! Thanks in part to American employers who don't want to pay American wages, Hispanic activists who seek more political power, and various and sundry other open borders promoters, Central Americans are tempted to risk their lives by crossing Mexico, a dangerous country for them, in order to get to the United States.
So besides all the problems illegal immigration causes in our own country, it invites millions of foreigners to put their lives and safety at risk as well. Why don't we end it, and cut off the magnet that tempts them to do so?
American citizen Allan Wall ( email him) resides in Mexico, with a legal permit issued him by the Mexican government. Allan recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here his "Dispatches from Iraq" are archived here his website is here.