“Migrants are very important, but the priority is Mexico” says, Mexican human rights activist

Alejandro Solalinde, who was one of the most emblematic figures in the defense of the human rights of migrants, believes that it is no longer possible to accompany the undocumented Central Americans in their efforts to reach the United States. Interviewed by the digital newspaper ElFaro.net , he says it is time to close ranks around the Mexican government and avoid at all costs that migration becomes a diplomatic problem for the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. 

In February 2007, priest Alejandro Solalinde founded the Hermanos en el Camino shelter, in Ciudad Ixtepec, in southern Oaxaca. At the beginning it was a kind of sanctuary beyond the Spartan: dirt floor, a humble chapel that served as a dormitory for migrants and a tembleque galley, with a reed roof, under which dozens and even hundreds of people were stabbed daily undocumented It was cooked with firewood, placing a blackened pot on the stove, to create monumental stews, prepared by the migrants themselves, with the leftovers donated by a chicken farm and the vegetable to be defeated that Solalinde asked for as a gift in the municipal market.

The lodge was located next to the train tracks and the daily bust was dictated by the metallic sound of The Beast , which announced the arrival of migrants, or that it was time to wake up ad follow the route north. The place was emptied and filled in infinite cycles.

Those years were some of the toughest for migrants: nobody, or almost no one, came to the shelter without their own horror story: assaults, humiliations, beatings, rapes, and kidnappings. Then, Solalinde became an enraged voice: he accused the mayor of Ixtepec, the head of the local police, the governor of Oaxaca and the federal government of being crushing the undocumented, of allowing all those abuses to occur and being accomplices of the same. He said that the National Migration Institute (INM) was a “Los Zetas branch” and described all Mexican police forces as basically criminal organizations. He was unable to contain his anger at the right-wing Mexican governments of the PRI and the PAN, which he accused of being corrupt, inhuman, and cruel.

At the age of 62, he got on the death train to accompany the migrants, faced coyotes and kidnappers, received contempt from the citizens of Ixtepec, who saw him as protector of stinkers, was arrested, beaten, received threats from death … but Solalinde was immovable, unbreakable.

From that hot and sullen municipality, the priest built his image, based on his exploits and his stark denunciations. He ceased to be a town priest to be a first national and then world reference for the defense of human rights and solidarity.

Source: processo.com.mx. elfaro.net

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