Mar 2, 2017

Deported men and women from the U.S. pour into Mexico

Vendors in Mexico City recently sold Donald Trump piñatas for protesters. 
(Photo courtesy of El Informador.MX)

Deportees nudge the 2,000 mark in Mexican state

Kent Paterson/Correspondent

The number of deportees from the United States registered in the Mexican state of Guerrero has reached nearly 2,000 since the beginning of 2017. That's according to Fabian Morales Marchan, Guerrero state secretary for migrant and international affairs.

Morales told the Guerrero daily El Sur that 1,913 residents of the southern state were repatriated between Jan. 1 and Feb. 20, a period of time that covered the last three weeks of the Barack Obama administration and the first month of the Donald Trump presidency. A breakdown of deportee numbers for the two administrations was not immediately reported.

In contrast to Trump administration officials who allege the criminal backgrounds of recent deportees, Marchan said only 8 percent of the repatriated Guerrenses in 2017 had U.S. criminal records. Acknowledging that the state government is struggling to reintegrate the deportees back into Mexican society, Morales said officials hoped to meet with business owners soon so jobs could be found for the returning population.

Burdened by poverty and violence, Guerrero is among the principal migrant expelling states in Mexico. In recent years, Guerrerense dialects, whether Spanish or indigenous, have acquired a presence across Mexico as well as U.S. cities such as New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles.

In an example of the impact of migration in Guerrero, El Sur profiled this week the indigenous Nahua town of San Juan Totolcintla. Melaquides Garcia Rios, chief of communal lands in San Juan Totolcintla, estimated that half of his town's 3,060 residents have migrated, with about 20 percent in the United States and 30 percent in other Mexican states where men, women and children work as seasonal farmworkers, including Morelos, Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit.

Two of San Juan Totolcintla's residents, 13-year-old Fresnia Juarez and her 18-year-old cousin Diana Juarez, were killed in a February 10 truck crash in Jalisco, a tragedy which also yielded a third death and 18 injuries, mostly of internal migrants from northern Guerrero. A not uncommon occurrence, fatal vehicle accidents have claimed the lives of countless migrant workers in Mexico and the United States during the past few decades.

Garcia contended that official neglect, ineptitude and irregularities have marked the destiny of his town, even though it was selected in 2013 as the model for the Mexican President Enrique 
Peña Nieto administration's much-heralded National Crusade against Hunger. 

"The (government people) left as they came," Garcia was quoted in El Sur. "Many of us did not realize it but (officials) took money from the government agencies and we continue the same as before. There are no jobs and no investment to anchor the people, which were stated objectives of the (Crusade)."


Kent Paterson, a journalist and author, is an expert on the U.S.-Mexico border and Mexican politics, and is the former editor of Fronter NorteSur.