Mexican actor/director Gael García Bernal and British director Marc Silver have recently collaborated with Amnesty International in a series of four short films, entitled “The Invisibles”. The films draw attention to the plight of Central American immigrants traveling across Mexico in order to reach the U.S.
Following is a brief excerpt from Amnesty’s website, which gives an idea of the situation currently faced by migrants:
Kidnappings of migrants, mainly for ransom, reached new heights in 2009, with the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) reporting that nearly 10,000 were abducted over six months and almost half of interviewed victims saying that public officials were involved in their kidnapping.
An estimated six out of 10 migrant women and girls experience sexual violence, allegedly prompting some people smugglers to demand that women receive contraceptive injections ahead of the journey, to avoid them falling pregnant as a result of rape.
On 23 January 2010, armed police stopped a freight train carrying over 100 migrants in Chiapas State, southern Mexico.
Veronica (not her real name) said that Federal Police forced her and the other migrants to leave the train and lie face down on the ground, before stealing their belongings and threatening to kill them unless they continued their journey by foot along the railway.
After walking for hours, the group was assaulted by armed men who raped Veronica and killed at least one other migrant.
Two suspects were later detained after a local activist helped the migrants file a complaint but no action was taken against the Federal Police, despite migrants identifying two officers allegedly involved.