• WATCH: Viral video claims to show ‘Trump’s border wall’ COLLAPSE under the wrath of #Hurricane_Hanna

    A section of the US-Mexico border wall in Texas allegedly failed to withstand the power of nature, according to a viral video. While its authenticity has been questioned, the clip sent President Trump’s critics into overdrive.

    A viral video purportedly showing a partial collapse of the border fence between the United States and Mexico was widely shared online on Sunday. While it was not immediately clear where it was recorded and which segment of the fence was affected, several local journalists and media reports indicated the incident happened somewhere between Texas and the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas as the storm battered the region.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/495928-texas-border-wall-collapse-hurricane

    #murs #barrières_frontalières #destruction #walls_don't_work #les_murs_tombent #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis #Mexique

    –—

    ajouté à la métaliste sur les murs qui tombent...
    https://seenthis.net/messages/823380

  • Equatorial Guinea Halts Construction of Cameroon Border Wall

    Equatorial Guinea has agreed to pause the construction of a controversial border wall with Cameroon after talks between the two countries’ defense ministers in Yaoundé. The two sides also agreed once again to withdraw troops from their disputed border after deadly clashes left at least seven people dead. An agreement earlier this month to withdraw forces failed to hold and some border traders are skeptical of this latest pact.

    After a second day of closed-door meetings in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea’s Defense Minister Leandro Bekale Nkogo said the two sides agreed to set aside their differences.

    Nkogo on Tuesday announced Equatorial Guinea would pause construction of its controversial border wall, which Cameroon’s government says violates its territory.

    He says troops from the two countries that have been deployed to the border will return to their barracks and only come out to protect their civilians in times of crisis. Nkogo says Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea will henceforth jointly combat their common enemies, who are poachers, pirates resurfacing in the Gulf of Guinea, and armed groups attacking and looting civilians in both countries.

    Nkogo said as neighbors, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea need each other for their security and development.

    Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema ordered the border wall be built in 2019 to stop Cameroonians and West Africans from illegally entering the country.

    Cameroon deployed its army to stop what it called an intrusion of border markers, leading to armed conflicts and casualties.

    An agreement earlier this month to pull back troops, and jointly demarcate the border, apparently failed.

    Cameroon says at least seven of its civilians were killed in border clashes that followed in the southwestern town of Kye-Ossi.

    But Cameroon’s Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo on Tuesday said both sides were firm in seeking an end the border tensions.

    He says the wish of Cameroon’s President Paul Biya is to see Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea become the true brotherly and friendly nations that they were at the dawn of independence. He says both countries have sociological, cultural and geographic relations that should encourage the people of the two states to live in peace and harmony.

    Despite the agreements Monday, not all traders along the border were convinced that the skirmishes will end.

    40-year-old Cameroonian merchant Angelica Amende, who buys wine from Equatorial Guinea to sell back home, doubts the border dispute can soon be resolved.

    She says she does not think there is a political will to solve the crisis on Cameroon’s border with Equatorial Guinea. She says it is not the first-time high-profile delegations have met on the instructions of the two heads of state and the border crisis is yet to end.

    Equatorial Guinea has often accused Cameroon of not doing enough to stop its citizens and other West Africans from crossing the border illegally.

    In 2017, Equatorial Guinea sealed its border with Cameroon for six months after authorities on both sides arrested heavily armed foreigners and accused them plotting to overthrow Obiang.

    The two countries’ leaders are Africa’s longest-serving presidents. Obiang has ruled Equatorial Guinea since 1979, while Biya has ruled Cameroon since 1982.

    Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea in 2017 joined four other states in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) in agreeing to lift visa requirements.

    Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo have since accused Equatorial Guinea of dragging its feet on allowing the free movement of people and goods.

    https://www.voanews.com/africa/equatorial-guinea-halts-construction-cameroon-border-wall
    #guinée_équatoriale #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #Cameroun

    • La Guinée Equatoriale suspend la construction d’un mur à la frontière avec le Cameroun

      Les deux pays étaient en froid depuis la décision de Malabo d’ériger un mur entre les deux pays. La Guinée Equatoriale va suspendre les travaux de construction du mur.

      Les tensions ont atteint leur plus haut point, lorsque la Guinée Equatoriale a unilatéralement entrepris d’ériger un mur à la frontière qui la sépare du Cameroun. Les travaux de construction de ce mur de séparation, long de 189 kilomètres et dont la Guinée Equatoriale a toujours nié l’existence, sont désormais suspendus. C’est la plus importante annonce de la rencontre entre les ministres de la Défense des deux pays, réunis les 29 et 30 juin 2020 à Yaoundé.

      Les participants au sommet se sont concertés sur les modalités de collaboration et d’actions sécuritaires à la frontière commune.

      Le mur de la discorde

      Les tensions ont atteint leur plus haut point, lorsque la Guinée Equatoriale a unilatéralement entrepris, en juillet 2019, d’ériger un mur sur la frontière commune.

      À l’époque, Yaoundé avait accusé la Guinée Equatoriale d’avoir empiété sur son territoire, ce qu’avait démenti Malabo. Les tensions avaient été ravivées quand Malabo a entrepris la construction de miradors au même endroit, d’après une publication en juin, du quotidien d’Etat camerounais Cameroon Tribune.

      Joseph Beti Assomo, le ministre de la Défense du Cameroun a salué la décision de la suspension des travaux de construction du mur qui, selon lui, va davantage consolider les liens entre le Cameroun et la Guinée Equatoriale.

      « Ces derniers mois, des incompréhensions se sont multipliées sur ces travaux de fortification par nos frères, le long de la frontière terrestre. Les nouvelles qui nous parviennent portent sur la suspension des travaux, ce qui nous permet désormais de travailler sereinement », espère le ministre camerounais.

      La zone frontalière de la Guinée équatoriale, du Cameroun et du Gabon, appelée zone des trois frontières, est une plaque tournante des échanges commerciaux, mais aussi de trafics.

      La décision de la construction du mur prise en 2019 par Malabo avait surpris. D’autant que les États de la Communauté Économique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale (CEMAC), prônent la libre circulation des personnes et des biens.

      Porte d’entrée en Guinée Equatoriale

      La question de la libre circulation a toujours été une pierre d’achoppement entre le Cameroun et la Guinée Equatoriale. Malabo estime que le Cameroun est la porte d’entrée de nombreux ressortissants d’Afrique de l’Ouest qui transitent par ce territoire pour se retrouver illégalement en Guinée Equatoriale.

      Leandro Bekale Nkogo, ministre de la Défense de la Guinée Équatoriale, a fait part de quelques propositions, qui selon lui pourraient contribuer au renforcement du dialogue et la sécurité le long de la frontière.

      « Il s’agit de mettre en place des mécanismes qui visent à encourager et à promouvoir la qualité des relations de nos deux peuples le long de la frontière, ainsi que la lutte contre la piraterie maritime, du banditisme au niveau des frontières et de l’immigration clandestine », souligne le ministre Leandro Bekale Nkogo.

      Par le passé, le Cameroun et la Guinée Equatoriale ont tenu des rencontres similaires sans véritablement s’accorder. Les populations espèrent que le sommet bilatéral qui vient de se tenir à Yaoundé aura plus d’effets que les précédents.

      https://www.dw.com/fr/la-guin%C3%A9e-equatoriale-suspend-la-construction-dun-mur-%C3%A0-la-fronti%C3%A8re-avec-le-cameroun/a-54008132

    • Malabo veut un mur à la frontière avec le Cameroun

      Officiellement, il s’agit d’assurer la sécurité à la frontière de la Guinée équatoriale. Mais la crainte d’un afflux de réfugiés venant du Cameroun pourrait également expliquer ce projet.
      Le président de la République de Guinée équatoriale, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, a décidé d’ériger un mur à la frontière avec le Cameroun. Officiellement, il s’agit d’assurer la sécurité de cette frontière un an après une tentative de coup d’Etat conduite par des mercenaires tchadiens et centrafricains qui étaient venus du Cameroun. La construction doit s’étendre sur 40 kilomètres sur le trajet entre Kye Ossi au Cameroun et Campo en Guinée équatoriale. Les travaux ont débuté et sont visibles depuis le côté camerounais.

      Mais à Kye Ossi, la construction du mur provoque la mauvaise humeur de la population locale.

      Pierre Tchinda, habitant de Kye Ossi pense que le mur sera un frein sérieux à la dynamique de la libre circulation des personnes et des biens dans la zone Cemac :

      « Est-ce qu’on parle de la libre circulation en érigeant un mur ? Que les Equato-guinéens nous disent exactement ce qu’ils veulent. Pourquoi ériger un mur ? Pour moi ça n’a pas de sens. Cela va causer un impact pour le citoyen qui achète sa bière à 500 francs CFA et va sans doute devoir ensuite la payer le double. »

      Tensions entre les deux pays

      Certains considèrent même cette initiative comme une provocation. A Kye Ossi, beaucoup pensent aussi que le mur empiète sur le territoire camerounais. C’est ce qu’explique Jean-Marie Zue Zue, l’adjoint au maire de Kye Ossi :

      « Les militaires équato-guinéens, à l’insu des autorités camerounaises, sont allés planter des piquets de délimitation de la frontière alors que cela ne devrait pas se faire ainsi. Il faut une commission ad hoc. Les autorités camerounaises et équato-guinéennes doivent travailler sur les limites exactes des deux pays. »

      Le sous-préfet de la localité, Joseph Victorien Happy De Nguiamba, a affirmé qu’il n’a aucun doute sur la volonté de la Guinée équatoriale de conduire le chantier du mur à son terme. Mais la situation est tendue, les autorités équato-guinéennes ayant refusé de se rendre à plusieurs rencontres prévues avec leurs homologues camerounais.

      La visite du général de l’armée camerounaise René Claude Meka à Kye Ossi il y a quelques semaines a rassuré la population. Les relations entre le Cameroun et la Guinée équatoriale pourraient en effet se détériorer à cause de ce mur.

      https://www.dw.com/fr/malabo-veut-un-mur-%C3%A0-la-fronti%C3%A8re-avec-le-cameroun/a-50058538

    • OBIANG CONSTRUIT UN MUR DE LA HONTE ENTRE LA GUINÉE ÉQUATORIALE ET LE CAMEROUN

      OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO vient de prouver une fois de plus à la communauté internationale qu’il ne respecte ni les Traités ni les lois ni les décrets qu’il signe, il vient de démontrer que sa signature de chef d’État au bas d’un parchemin n’a aucune valeur et tout cela pour construire un ’MUR DE LA HONTE" entre le CAMEROUN et la GUINÉE ÉQUATORIALE.

      Ainsi on apprend, à l’occasion d’incidents qui viennent de se produire à la frontière CAMEROUN/GUINÉE ÉQUATORIALE, que les autorités équato-guinéennes ont opté et commencé la construction d’un mur à la frontière avec le Cameroun au mépris des dispositions régissant l’intégration régionale et continentale.

      Comme on a pu le lire dans la presse, le moins que l’on puisse dire, c’est que le Gouvernement équato-guinéen souffle le chaud et le froid et danse le tango sur ce qu’il dit et ce qu’il fait, tout cela en violation des Conventions et Traités internationaux ainsi qu’aux principes de l’Union africaine (UA) et de la Communauté économique et monétaire de l’Afrique centrale (CEMAC) dont elle est membre.

      Quant à l’armée camerounaise, Préfet en tête, elle est sur le terrain prête à en découdre avec les dépassements de frontière...

      La question de la libre circulation est sur la table depuis des années en Afrique centrale : en 1972, l’ancêtre de la CEMAC avait déjà acté la libre circulation des personnes,

      En 2000, à la création de la Communauté économique et monétaire d’Afrique centrale, (CEMAC), l’idée d’un passeport commun à la zone centrafricaine avait été avancée puis décidée, mais le document n’a jamais vu le jour. Les négociations sur la libre circulation, laborieuses se sont poursuivies à chaque Sommet de la Communauté et elles ont longtemps achoppé en raison des refus de la Guinée équatoriale et du Gabon, pays pétroliers peu peuplés et relativement prospères (sauf pour les 80% qui vient en dessous du seuil de pauvreté) qui craignaient une immigration massive.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=CADVWhK-uXM

      la CEMAC a pris acte de la ratification, fin octobre 2017 par tous les États membres, de l’Accord de 2013 sur la libre circulation des personnes dans la sous-région, mettant fin ainsi à des négociations laborieuses entamées il y a plus de quinze ans.

      Les chefs d’État de la CEMAC, réunis en Sommet extraordinaire à N’Djamena, ont aussi décidé d’autoriser la Banque de développement des États d’Afrique centrale (BDEAC) à débloquer 1,7 milliards de francs pour « accompagner l’application de la libre circulation ».

      À aucun cas cette somme, destinée à favoriser la libre circulation, n’était destinée à permettre de construire un "MUR DE LA HONTE"..., c’est dire que le signataire OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO n’avait aucunement l’idée, malgré sa signature d’appliquer ces Accords internationaux, ce qui remet en question toute sa crédibilité, celle de l’État et de ses ministres au moment même où il entend proposer la négociation de nouveaux blocs pétroliers ou de participer à des négociations sur la transformation du franc CFA et la création d’une nouvelle monnaie africaine...

      À ce sujet, il est particulièrement honteux, pour un pays comme la Guinée équatoriale, de venir mendier 55 millions d’euros auprès de la Banque africaine de Développement (BAD) pour, soi-disant, augmenter et valoriser la production de poissons, à travers le développement durable de la pêche industrielle, de la pêche artisanale et de l’aquaculture, alors que le président dispose, à titre personnel, d’une fortune personnelle de plus de 600 millions de dollars selon FORBES et que l’un des yachts du fils OBIANG vaut, à lui seul, plus de 250 millions de dollars... D’où vient tout cet argent qui manque lorsqu’il faut investir dans un secteur fondamental comme celui de la pêche et que l’on trouve pour satisfaire des achats compulsifs personnels et que l’on ne trouve pas pour satisfaire les besoins fondamentaux de l’État équato-guinéen ?

      Depuis des décennies, les populations du CAMEROUN et de la GUINÉE ÉQUATORIALE vivent en bonne intelligence et ont des relations commerciales soutenues par la nécessité alimentaire de la population équato-guinéenne, privée de développement dans ce domaine par le fait, pour le pouvoir en place sans interruption depuis 40 ans, d’avoir privilégié les constructions pharaoniques de plusieurs palais présidentiels et d’une ville fantôme au lieu de développer les secteurs économiques fondamentaux en pensant vivre éternellement de la rente pétrolière et des fruits de la corruption qu’elle génère, ainsi l’agriculture et la pêche équato-guinéennes ont été réduites à leur plus simple expression, ce qui a nécessité des importations alimentaires quotidiennes pour permettre à 80 pour cent de la population, qui vit en dessous du seuil de pauvreté, de pouvoir s’alimenter. Or, cette production alimentaire vient en grande partie du Cameroun.

      La construction du MUR DE LA HONTE divise même les familles équato-guinéennes et camerounaises qui cohabitent ensemble à la frontière et vivent ensemble sur le même territoire, le mur de la honte coupera en deux ce qui existe en brousse depuis des siècles, ce qui montre une fois de plus l’incapacité présidentielle et de ses ministres à prendre en compte la réalité sur le terrain des situations, les visites de chantier et les poignées de main serrées aux opérateurs sont bien loin des préoccupations de la population que le président semble ignorer et surtout prendre en compte.

      Le président OBIANG se prend pour l’empereur de CHINE qui, 200 ans avant notre ère, a construit la grande muraille de CHINE. Il entend marquer l’histoire de la République de Guinée équatoriale par des infrastructures qui portent son nom et dont il croit qu’elles défieront le temps, alors que l’on a vu les statues de tous les dictateurs de la planète tomber les unes après les autres, qu’il se souvienne du mur de BERLIN et des statues déboulonnées en terre africaine... Aujourd’hui, grisé par le fait d’avoir nommé son fils général, le voici qu’il veut qu’il endosse sa tenue de combat et ses rangers pour aller se frotter au pays voisin où l’armée camerounaise l’attend de pied ferme...

      Poursuivant son oeuvre de désinformation, voici que le Gouvernement équato-guinéen ose publier, ce 8 août 2019, un communiqué dans lequel le ministre de l’information, de la Presse et de la Radio et ministre porte-parole du Gouvernement (n’en rajoutez plus cela en fait beaucoup en matière de désinformation), Eugenio Nze Obiang ose affirmer " La Guinée équatoriale vient de célébrer 40 ans de paix, de prospérité et de saine coexistence nationale"... et il termine en concluant : "La Guinée équatoriale, unie comme étant un seul homme suivant son chef d’État, SE Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, continuera à lutter pour maintenir la paix,

      Ce communiqué, qui est un numéro d’illusionniste, fait une démonstration visant à condamner AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, en reprenant, selon ses mots : "qu’un vent de liberté et surtout d’espoir s’est levé dans toutes les villes, dans tous les villages et dans tous les foyers, diffusant l’illusion d’une nouvelle vie pour tous les groupes de la population, qui n’avait connu que le terreur, l’intimidation et l’humiliation et pour lesquels la liberté était encore un rêve inaccessible".

      Oui il parle effectivement de ce que tout le peuple attend aujourd’hui : la paix, la fin de la dictature et le retour à la Démocratie, à la liberté de la presse, qu’Eugenio Nze Obiang malgré ses fonctions ignore puisqu’il porte le maillot n° 171 en matière de liberté de la presse dans le monde, ce qui est la preuve de son discrédit et de tout ce qu’il peut affirmer en parlant de paix au moment même où des tensions se sont formées sur le MUR DE LA HONTE, qui est la signature d’un Régime à bout de souffle en matière d’idées et de développement économique et social.

      Ce jour, le Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU plaide pour une action plus intégrée et multisectorielle en Afrique de l’Ouest et au Sahel pour traiter les questions du développement, de l’action humanitaire, des droits de la personne et de la paix et de la sécurité. Cette démarche doit être entreprise pour s’attaquer aux causes profondes des crises qui touchent la région, c’est ainsi que le Conseil souhaite que les réformes politiques en cours dans la région soient consolidées pour prévenir les violences et l’instabilité et que la réconciliation nationale progresse. Aussi, le Conseil souligne que les parties prenantes nationales doivent collaborer pour faciliter la préparation, en temps voulu, et la tenue dans les délais fixés « d’élections véritablement libres, justes, crédibles et pacifiques ».

      Le Conseil appelle ces parties à prendre toutes les mesures qui s’imposent pour prévenir les violences et leur demande, instamment, de garantir des conditions égales à tous les candidats et toutes les candidates et de favoriser la participation pleine et véritable des femmes sur un pied d’égalité avec les hommes, notamment en vue d’accroître le nombre de femmes aux hautes fonctions de l’État.

      Le maintien de la paix ne saurait permettre la tentative de déstabilisation des relations avec le pays voisin engagée par le président OBIANG par la construction de ce MUR DE LA HONTE, c’est la raison pour laquelle la COALITION CORED, son président, les membres de son bureau ainsi que les 20 partis politiques et associations en exil, qui représentent les 250 000 personnes qui ont fui la Guinée-équatoriale pour ne pas se faire assassiner et rejoindre les 310 personnes dont la mémoire vient d’être honorée, une fois de plus, à la date du 3 août, demande l’arrêt immédiat de ce projet de construction du MUR DE LA HONTE équato-guinéen et appelle la communauté internationale à soutenir son action pour que les bonnes relations avec son pays voisin, le Cameroun, soient préservées.

      https://blogs.mediapart.fr/abeso-ndong-salomon/blog/080819/obiang-construit-un-mur-de-la-honte-entre-la-guinee-equatoriale-et-l

  • During and After Crisis : Evros Border Monitoring Report

    #HumanRights360 documents the recent developments in the European land border of Evros as a result of the ongoing policy of externalization and militarization of border security of the EU member States. The report analyses the current state of play, in conjunction with the constant amendments of the Greek legislation amid the discussions pertaining to the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and the Return Directive.

    https://www.humanrights360.org/during-and-after-crisis-evros-border-monitoring-report

    #rapport #Evros #migrations #réfugiés #Grèce #frontières #2019 #militarisation_des_frontières #loi_sur_l'asile #Kleidi #Serres #covid-19 #coronavirus #Turquie #push-backs #refoulements #refoulement #push-back #statistiques #passages #chiffres #frontière_terrestre #murs #barrières_frontalières #Kastanies #violence #Komotini #enfermement #détention #rétention_administrative #Thiva #Fylakio #transferts

    –------
    Pour télécharger le rapport


    https://www.humanrights360.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/During-After-Crisis-Evros.pdf

    ping @luciebacon

  • Let’s Call it a Wall

    The border between the US and Mexico was first defined by the “United States and Mexican Boundary Survey” (1848–1855) in accordance with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican–American War.

    About forty years later, the first border control point was installed, in 1896 at Eagle Pass, Texas. In 1918, the first recorded border fence was built at Nogales, Arizona. Its construction was ordered by Felix B. Peñaloza, the mayor, of Nogales, Mexico. In his opinion, the fence would help to “direct the flow of people crossing the border through two gateways, to make it easier for a growing number of soldiers, customs agents, and other officials to oversee transborder movement.”

    But soon after fence was erected, a conflict broke that resulted in a two-hour shootout between officers on both sides. “At least twelve Mexicans and Americans had been killed, including Peñaloza, who had built the fence precisely to minimize the risk of conflict between the nations.”

    Despite the fact that this first fence building activity was not very successful in negotiating conflicts, the fence in Nogales remained, and more barriers were about to come. Yet it was not until the 1990s that signs of serious barrier construction appeared. The most significant fence building activity before the 1990s was a five-mile chain-link fence in 1945 and twenty-seven miles of punched-out-metal fence during the Carter era in the late 1970s dubbed the “Tortilla Curtain.”

    Most fences during the postwar period were erected on both sides of border at crossing points to prevent vehicles and people from circumventing controls.

    In the 1990s, first fences separate from border crossing points were erected out of portable Marston Mats (M8A1).

    These ten-foot-long, fifteen-inches-thick corrugated metal panels were originally used during the Vietnam War as landing pads for aircraft and parking areas for vehicles. Yet at the border, supported by metal studs, they formed a ten-foot-high steel wall. Marston Mat walls can still be found along large parts of the border today, in every state except Texas.

    Until the mid-2000s, border fence construction remained rather marginal. Only fifty miles of the 1,954-mile-long border were fenced by the end of the 1990s. The annual budget for “Tactical Infrastructure” (the bureaucratic term for border barriers) was $6 million in 2002, and still as low as $15 million in 2005.
    In 2007, however, the budget skyrocketed to $647 million. This sudden increase was a result of the “Secure Fence Act of 2006,” which authorized and partially funded the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the US-Mexican border. The Act was signed into law on October 26, 2006, by US President George W. Bush, with wide bipartisan support (including senators Obama, Clinton, Schumer, and Biden).
    https://vimeo.com/400921834#at=8

    Until the Secure Fence Act, there were no clear design guidelines for border barriers, which resulted in a large variety of fence typologies. We have identified eight barrier and wall typologies, plus eleven fence typologies. Of these nineteen typologies, many varieties in topping, foundation, and dimension exist, which is the result of differences in terrain, year of construction, and different contractors. From this large diversity of border barrier typologies, one particular fence has recently come to the fore: Personnel-Vehicle Fence Type 1 (PV-1).

    The first mentioning of the Personnel-Vehicle Fence Type 1 (PV-1) is issued in a document by the Department of Homeland Security dated May 2008, a few months before the completion of the first segment using PV-1 fencing. The fence consists of vertical steel bollards with a six-by-six-inch square profile filled with concrete. The distance between the vertical bollards is about five inches (the original sketch in the 2008 document shows less distance between the bollards, but an opening for cats to pass through instead). Nine vertical bollards are mounted together to form one fence element which is placed in an in-situ concrete foundation. At the top, the PV-1 finishes with a five-foot-high steel plate, but occasionally, this plate is omitted. The first PV-1, built in August 2008, is still standing at Andrade, California, between Boundary Monument 210 and 207.PV-1 became “the fence,” or better known as “the wall,” in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and who later downgraded it to “steel slats.” The PV-1’s breakthrough moment was on October 26, 2018, in Calexico, California when the president mounted a plaque on it to commemorate the erection of his first section of the border wall. Yet the wall was not a wall, but a fence, one that was designed during the George W. Bush administration, and the particular section in Calexico being commemorated was in fact a replacement of an existing structure that was already approved and built by the Obama administration in 2009.

    There is little known about the person, or team behind the design of PV-1, but the 2008 brief exists and states clearly that the fence must:

    extend fifteen-to-eighteen feet above ground and be supported in subsurface footers at depths deemed necessary;
    be capable of withstanding an impact from a 10,000-pound gross weight vehicle traveling at forty miles per hour;
    be semi-transparent, as dictated by operational need;
    be designed to survive extreme climate changes of a desert environment;
    be designed to allow movement of small animals from one side to the other; and
    not impede the natural flow of water.

    The only difference between the initial design and the current version of PV-1 is height. While the 2008 brief mentions fifteen-to-eighteen feet, its current design is eighteen-to-thirty feet.

    After Trump spent $3.3 million on the construction of eight new border wall prototypes, the final success of the PV-1 was ultimately decided upon by Congress. In approving the budget for the 2017–2019 fiscal years, Congress included a note in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill that the apportioned money has to be used on “previously deployed and operationally effective designs, such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety.”

    Additionally, it was stated that the money only can be spent on barrier replacement, not new barrier construction.

    While this might have been seen as a blow for Trump and his promised wall, in July 2017, a year before the eight prototypes have been completed, he already mentioned that PV-1 might be the “wall” he always had in mind. Yet the war of words continued. The Congressional Research Service mentioned in its January 2020 “DHS Border Barrier Funding” report that “News stories indicate that the White House has reportedly asked CBP [Customs and Border Protection] to stop using the term “replacement barrier” because it sounds like a lesser accomplishment.” The White House prefers to use the term “new border wall system.”
    PV-1 construction continues. In December 2019, two companies were commissioned with PV-1 construction: $789 million is being paid to the Galveston, Texas-based general contractors SLSCO Ltd., which will replace forty-six miles of vehicle barriers along the New Mexico border; and the Bozeman, Montana-based construction company Barnard Construction Co. received a $187 million contract to build eleven miles of fencing in three separate segments along the Yuma County border in southwestern Arizona.PV-1 is slowly turning into an iconic structure, symbolizing the border between the US and Mexico, not unlike how the concrete wall with its rounded top symbolized the Berlin Wall. Yet no barrier is unsurmountable.

    https://www.e-flux.com/architecture/at-the-border/325750/let-s-call-it-a-wall
    #murs #chronologie #visualisation #frontières #migrations #barrières_frontalières #USA #Etats-Unis #Mexique #graphique #cartographie #prototypes #architecture

    via @isskein
    ping @reka @mobileborders

  • La #Slovénie érige de nouvelles barrières à sa frontière avec la #Croatie


    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/24082/la-slovenie-erige-de-nouvelles-barrieres-a-sa-frontiere-avec-la-croati

    La Slovénie a décidé de renforcer sa frontière avec la Croatie afin d’éviter des franchissements illégaux par des migrants, a annoncé mardi le ministère de l’Intérieur. En cinq ans, près de 200 kilomètres de clôtures ont déjà été construits dans cette zone.

    La Slovénie a déclaré, mardi 14 avril, qu’elle allait ajouter 40 kilomètres de nouvelles barrières à sa frontière avec la Croatie afin d’empêcher des migrants de la franchir clandestinement, rapporte l’agence de presse Reuters. Depuis 2015, le pays a fait construire progressivement quelque 196 kilomètres de clôtures sur les 670 kilomètres de frontière commune entre la Slovénie et la Croatie.

    Le ministère n’a pas précisé où les nouvelles barrières seront installées, mais a indiqué que leur construction serait effective dans le courant de l’année. Une annonce similaire portant également sur 40 kilomètres de nouvelles barrières avait été faite en juillet dernier pour l’année 2019.

    Bien que la Croatie et la Slovénie soient membres de l’Union européenne, la première n’appartient pas à l’espace Schengen de libre circulation. Les autorités slovènes ont donc expliqué l’an dernier qu’elles comptaient installer de nouvelles clôtures « dans les zones où il est urgent d’empêcher le franchissement illégal des frontières et de protéger les citoyens et leurs biens ».

    Explosion du nombre de tentatives de franchissement de la frontière

    Sur les deux premiers mois de l’année 2020, la police slovène a dénombré 1 165 tentatives de passage clandestin, soit près de 80% de plus qu’à la même période l’an dernier. Elle avait notamment annoncé, le mois dernier, avoir découvert une trentaine de migrants cachés dans un train de marchandises (https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/23225/slovenie-la-police-decouvre-trente-migrants-caches-sous-de-l-argile-da).

    Revenu fin février dans le fauteuil de Premier ministre, Janez Jansa avait promis lors de sa campagne de durcir sa politique en matière d’asile, d’ajouter de nouvelles barrières frontalières et de renforcer les contrôles aux frontières de ce petit pays de deux millions d’habitants situé sur le route migratoire des Balkans (https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/23045/slovenie-le-conservateur-janez-jansa-revient-au-pouvoir-en-durcissant-).

    Durant le pic de la crise migratoire en 2015 et 2016, un demi million de migrants clandestins avait traversé la Slovénie en six mois afin d’atteindre les pays d’Europe occidentale plus riches, comme la France, l’Allemagne ou le Royaume-Uni.

    #barrières_frontalières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #murs #route_des_balkans #frontière_sud-alpine #frontières #clôture

    • C’était 2019...
      En Slovénie, une clôture « de la honte » à la frontière croate (1/3)

      Depuis 2015, le gouvernement slovène érige le long de sa frontière sud une clôture de #barbelés pour tenter d’endiguer le flux de migrants en provenance de la Croatie voisine. Les villages slovènes traversés par les fils barbelés supportent mal l’installation de ce grillage qui, selon eux, abîme le #paysage et n’empêche pas la traversée des migrants.

      « Qui aime se réveiller le matin avec des #fils_barbelés devant sa fenêtre ? » Rudy ne décolère pas. Cet habitant de #Slavski_Laz, un village perdu dans les #montagnes slovènes, frontalier avec la Croatie, ne s’explique toujours pas pourquoi le gouvernement a construit, ici, au bord de la #rivière_Kolpa, une clôture de barbelés.

      « Ils disent que ce grillage est fait pour nous protéger… Mais nous protéger de quoi ? Je n’ai #peur de rien… », continue ce retraité qui vit depuis des années dans la région encore largement sauvage. L’argument de « l’#invasion_migratoire » brandi par le gouvernement pour justifier la construction de ce mur de métal ne le convainc pas.

      « Les migrants ici, ils passent, c’est tout », explique-t-il. « Ils transitent par la Slovénie et puis s’en vont vers d’autres pays, vers le nord de l’Europe généralement ».

      Les amis de Rudy acquiescent, tous attablés dans le seul café encore ouvert à 19h de #Kostel, un village de moins de 650 habitants non loin d’une des rares routes menant à la Croatie. Selon eux, la clôture est inutile, elle abîme le paysage, et son rôle de #dissuasion est largement surestimé. « Ils disent que les barbelés vont empêcher le passage de migrants… Mais tout le monde passe quand même ! », sourit Marco, un ami de Rudy, habitant dans le village voisin de Fara, en déclenchant l’hilarité de l’assemblée.

      « Par exemple, en ce moment, avec l’hiver et les forts courants, les rivages sont boueux, poreux, alors, les terrains bougent, la clôture s’effondre. Les migrants qui veulent passer n’ont même pas besoin de se fatiguer, ils ont juste à l’#enjamber », continue Marco en riant. « Il y a des endroits où des sillons se sont creusés. Ils peuvent aussi passer sous la barrière ! »

      116 km de #grillages

      Près de 14 000 migrants ont traversé la frontière depuis le début de l’année, « soit 70% de plus que l’année dernière », à la même période, affirment les autorités slovènes à InfoMigrants.

      Cet été, 40 km supplémentaires de grillages ont donc été construits à la frontière sud, le long de la rivière Kolpa. « Il faut empêcher le franchissement illégal des frontières », a indiqué le ministère de l’Intérieur dans un communiqué. En tout, depuis 2015, Ljulbjana a déjà érigé 116 km de grillages le long de la Kolpa qui parcourt les 670 km de frontière avec la Croatie.

      « Ces clôtures ne sont pas une baguette magique mais elles nous aident », ajoute, de son côté, un commandant de police slovène.

      Khaled, un demandeur d’asile érythréen, aujourd’hui à Ljubljana, a tenté trois fois le passage de la frontière slovène avant de réussir à entrer dans le pays. La clôture, il s’en souvient très bien. « J’ai traversé la frontière au mois de mai, quelque part vers #Ribnica. Je me souviens qu’une fois la rivière franchie, il a fallu passer ces barbelés. Alors j’ai grimpé, je me suis déchiré les mains, elles étaient pleines de sang, mais je suis passé ».

      Montagnes dangereuses, présence d’#ours, eau glaciale

      Au delà de sa dangerosité, Rudy, le villageois, voit dans cet alignement de barbelés, une « #clôture_de_la_honte » qui, selon lui, stigmatise les migrants. « On voit arriver des familles, parfois des enfants. Je ne vois pas bien en quoi, ce sont des ennemis », continue le retraité.

      « Cette barrière, c’est le début de l’enfer », explique à son tour une jeune fille qui énumère les dangers qui attendent les migrants juste après son franchissement : la montagne « très dangereuse quand on s’y perd », les températures « glaciales » et les ours, nombreux dans le pays. « Parfois, on entend des cris là-haut. Ce sont des migrants qui hurlent pour effrayer les animaux ».

      Ces dernières semaines, deux migrants sont décédés par #noyade dans la Kolpa et un autre a été retrouvé mort de froid et d’#épuisement dans la #forêt.

      Surtout, les migrants doivent éviter les patrouilles de #police. « La nuit, quand nous tentons la traversée, nous voyons les lumières des lampes torche, derrière la clôture. Les #policiers sont partout. C’est ça qui nous effraie le plus », se souvient Khaled. « On fait tout pour les éviter. Quand la police vous attrape, elle vous renvoie en Croatie. Elle vous emmène rarement jusqu’à la capitale pour demander l’asile ».

      Depuis le début de l’année, sur les 14 000 entrées illégales, plus de 8 000 renvois – aussi appelés « pushbacks » - ont été effectués depuis les frontières slovènes, affirment les autorités.

      Patrouille de miliciens d’extrême-droite

      « C’est une #honte, il y a la police, l’armée, maintenant cette clôture et il y a même une milice ! », fulmine à son tour Katarina Bernad Sterva, directrice de l’association slovène d’aide aux réfugiés, qui se désespère de la situation à la frontière.

      Depuis quelques jours en effet, des miliciens en treillis militaires, visages cachés derrière des cagoules noires, patrouillent aussi le long de la rivière Kolpa. Dirigée par le leader d’extrême-droite, Andrej Sisko,cette milice se veut un « renfort » à l’armée régulière pour « défendre la frontière » et intercepter les migrants. « Nous sommes le point d’entrée de l’espace Schengen », se justifie Andrej Sisko. « Nous voulons faire passer un message. Nous voulons dire aux étrangers de rester chez eux. La clôture est fragile, elle ne permet pas de stopper les migrants alors nous venons contrôler les abords de la rivière nous-mêmes ».

      La milice d’#Andrej_Sisko n’a aucun mandat légal. Et visiblement, les villageois s’expliquent mal leur présence.

      Si certains rient à leur passage - « C’est le carnaval quand ils sont là », entend-t-on ici et là dans les villages frontaliers – d’autres comme Katarina Bernad Sterva regarde cette armée parallèle avec une inquiétude grandissante. « Ce qui m’effraie, c’est qu’ils existent. Publiquement, le gouvernement a condamné leurs actions, mais, dans les faits, les autorités ne font rien. Ces hommes sont fous, nous nous attendions à une réaction forte du gouvernement, comme par exemple l’annonce de la dissolution de ces patrouilles ».
      https://twitter.com/sarecmarjan/status/1036914541693755400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E10

      Interrogée par InfoMigrants, la police reste muette sur le sujet. « Je n’ai rien à dire sur ces hommes. Ils n’ont pas le soutien de la police », déclare simplement Vicjem Toskan, l’un des commandants en chef de la police de Koper, à l’ouest du pays.

      Ce soir-là, à Kostel, les amis du café s’interrogent surtout sur le sort réservé aux migrants interceptés par cette milice d’extrême-droite. « On a déjà la police et l’armée pour intercepter les migrants. On a une clôture pour les empêcher de continuer leur route. Eux, qu’est-ce qui vont leur faire, la nuit, dans la montagne ? », s’inquiète Rudy. « Ils portent des masques, ils marchent dans la forêt. J’ai plus peur d’eux que des immigrés qui traversent la rivière », chuchote à son tour, une jeune fille en bout de table. « Si j’étais migrante, je n’aimerais vraiment pas tomber sur eux ».

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/20807/en-slovenie-une-cloture-de-la-honte-a-la-frontiere-croate-1-3

      #milices #patrouilles #extrême_droite #Kolpa #efficacité #montagne #Alpes #décès #morts #mourir_aux_frontières #danger #dangers #push-back #refoulement #refoulements #militarisation_des_frontières #push-backs

      –---

      #Walls_don't_work :

      « Par exemple, en ce moment, avec l’hiver et les forts courants, les rivages sont boueux, poreux, alors, les terrains bougent, la clôture s’effondre. Les migrants qui veulent passer n’ont même pas besoin de se fatiguer, ils ont juste à l’#enjamber », continue Marco en riant. « Il y a des endroits où des sillons se sont creusés. Ils peuvent aussi passer sous la barrière ! »

      –-> voir la métaliste

    • Despite all the existing reports about the Croatian police violence and brutality, Slovenia continues to pushback migrants to Croatia. This was recently even recognized by the Italian court: an Italian court stopped deportation to Slovenia on the grounds that there is a risk for an asylum seeker to be subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment due to the high possibility of him (or her) being further expelled to Croatia and then to Bosnia or Serbia.
      More on that in AYS article from beginning of June:
      AYS Special: Italian Court StopsDeportation to Slovenia, Meanwhile Pushbacks Continue
      https://medium.com/are-you-syrious/ays-special-italian-court-stops-deportation-to-slovenia-meanwhile-pushbacks-

      Last week, the new Slovenian Minister of Interior Affair (of the new right wing government) frankly admitted in an interview that Slovenian police is sending migrants back to Croatia and consequently into the refugees centres in Bosnia and Serbia:
      Notranji minister Aleš Hojs razkril migracijsko »skrivnost«
      https://www.dnevnik.si/1042931634 (only in Slovenian)

      Currently, the government is also preparing a new Aliens Act where they plan to severely restrict access to asylum (among many other things): this means that during what they call complex migration emergencies, proclaimed by the government, access to asylum can be completely limited.

      Message reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 15.06.2020

    • Slovénie : une vingtaine de migrants « proches de la suffocation » découverts dans des camions

      La police slovène a annoncé avoir découvert 22 migrants cachés dans des camion-citernes, samedi, à la frontière croate. Les contrôles ont été fortement renforcés dans cette région avec notamment l’envoi de 1 000 nouveaux policiers début juin.

      « Ils étaient proches de la suffocation. » Vingt-deux migrants cachés dans deux camion-citernes alimentaires ont été découverts par la police slovène, samedi 20 juin, à la frontière avec la Croatie, rapporte l’agence de presse AP. Les deux poids-lourds avaient des plaques d’immatriculation provenant de Serbie.

      Un premier groupe de 13 migrants a été découvert lors d’un contrôle de police à la frontière. Le second groupe, composé de 9 personnes, a été trouvé peu après dans un autre camion appartenant à la même compagnie.

      Les migrants sont originaires du Bangladesh, d’Inde, de Turquie et de Syrie, indique la police.

      Des milliers de migrants empruntent chaque année la route dite « des Balkans » malgré sa dangerosité. Un grand nombre d’entre eux font appel à des passeurs afin de traverser les frontières vers l’Europe occidentale dans des camions, plutôt que de tenter leur chance à pied à travers les forêts et les montagnes de la région.

      Craignant une recrudescence des passages clandestins à la suite du déconfinement décrété dans différents pays européens, la Slovénie a annoncé, début juin, qu’elle envoyait 1000 officiers de police en renfort à sa frontière avec la Croatie. Ces effectifs sont équipés de #drones, de #caméras_thermiques et de #détecteurs_de_mouvements.


      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/25519/slovenie-une-vingtaine-de-migrants-proches-de-la-suffocation-decouvert

  • South Africa to build 40km fence along #Zimbabwe border

    Authorities say fence will stem irregular migration as well as spread of coronavirus in the country.

    Authorities in South Africa have said they will build a 40km (25 miles) fence along its border with Zimbabwe to prevent undocumented migrants from entering and spreading coronavirus - even though the neighbouring country has no confirmed cases.

    The planned fence is to be erected on either side of the Beitbridge Land Port of Entry to “ensure that no undocumented or infected persons cross into the country,” Patricia de Lille, the public works minister, said in a statement on Thursday.

    As of Friday, South Africa has reported 202 confirmed cases of the virus and no deaths. President Cyril Ramaphosa has already ordered 35 of 53 land entry points closed.

    “This measure will ... not be effective if the fences at the border are not secure, which in many places, they are not,” de Lille said in the statement.

    "All 40km of fence will be finished within one month. Local labour will be sourced by the contractor.

    “We are certainly not xenophobic. We have had thorough consultations with all the countries that are our neighbours. What is important for South Africa is to protect our own citizens and people coming into our country because at the border post now, you’ve got health inspectors and you’ve got environmental professionals and they are doing the testing and screening at the border. But if somebody just walks over the border, there are no such facilities,” she added.

    South Africa, the continent’s most industrialised country, has long sought to reduce irregular migration from Zimbabwe, which it sees as a threat to local jobs in a country with unemployment of around 30 percent.

    Countries around the world have been cancelling flights, banning travel from certain countries and tightening controls at borders to prevent the virus’s spread.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 209,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19, the infection caused by the novel coronavirus, around the world.

    The virus has claimed the lives of at least 8,700, according to the UN health body.

    The outbreak reached Africa later than other continents, but at least 33 countries have now confirmed cases, with 13 reported deaths.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/south-africa-build-40km-fence-zimbabwe-border-200320062936120.html
    #murs #frontières #Afrique_du_Sud #barrières_frontalières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #fermeture_des_frontières #coronavirus

    ping @fil @mobileborders @thomas_lacroix

  • Greece to extend border fence over migration surge

    Greece will extend its fence on the border with Turkey, a government source said Sunday (8 March), amid continuing efforts by migrants to break through in a surge enabled by Ankara.

    “We have decided to immediately extend the fence in three different areas,” the government source told AFP, adding that the new sections, to the south of the area now under pressure, would cover around 36 kilometres (22 miles).

    The current stretch of fence will also be upgraded, the official added.

    Tens of thousands of asylum-seekers have been trying to break through the land border from Turkey for a week after Ankara announced it would no longer prevent people from trying to cross into the European Union.

    A police source Sunday told AFP that riot police reinforcements from around the country had been sent to the border in recent days, in addition to drones and police dogs.

    There have been numerous exchanges of tear gas and stones between Greek riot police and migrants.

    Turkey has also bombarded Greek forces with tear gas at regular intervals, and Athens has accused Turkish police of handing out wire cutters to migrants to help them break through the border fence.

    The Greek government over the weekend also released footage which it said showed a Turkish armoured vehicle assisting efforts to bring down the fence.

    “Parts of the fence have been removed, both by the (Turkish) vehicle and with wire cutters, but they are constantly being repaired,” local police unionist Elias Akidis told Skai TV.

    Turkey has accused Greek border guards of using undue force against the migrants, injuring many and killing at least five.

    The government in Athens has consistently dismissed the claim as lies.

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/greece-to-extend-border-fence-over-migration-surge
    #murs #Evros #barrières_frontalières #Grèce #Turquie #frontières
    ping @fil @reka @albertocampiphoto

    • je suis tombé sur une vidéo YT d’un compte néo-nazi montrant une attaque du mur de l’Evros par des migrants. L’attaque y est présentée comme soutenue par la police turque, ce qui est vraiment beaucoup solliciter les images… les migrants sont noyés sous les lacrymos.

    • Evros: Greece to extend the fence on the borders with Turkey to 40km

      Greece will extend the fence to its Evros borders with Turkey to 40 km, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Friday morning. The additional fence will be installed in “sensitive” areas preferred for illegal entries by migrants and refugees.

      The fence currently covers 12.5 km.

      Speaking to ANT1 TV, Petsas noted that at the moment the most vulnerable border point is in the south.

      The current 12.5 km fence of land access points is installed north and south of Kastanies customs office, where thousands of migrants and refugees have amassed.

      According to the daily Kathimerini, the 40 kilometers new fence is planned to be partially installed either in areas where the Evros waters are low or in areas where the landscape favors illegla paasage.

      Sections such as Ormenio, Gardens, Feres, Tychero, Soufli, Dikaia, Dilofo, Marassia, Nea Vyssa and elsewhere have been designated as the areas where the new fence will installed by the Greek Army and support by the police.

      According to a report by daily Elftheros Typos, Greece’s Plan B aside from the fence extension is the presence of about 4,000 police officers and soldiers in parallel patrols, helicopters, unmanned aircraft, message broadcasting, cameras for audio-video.

      A Greek Army – Greek Police “joint operations center” is to be established in Nea Vryssa.

      According to the daily more than 1,000 soldiers, two commandos squads, 1,500 police and national guards are currently operating in the Evros area.

      Petsas underlined that the Greek government has changed its policy because there is a national security issue at the moment.

      He reiterated the new policy saying that “no one will cross the border.”

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/03/06/evros-greece-fence-borders-turkey-extension

    • Video 2 - Violences contre les exilé·es à la frontière gréco-turque

      Depuis le début du mois de mars 2020, des milliers d’exilé·es, incité·es voire poussé·es par les autorités turques, se sont précipité·es aux frontières terrestres et maritimes entre la Turquie et la Grèce. Ils et elles se sont heurté·es à la violence de la police et de l’armée grecque, ainsi que de groupe fascistes, mobilisés pour leur en interdire le franchissement, la suite : www.gisti.org/spip.php ?article6368

      https://indymotion.fr/videos/watch/e8938a1c-5456-46e8-a0cb-be0806c96051?start=1s

    • Greece shields Evros border with blades wire, 400 new border guards

      Greece is strengthening ifs defense and is preparing for a possible new wave of migrants at its Evros border. A fence of sharp blades wire (concertina wire) and 400 additional border guards are to shield the country for the case Turkey will open its borders again so that migrants can cross into Europe.

      According to daily ethnos (https://www.ethnos.gr/ellada/105936_ohyronetai-o-ebros-frahtis-me-lepidoforo-syrmatoplegma-kai-400-neoi-sy), Ankara has already been holding groups of migrants in warehouses near the border, while the Greek side is methodically being prepared for the possibility of a new attempt for waves of migrants to try to cross again the border.

      “At the bridgeheads of Peplos and Fera, at the land borders after the riverbed is aligned, and in other vulnerable areas along the border, kilometer-long of metal fence with sharp blades wire are being installed, the soil is being cleaned from wild vegetation and clearing of marsh lands.

      The fence in the northern part is being strengthened and expanded, and 11 additional border pylons, each one 50 meters high, will be installed along the river in the near future. Each pylon will be equipped with cameras and modern day and night surveillance systems, with a range of several kilometers and multiple telecommunications capabilities, the daily notes.

      Within the next few months, 400 newly recruited border guards will be on duty and will almost double the deterrent force and enhance the joint patrols of the Army and Police, ethnos adds.

      Big armored military vehicles destined for Libya and confiscated five years ago south of Crete have been made available to the Army in the area, the daily notes.

      One and a half month after the end of the “war without arms” at the Evros border from end of February till the end of March, sporadic movement on the Turkish side of the border has been observed.

      At least four shooting incidents have been reported in the past two weeks, with Turkish jandarmerie to have fired at Greek border guards and members of the Frontex.

      Greece’s security forces are on high alert.

      Just a few days ago, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated that Ankara’s policy of “open borders” will continue for anyone wishing to cross into Europe.

      Speaking to nationalist Akit TV on Wednesday, Cavusoglu claimed that Greece used “inhumane” behavior towards the migrants who want to cross into the country.

      Also Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had threatened that the migrants will be allowed to leave Turkey again once the pandemic was over.

      PS It could be a very hot summer, should Turkey attempt to send migrants to Europe by land through Evros and by sea with boats to the Aegean islands and at the same time, deploys a drilling ship off Crete in July, as it claimed a few days ago.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/05/17/greece-shields-evros-border-blades-wire-400-border-guards

      #militarisation_des_frontières

  • The #Climate-Migration-Industrial_Complex

    Thirty years ago there were fifteen border walls around the world. Now there are seventy walls and over one billion national and international migrants. International migrants alone may even double in the next forty years due to global warming. It is not surprising that over the past two decades, we have also seen the rise of an increasingly powerful global climate-security market designed to profit from (and help sustain) these crises. The construction of walls and fences to block rising sea levels and incoming people has become one of the world’s fastest growing industries, alongside the detention and deportation of migrants, and is projected to reach $742 billion by 2023. I believe we are witnessing the emergence of what we might call a “climate-migration-industrial complex.”

    This complex is composed of private companies who profit by securitizing nation-states from the effects of climate-related events, including migration. This includes private detention centers, border construction companies, surveillance technology consultants and developers, deportation and transportation contractors, and a growing army of other subcontractors profiting from insecurity more broadly. Every feature of this crisis complex is an opportunity for profit. For example, even when security measures “fail” and migrants cross borders illegally, or remain beyond their visas to live without status as “criminals,” there is an entire wing of private companies paid to hunt them down, detain them, and deport them just across the border, where they can return and begin the market cycle all over again. Each step in the “crimmigration” process now has its own cottage industry and dedicated army of lobbyists to perpetuate the laws that support it.

    Here is the incredible double paradox that forms the backbone of the climate-migration-industrial complex: right-wing nationalists and their politicians claim they want to deport all undocumented migrants, but if they did, they would destroy their own economy. Capitalists, on the other hand, want to grow the economy with migrant labor (any honest economist will tell you that immigration almost always leads to growth in GDP), but if that labor is too expensive, then it’s not nearly as profitable.

    Trump is the Janus-faced embodiment of this anti-immigrant, pro-economy dilemma and the solution to it — not that he necessarily knows it. With one hand, migrant labor is strategically criminalized and devalorized by a xenophobic state, and with the other, it is securitized and hyper-exploited by the economy. It is a win-win situation for right-wing capitalists but a crucial element is still missing: what will continue to compel migrants to leave their homes and work as exploited criminals in an increasingly xenophobic country?

    This is where the figure of the climate migrant comes in. What we call “climate migrants” or “climate refugees” are not the victims of merely “natural disasters,” because climate change is not a strictly natural process — it is also highly political. The causes of climate-related migration are disproportionately produced by rich Western countries and the effects are disproportionately suffered by poorer countries. The circumstances that determine who is forced to migrate are also influenced by the history of colonialism, global inequality, and the same conditions that have propelled economic migration for decades. In short, the fact that climate change benefits the perpetrators of climate destruction by producing an increasing supply of desperate, criminalized, physically and economically displaced laborers is no coincidence. In fact, it is the key to the Trump “solution.”

    Another key is the use of climate change to acquire new land. When people are forced to migrate out of a territory, or when frozen territories thaw, new lands, waters, and forests become open to extractive industries like mining, drilling, fishing, and logging. Trump’s recent (and ridiculous) bid to buy the thawing territory of Greenland for its oil and gas reserves is one example of this. Climate-stricken urban areas open up new real estate markets, as the gentrification of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina illustrated. In other words, climate change might not mean the end of capitalism, but rather could actually signal its resurgence from current falling rates of ecological profit. During colonialism, everything and everyone that could be easily appropriated (oil, slaves, old-growth forests, etc.), was gobbled up. The workers who are left today under post-colonialism demand more money and more rights. The minerals left are more expensive to extract. This is why capitalists have increasingly retreated to financial speculation, and now to monetizing their own crises.

    If only there were new ways, the capitalist dreams, to kick start the economy and cheaply dislodge huge numbers of people from their land, devalorize their labor, and then appropriate that labor extremely cheaply. In other words, if climate change did not exist, capitalism would have to create it. Luckily for the capitalists, it does exist, because they did create it. Climate migrants now form what we might call a “disposable climate labor army,” conscripted out of a standing reserve of global poverty from wherever the next climate-related disaster strikes, and deployed wherever capitalism demands precarious, securitized, and criminalized labor to be exploited.

    We need to rethink the whole framing of the climate migration “crisis.” Among other things, we need a more movement-oriented political theory to grapple better with the highly mobile events of our time — what I call a “kinopolitics.” The advent of the Capitalocene/Kinocene makes possible today the insight that nature, humans, and society have always been in motion. Humans are and have always been fundamentally migratory, just as the climate and the earth are. These twin insights might sound obvious today, but if taken seriously, they offer a complete inversion of the dominant interpretive paradigms of the climate and migration crises.

    Humans and Earth have always been in motion, but not all patterns of motion are the same. There is no natural, normal, or default state of the earth or of human society. Therefore, we have to study the patterns of circulation that make possible these metastable states and not take them as given. This is what I have tried to work out in The Figure of the Migrant (2015) and Theory of the Border (2016). Unfortunately, the dominant framework for thinking about the climate and migrant crises is currently upside down. It starts from the perspective of a triple stasis: 1) that the earth and human society are in some sense separable and static, or at least stable, structures; 2) that the future should continue to be stable as well; and 3) that if there is not stability, then there is a “crisis.” Mobility, then, is a crisis only if we assume that there was or should be stasis in the first place. For example, migrants are said to destabilize society, and climate change is said to destabilize the earth.

    From a kinopolitical perspective, we can see that the opposite is, in fact, true: Humans were first migratory, and only later settled into more metastable patterns of social-circulation (made historically possible by the social expulsion and dispossession of others). Migrants are not outside society but have played a productive and reproductive role throughout history. Migrant movements are constitutive and even transformative elements of society, rather than exceptional or marginal phenomena. The real question is how we ever came to act and think as if societies were not processes of social circulation that relied on migration as their conditions of reproduction. The earth, too, was first migratory, and only later did it settle into metastable patterns of geological and atmospheric circulation (e.g. the Holocene). Why did we ever think of the earth as a stable surface, immune from human activity in the first place?

    The problem with the prevailing interpretation of climate change and migration is that the flawed paradigm that has defined the “crisis,” the notion of stasis, is also proposed as the solution “Let’s just get things back to normal stability again.” In short, I think a new paradigm is needed that does not use the same tools that generated the “crisis” to solve it — i.e. capitalism, colonialism, and the nation-state.

    Today’s migrant “crisis” is a product of the paradox at the heart of the capitalist, territorial nation-state form, just as the climate crisis is an expression of the paradox at the heart of anthropocentrism. The solutions, therefore, will not come from the forms in crisis but only from the birth of new forms-in-motion that begin with the theoretical primacy of the very characteristic that is dissolving the old forms: the inherent mobility of the migrant climate and the climate migrant.

    https://publicseminar.org/essays/the-climate-migration-industrial-complex

    #complexe_militaro-industriel #réfugiés_environnementaux #réfugiés_climatiques #murs #barrières_frontalières #business #climat #changement_climatique #sécurité #rétention #détention_administrative #privatisation #contrôles_frontaliers #kinopolitics #kinopolitique #kinocène #mobilité #circulation #crise #stabilité #philosophie #ressources_pédagogiques #Etat-nation

    –—

    #catastrophes_naturelles :

    What we call “climate migrants” or “climate refugees” are not the victims of merely “natural disasters,” because climate change is not a strictly natural process — it is also highly political. The causes of climate-related migration are disproportionately produced by rich Western countries and the effects are disproportionately suffered by poorer countries. The circumstances that determine who is forced to migrate are also influenced by the history of colonialism, global inequality, and the same conditions that have propelled economic migration for decades. In short, the fact that climate change benefits the perpetrators of climate destruction by producing an increasing supply of desperate, criminalized, physically and economically displaced laborers is no coincidence.

    –-> @karine4

    #terres #accaparement_des_terres :

    Another key is the use of climate change to acquire new land. When people are forced to migrate out of a territory, or when frozen territories thaw, new lands, waters, and forests become open to extractive industries like mining, drilling, fishing, and logging.

    –-> @odilon
    #extractivisme #colonialisme

    –---------

    @sinehebdo, un nouveau mot :
    –-> #crimmigration
    #mots #terminologie #vocabulaire

    Et aussi... la #kinocène

    –---

    Lien avec le #capitalisme :

    If only there were new ways, the capitalist dreams, to kick start the economy and cheaply dislodge huge numbers of people from their land, devalorize their labor, and then appropriate that labor extremely cheaply. In other words, if climate change did not exist, capitalism would have to create it. Luckily for the capitalists, it does exist, because they did create it. Climate migrants now form what we might call a “disposable climate labor army,” conscripted out of a standing reserve of global poverty from wherever the next climate-related disaster strikes, and deployed wherever capitalism demands precarious, securitized, and criminalized labor to be exploited.

    #expoitation #travail #disposable_climate_labor_army #pauvreté

    signalé par @isskein

    ping @fil @reka

  • La #Croatie érige des barrières sur ses frontières

    21 février —15h30 : La Croatie a érigé ce vendredi matin une #barrière_métallique sur sa frontière avec la #Bosnie-Herzégovine, au niveau du poste d’#Izačić/ #Ličko_Petrovo_Selo, près de #Bihać. Il s’agit de renforcer les moyens de contrôle et de bloquer les migrants et les réfugiés qui tentent de franchir cette frontière.

    Selon le ministère croate de l’Intérieur, les fondations pour la pose de barrières ont également été posées au niveau des postes frontière de #Gejkovac, #Pašin_Potok, #Erdut et #Batina, dans le nord du pays.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/fil-info-refugies-2020-fevrier

    #murs #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #barrières_frontalières #Izacic #Licko_Petrovo_Selo #Bihac ##Pasin_Potok

  • Building border walls and barriers: What the research says
    https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/immigration/border-walls-barriers-migrant-research

    In the lead-up to the 2020 elections, the Journalist’s Resource team is combing through the Democratic presidential candidates’ platforms and reporting what the research says about their policy proposals. We want to encourage deep coverage of these proposals — and do our part to help deter horse race journalism, which research suggests can lead to inaccurate reporting and an uninformed electorate. We’re focusing on proposals that have a reasonable chance of becoming policy, and for us that means several top-polling candidates say they intend to tackle the issue. Here, we look at research on building border walls.

    #murs #frontières #états-unis #mexique et merci à @isskein

  • Portion of US border wall in California falls over in high winds and lands on Mexican side

    Newly installed panels from the US border wall fell over in high winds Wednesday, landing on trees on the Mexican side of the border.
    The area is part of an ongoing construction project to improve existing sections of the wall.
    Agent Carlos Pitones of the Customs and Border Protection sector in El Centro, California, told CNN that the sections that gave way had recently been set in a new concrete foundation in Calexico, California. The concrete had not yet cured, according to Pitones, and the wall panels were unable to withstand the windy conditions.

    The National Weather Service reports that winds in the area gusted as high as 37 mph Wednesday. Video from CNN affiliate KYMA shows the metal panels leaning against trees adjacent to a Mexicali, Mexico, street as the wind whips up dirt from the construction site on the other side of the border.
    “We are grateful there was no property damage or injuries,” said Pitones.
    Customs and Border Protection says local Mexicali officials diverted traffic from the area of the accident, and the agency is working with the Mexican government on the next steps to right the wall. Pitones said it is not currently known how long the construction work in the area will need to be suspended in order to allow for cleanup.
    Three years into his presidency, President Donald Trump’s signature campaign promise has faced a host of legal and logistical challenges. Even with funding, the administration will have to contend with private landowners whose property may be seized to build barriers along the border.
    Trump has sought to pull hundreds of millions of dollars from several government accounts as his administration looks to construct 450 miles of barriers in the ramp-up to the presidential election.
    Earlier this month, the administration announced that the wall had reached the 100-mile mark, the majority of which was replacing barriers with newer, enhanced designs, and around half a mile was constructed in the Rio Grande Valley where no wall previously existed.
    The White House has pushed for construction on the US-Mexico border to be dubbed new wall, according to a former administration official. There was a “constant drumbeat” from the White House to call it “new wall” within the Department of Homeland Security, the official added. “There is a lot of pressure on the President to deliver in the campaign promise.”

    Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan has previously said he feels “no pressure from the administration to build more miles of wall.”

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/29/politics/us-border-wall-falls-over-high-winds/index.html

    #murs #barrières_frontalières #destruction #walls_don't_work #les_murs_tombent #frontières #Californie #USA #Etats-Unis #Mexique

    Ajouté à la métaliste:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/823380

  • C’était #2016... à Calais on construisait des #barrières_frontalières

    https://seenthis.net/messages/523063

    Calais jour après jour : Londres va construire un mur anti-migrants
    https://seenthis.net/messages/522824

    Migrants de Calais : « Un #mur_végétalisé » pour sécuriser la rocade portuaire
    https://seenthis.net/messages/522771

    Migrants : Londres construit un mur anti-intrusion à Calais
    https://seenthis.net/messages/522540

    Migrants : la France cessera-t-elle de garder les frontières du Royaume-Uni ?
    https://seenthis.net/messages/503515

    Migrants : l’extension des grilles anti-intrusions de la rocade de #Calais a débuté

    Rocade et Mascarade
    https://seenthis.net/messages/484847

    Je mets ci-dessous les infos de l’époque, car c’est une fil de discussion non initié par moi-même (https://seenthis.net/messages/499021) et par peur de perdre d’info, je préfère mettre l’info ci-dessous, dans un fil de discussion initié par moi...

    Et des #grillages plus anciens détruits par le #vent...
    https://seenthis.net/messages/332776
    https://seenthis.net/messages/325296
    #walls_don't_work

    signalé par @cela

    #murs #barrières_frontalières #Calais #France #UK #Angleterre #militarisation_des_frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés

  • Cauchemar américain

    Le jour commence à tomber sur l’Arizona. Gabriel, 22 ans, soutient Marinela, sa tante âgée d’une quarantaine d’années. Elle s’est effondrée, à bout de forces, sur le sol aride du désert de Sonora, un des points de passage des migrants du Mexique vers les États-Unis. « À cet endroit, il y a un mur assez facile à sauter, puis environ 50 kilomètres de désert à traverser en groupe, accompagné d’un “coyote”, un passeur mexicain. Si un clandestin ne peut plus marcher, il est abandonné à son sort… qui est souvent la mort », relate Francesco Anselmi.

    Depuis trois ans, le photographe italien parcourt les 3 200 kilomètres de cette frontière. Il en a tiré la série photographique Borderlands. « Dans le désert de Sonora, raconte-t-il, les journées sont brûlantes mais la nuit, les températures chutent en dessous de zéro. » Marinela et Gabriel ont marché huit heures sous un soleil de plomb. Quand la Mexicaine a flanché, le groupe a continué. Son neveu a choisi de ne pas la laisser seule.

    Pour éviter d’être repérés depuis les airs, les deux clandestins portent des treillis camouflage ; pour ne pas laisser de traces sur le sol, ils ont attaché des peaux de bêtes sur leurs chaussures. « Ils n’avaient plus d’eau et Marinela, déshydratée, délirait. Entre deux gémissements, elle parlait du diable. »

    L’ONG américaine No More Death estime qu’environ 8000 personnes sont mortes depuis 1990 dans le désert de Sonora en tentant d’atteindre leur rêve américain. Aux États-Unis, aider les migrants est un crime fédéral puni par huit années d’emprisonnement.

    http://www.6mois.fr/Cauchemar-americain
    #USA #Etats-Unis #Mexique #migrations #asile #réfugiés #photographie #frontières #murs #surveillance #drones #désert #Sonora #désert_de_Sonora #barrières_frontalières #Sonoran_desert

    Série #Borderlands de #Francesco_Anselmi

    http://www.francescoanselmi.com/en/stories/stories.asp?idcont=159

    signalé par @karine4

    ping @albertocampiphoto @philippe_de_jonckheere @mobileborders

  • ’Bangladesh agrees to allow India to construct fence in 13 places’

    Bangladesh government has in principle, agreed to allow India to erect barbed wire fencing along the zero-line in at least 13 areas along the India-Bangladesh border in #Meghalaya, a senior Indian official told PTI on Sunday.

    As per the Indira-Mujib pact of 1972, no permanent structure can be built within the 150 yards of the border.

    In 1975, a guideline for the management of the 4,000 km long India-Bangladesh border was formulated by the two countries which also agreed not to construct any permanent structure within the 150-yard limit.

    ’Following India’s request, the Bangladesh government has in principle agreed to allow construction of fencing on zero-line in at least 13 areas of the state within the zero line,’ the official said to Press Trust of India.

    Fencing at the identified areas along the zero line at #East_Jaintia_Hills district, #West_Jaintia_Hills district, #East_Khasi_Hills district and #South_West_Khasi_Hills district will be taken up accordingly, he said, the Indian news agency added.

    The state government had identified those areas where erection of fencing 150 yards away from zero-line would not be feasible and as such approached India to seek permission from Bangladesh, the official said.

    The matter is awaiting final nod from the Bangladesh government as all line departments including the BGB has sent their note of agreement on the matter, he said.

    Of the 443 km-long India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya, about 100 km was unfenced. Earthworks have already begun for the remaining patches, the official said, says PTI.

    Till date, some problems have cropped up in the erection of fencing on certain stretches of the border due to existence of low-lying areas, human habitations, cemetery and cash crops within the 150 yards of the border, a BSF official.

    According to PTI, checking of illegal cross-border activities has been a major challenge for the BSF manning it, the official said.

    The Bangladesh government in 2012 had allowed India to erect barbed wire fencing along the zero-line in Tripura’s Mohanpur market, near the international border.

    https://en.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/news/205887/Bangladesh-agrees-to-allow-India-to-construct
    #murs #barrières_frontalières #Bangladesh #Inde #frontières

    Localisation:

    ping @reka @fil

  • Conférence - La tentation du mur

    Trente ans après la chute du mur de Berlin, que reste-t-il des #murs_frontaliers dans le monde ? Quel constat peut-on dresser alors que les murs redéfinissent les lignes frontalières à travers le monde, durcissant des frontières autrefois poreuses et ouvertes ?
    #Élisabeth_Vallet, directrice de l’Observatoire de géopolitique de la Chaire Raoul-Dandurand, a répondu à ces questionnements lors d’une conférence organisée dans le cadre des journées académiques allemandes à l’UQAM, le 11 novembre 2019

    https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/conf%C3%A9rence-la-tentation-du-mur/id1483631088?i=1000457926931&l=fr
    #murs #frontières #conférence #audio #podcast #barrières_frontalières #fermeture_des_frontières

  • The business of building walls

    Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe is once again known for its border walls. This time Europe is divided not so much by ideology as by perceived fear of refugees and migrants, some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

    Who killed the dream of a more open Europe? What gave rise to this new era of walls? There are clearly many reasons – the increasing displacement of people by conflict, repression and impoverishment, the rise of security politics in the wake of 9/11, the economic and social insecurity felt across Europe after the 2008 financial crisis – to name a few. But one group has by far the most to gain from the rise of new walls – the businesses that build them. Their influence in shaping a world of walls needs much deeper examination.

    This report explores the business of building walls, which has both fuelled and benefited from a massive expansion of public spending on border security by the European Union (EU) and its member states. Some of the corporate beneficiaries are also global players, tapping into a global market for border security estimated to be worth approximately €17.5 billion in 2018, with annual growth of at least 8% expected in coming years.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAuv1QyP8l0&feature=emb_logo

    It is important to look both beyond and behind Europe’s walls and fencing, because the real barriers to contemporary migration are not so much the fencing, but the vast array of technology that underpins it, from the radar systems to the drones to the surveillance cameras to the biometric fingerprinting systems. Similarly, some of Europe’s most dangerous walls are not even physical or on land. The ships, aircrafts and drones used to patrol the Mediterranean have created a maritime wall and a graveyard for the thousands of migrants and refugees who have no legal passage to safety or to exercise their right to seek asylum.

    This renders meaningless the European Commission’s publicized statements that it does not fund walls and fences. Commission spokesperson Alexander Winterstein, for example, rejecting Hungary’s request to reimburse half the costs of the fences built on its borders with Croatia and Serbia, said: ‘We do support border management measures at external borders. These can be surveillance measures. They can be border control equipment...But fences, we do not finance’. In other words, the Commission is willing to pay for anything that fortifies a border as long as it is not seen to be building the walls themselves.

    This report is a sequel to Building Walls – Fear and securitization in the European Union, co-published in 2018 with Centre Delàs and Stop Wapenhandel, which first measured and identified the walls that criss-cross Europe. This new report focuses on the businesses that have profited from three different kinds of wall in Europe:

    The construction companies contracted to build the land walls built by EU member states and the Schengen Area together with the security and technology companies that provide the necessary accompanying technology, equipment and services;

    The shipping and arms companies that provide the ships, aircraft, helicopters, drones that underpin Europe’s maritime walls seeking to control migratory flows in the Mediterranean, including Frontex operations, Operation Sophia and Italian operation Mare Nostrum;
    And the IT and security companies contracted to develop, run, expand and maintain EU’s systems that monitor the movement of people – such as SIS II (Schengen Information System) and EES (Entry/Exit Scheme) – which underpin Europe’s virtual walls.

    Booming budgets

    The flow of money from taxpayers to wall-builders has been highly lucrative and constantly growing. The report finds that companies have reaped the profits from at least €900 million spent by EU countries on land walls and fences since the end of the Cold War. The partial data (in scope and years) means actual costs will be at least €1 billion. In addition, companies that provide technology and services that accompany walls have also benefited from some of the steady stream of funding from the EU – in particular the External Borders Fund (€1.7 billion, 2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders Fund (€2.76 billion, 2014-2020).

    EU spending on maritime walls has totalled at least €676.4 million between 2006 to 2017 (including €534 million spent by Frontex, €28.4 million spent by the EU on Operation Sophia and €114 million spent by Italy on Operation Mare Nostrum) and would be much more if you include all the operations by Mediterranean country coastguards. Total spending on Europe’s virtual wall equalled at least €999.4m between 2000 and 2019. (All these estimates are partial ones because walls are funded by many different funding mechanisms and due to lack of data transparency).

    This boom in border budgets is set to grow. Under its budget for the next EU budget cycle (2021–2027) the European Commission has earmarked €8.02 billion to its Integrated Border Management Fund (2021-2027), €11.27bn to Frontex (of which €2.2 billion will be used for acquiring, maintaining and operating air, sea and land assets) and at least €1.9 billion total spending (2000-2027) on its identity databases and Eurosur (the European Border Surveillance System).
    The big arm industry players

    Three giant European military and security companies in particular play a critical role in Europe’s many types of borders. These are Thales, Leonardo and Airbus.

    Thales is a French arms and security company, with a significant presence in the Netherlands, that produces radar and sensor systems, used by many ships in border security. Thales systems, were used, for example, by Dutch and Portuguese ships deployed in Frontex operations. Thales also produces maritime surveillance systems for drones and is working on developing border surveillance infrastructure for Eurosur, researching how to track and control refugees before they reach Europe by using smartphone apps, as well as exploring the use of High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) for border security, for the European Space Agency and Frontex. Thales currently provides the security system for the highly militarised port in Calais. Its acquisition in 2019 of Gemalto, a large (biometric) identity security company, makes it a significant player in the development and maintenance of EU’s virtual walls. It has participated in 27 EU research projects on border security.
    Italian arms company Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica or Leonardo-Finmeccanica) is a leading supplier of helicopters for border security, used by Italy in the Mare Nostrum, Hera and Sophia operations. It has also been one of the main providers of UAVs (or drones) for Europe’s borders, awarded a €67.1 million contract in 2017 by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to supply them for EU coast-guard agencies. Leonardo was also a member of a consortium, awarded €142.1 million in 2019 to implement and maintain EU’s virtual walls, namely its EES. It jointly owns Telespazio with Thales, involved in EU satellite observation projects (REACT and Copernicus) used for border surveillance. Leonardo has participated in 24 EU research projects on border security and control, including the development of Eurosur.
    Pan-European arms giant Airbus is a key supplier of helicopters used in patrolling maritime and some land borders, deployed by Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain, including in maritime Operations Sophia, Poseidon and Triton. Airbus and its subsidiaries have participated in at least 13 EU-funded border security research projects including OCEAN2020, PERSEUS and LOBOS.
    The significant role of these arms companies is not surprising. As Border Wars (2016), showed these companies through their membership of the lobby groups – European Organisation for Security (EOS) and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) – have played a significant role in influencing the direction of EU border policy. Perversely, these firms are also among the top four biggest European arms dealers to the Middle East and North Africa, thus contributing to the conflicts that cause forced migration.

    Indra has been another significant corporate player in border control in Spain and the Mediterranean. It won a series of contracts to fortify Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves in northern Morocco). Indra also developed the SIVE border control system (with radar, sensors and vision systems), which is in place on most of Spain’s borders, as well as in Portugal and Romania. In July 2018 it won a €10 million contract to manage SIVE at several locations for two years. Indra is very active in lobbying the EU and is a major beneficiary of EU research funding, coordinating the PERSEUS project to further develop Eurosur and the Seahorse Network, a network between police forces in Mediterranean countries (both in Europe and Africa) to stop migration.

    Israeli arms firms are also notable winners of EU border contracts. In 2018, Frontex selected the Heron drone from Israel Aerospace Industries for pilot-testing surveillance flights in the Mediterranean. In 2015, Israeli firm Elbit sold six of its Hermes UAVs to the Switzerland’s Border Guard, in a controversial €230 million deal. It has since signed a UAV contract with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), as a subcontractor for the Portuguese company CEIIA (2018), as well as contracts to supply technology for three patrol vessels for the Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
    Land wall contractors

    Most of the walls and fences that have been rapidly erected across Europe have been built by national construction companies, but one European company has dominated the field: European Security Fencing, a Spanish producer of razor wire, in particular a coiled wire known as concertinas. It is most known for the razor wire on the fences around Ceuta and Melilla. It also delivered the razor wire for the fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia, and its concertinas were installed on the borders between Bulgaria and Turkey and Austria and Slovenia, as well as at Calais, and for a few days on the border between Hungary and Slovenia before being removed. Given its long-term market monopoly, its concertinas are very likely used at other borders in Europe.

    Other contractors providing both walls and associated technology include DAT-CON (Croatia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Moldova, Slovenia and Ukraine), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén and Eulen (Spain/Morocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov and Indra (Bulgaria/Turkey), Nordecon and Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft and SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Latvia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lithuania/Russia), Minis and Legi-SGS(Slovenia/Croatia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia and Zaun Ltd (France/UK).

    In many cases, the actual costs of the walls and associated technologies exceed original estimates. There have also been many allegations and legal charges of corruption, in some cases because projects were given to corporate friends of government officials. In Slovenia, for example, accusations of corruption concerning the border wall contract have led to a continuing three-year legal battle for access to documents that has reached the Supreme Court. Despite this, the EU’s External Borders Fund has been a critical financial supporter of technological infrastructure and services in many of the member states’ border operations. In Macedonia, for example, the EU has provided €9 million for patrol vehicles, night-vision cameras, heartbeat detectors and technical support for border guards to help it manage its southern border.
    Maritime wall profiteers

    The data about which ships, helicopters and aircraft are used in Europe’s maritime operations is not transparent and therefore it is difficult to get a full picture. Our research shows, however, that the key corporations involved include the European arms giants Airbus and Leonardo, as well as large shipbuilding companies including Dutch Damen and Italian Fincantieri.

    Damen’s patrol vessels have been used for border operations by Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK as well as in key Frontex operations (Poseidon, Triton and Themis), Operation Sophia and in supporting NATO’s role in Operation Poseidon. Outside Europe, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey use Damen vessels for border security, often in cooperation with the EU or its member states. Turkey’s €20 million purchase of six Damen vessels for its coast guard in 2006, for example, was financed through the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), intended for peace-building and conflict prevention.

    The sale of Damen vessels to Libya unveils the potential troubling human costs of this corporate trade. In 2012, Damen supplied four patrol vessels to the Libyan Coast Guard, sold as civil equipment in order to avoid a Dutch arms export license. Researchers have since found out, however, that the ships were not only sold with mounting points for weapons, but were then armed and used to stop refugee boats. Several incidents involving these ships have been reported, including one where some 20 or 30 refugees drowned. Damen has refused to comment, saying it had agreed with the Libyan government not to disclose information about the ships.

    In addition to Damen, many national shipbuilders play a significant role in maritime operations as they were invariably prioritised by the countries contributing to each Frontex or other Mediterranean operation. Hence, all the ships Italy contributed to Operation Sophia were built by Fincantieri, while all Spanish ships come from Navantia and its predecessors. Similarly, France purchases from DCN/DCNS, now Naval Group, and all German ships were built by several German shipyards (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Other companies in Frontex operations have included Greek company, Motomarine Shipyards, which produced the Panther 57 Fast Patrol Boats used by the Hellenic Coast Guard, Hellenic Shipyards and Israel Shipyards.

    Austrian company Schiebel is a significant player in maritime aerial surveillance through its supply of S-100 drones. In November 2018, EMSA selected the company for a €24 million maritime surveillance contract for a range of operations including border security. Since 2017, Schiebel has also won contracts from Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The company has a controversial record, with its drones sold to a number of countries experiencing armed conflict or governed by repressive regimes such as Libya, Myanmar, the UAE and Yemen.

    Finland and the Netherlands deployed Dornier aircraft to Operation Hermes and Operation Poseidon respectively, and to Operation Triton. Dornier is now part of the US subsidiary of the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. CAE Aviation (Luxembourg), DEA Aviation (UK) and EASP Air (Netherlands) have all received contracts for aircraft surveillance work for Frontex. Airbus, French Dassault Aviation, Leonardo and US Lockheed Martin were the most important suppliers of aircraft used in Operation Sophia.

    The EU and its member states defend their maritime operations by publicising their role in rescuing refugees at sea, but this is not their primary goal, as Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri made clear in April 2015, saying that Frontex has no mandate for ‘proactive search-and-rescue action[s]’ and that saving lives should not be a priority. The thwarting and criminalisation of NGO rescue operations in the Mediterranean and the frequent reports of violence and illegal refoulement of refugees, also demonstrates why these maritime operations should be considered more like walls than humanitarian missions.
    Virtual walls

    The major EU contracts for the virtual walls have largely gone to two companies, sometimes as leaders of a consortium. Sopra Steria is the main contractor for the development and maintenance of the Visa Information System (VIS), Schengen Information System (SIS II) and European Dactyloscopy (Eurodac), while GMV has secured a string of contracts for Eurosur. The systems they build help control, monitor and surveil people’s movements across Europe and increasingly beyond.

    Sopra Steria is a French technology consultancy firm that has to date won EU contracts worth a total value of over €150 million. For some of these large contracts Sopra Steria joined consortiums with HP Belgium, Bull and 3M Belgium. Despite considerable business, Sopra Steria has faced considerable criticism for its poor record on delivering projects on time and on budget. Its launch of SIS II was constantly delayed, forcing the Commission to extend contracts and increase budgets. Similarly, Sopra Steria was involved in another consortium, the Trusted Borders consortium, contracted to deliver the UK e-Borders programme, which was eventually terminated in 2010 after constant delays and failure to deliver. Yet it continues to win contracts, in part because it has secured a near-monopoly of knowledge and access to EU officials. The central role that Sopra Steria plays in developing these EU biometric systems has also had a spin-off effect in securing other national contracts, including with Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Slovenia GMV, a Spanish technology company, has received a succession of large contracts for Eurosur, ever since its testing phase in 2010, worth at least €25 million. It also provides technology to the Spanish Guardia Civil, such as control centres for its Integrated System of External Vigilance (SIVE) border security system as well as software development services to Frontex. It has participated in at least ten EU-funded research projects on border security.

    Most of the large contracts for the virtual walls that did not go to consortia including Sopra Steria were awarded by eu-LISA (European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice) to consortia comprising computer and technology companies including Accenture, Atos Belgium and Morpho (later renamed Idema).
    Lobbying

    As research in our Border Wars series has consistently shown, through effective lobbying, the military and security industry has been very influential in shaping the discourse of EU security and military policies. The industry has succeeded in positioning itself as the experts on border security, pushing the underlying narrative that migration is first and foremost a security threat, to be combatted by security and military means. With this premise, it creates a continuous demand for the ever-expanding catalogue of equipment and services the industry supplies for border security and control.

    Many of the companies listed here, particularly the large arms companies, are involved in the European Organisation for Security (EOS), the most important lobby group on border security. Many of the IT security firms that build EU’s virtual walls are members of the European Biometrics Association (EAB). EOS has an ‘Integrated Border Security Working Group’ to ‘facilitate the development and uptake of better technology solutions for border security both at border checkpoints, and along maritime and land borders’. The working group is chaired by Giorgio Gulienetti of the Italian arms company Leonardo, with Isto Mattila (Laurea University of Applied Science) and Peter Smallridge of Gemalto, a digital security company recently acquired by Thales.

    Company lobbyists and representatives of these lobby organisations regularly meet with EU institutions, including the European Commission, are part of official advisory committees, publish influential proposals, organise meetings between industry, policy-makers and executives and also meet at the plethora of military and security fairs, conferences and seminars. Airbus, Leonardo and Thales together with EOS held 226 registered lobbying meetings with the European Commission between 2014 and 2019. In these meetings representatives of the industry position themselves as the experts on border security, presenting their goods and services as the solution for ‘security threats’ caused by immigration. In 2017, the same group of companies and EOS spent up to €2.65 million on lobbying.

    A similar close relationship can be seen on virtual walls, with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission arguing openly for public policy to foster the ‘emergence of a vibrant European biometrics industry’.
    A deadly trade and a choice

    The conclusion of this survey of the business of building walls is clear. A Europe full of walls has proved to be very good for the bottom line of a wide range of corporations including arms, security, IT, shipping and construction companies. The EU’s planned budgets for border security for the next decade show it is also a business that will continue to boom.

    This is also a deadly business. The heavy militarisation of Europe’s borders on land and at sea has led refugees and migrants to follow far more hazardous routes and has trapped others in desperate conditions in neighbouring countries like Libya. Many deaths are not recorded, but those that are tracked in the Mediterranean show that the proportion of those who drown trying to reach Europe continues to increase each year.

    This is not an inevitable state of affairs. It is both the result of policy decisions made by the EU and its member states, and corporate decisions to profit from these policies. In a rare principled stand, German razor wire manufacturer Mutanox in 2015 stated it would not sell its product to the Hungarian government arguing: ‘Razor wire is designed to prevent criminal acts, like a burglary. Fleeing children and adults are not criminals’. It is time for other European politicians and business leaders to recognise the same truth: that building walls against the world’s most vulnerable people violates human rights and is an immoral act that history will judge harshly. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is time for Europe to bring down its new walls.

    https://www.tni.org/en/businessbuildingwalls

    #business #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières #visualisation #Europe #UE #EU #complexe_militaro-industriel #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #Indra #Israel_Aerospace_Industries #Elbit #European_Security_Fencing #DAT-CON #Geo_Alpinbau #Dragados #Ferrovial, #Proyectos_Y_Tecnología_Sallén #Eulen #Patstroy_Bourgas #Infra_Expert #Patengineeringstroy #Geostroy_Engineering #Metallic-Ivan_Mihaylov #Nordecon #Defendec #DAK_Acélszerkezeti_Kft #SIA_Ceļu_būvniecības_sabiedrība_IGATE #Gintrėja #Minis #Legi-SGS #Groupe_CW #Jackson’s_Fencing #Sorhea #Vinci #Eurovia #Zaun_Ltd #Damen #Fincantieri #Frontex #Damen #Turquie #Instrument_contributing_to_Stability_and_Peace (#IcSP) #Libye #exernalisation #Operation_Sophia #Navantia #Naval_Group #Flensburger_Schiffbau-Gesellschaft #HDW #Lürssen_Gruppe #Motomarine_Shipyards #Panther_57 #Hellenic_Shipyards #Israel_Shipyards #Schiebel #Dornier #Operation_Hermes #CAE_Aviation #DEA_Aviation #EASP_Air #French_Dassault_Aviation #US_Lockheed_Martin #murs_virtuels #Sopra_Steria #Visa_Information_System (#VIS) #données #Schengen_Information_System (#SIS_II) #European_Dactyloscopy (#Eurodac) #GMV #Eurosur #HP_Belgium #Bull #3M_Belgium #Trusted_Borders_consortium #économie #biométrie #Integrated_System_of_External_Vigilance (#SIVE) #eu-LISA #Accenture #Atos_Belgium #Morpho #Idema #lobby #European_Organisation_for_Security (#EOS) #European_Biometrics_Association (#EAB) #Integrated_Border_Security_Working_Group #Giorgio_Gulienetti #Isto_Mattila #Peter_Smallridge #Gemalto #murs_terrestres #murs_maritimes #coût #chiffres #statistiques #Joint_Research_Centre_of_the_European_Commission #Mutanox

    Pour télécharger le #rapport :


    https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/business_of_building_walls_-_full_report.pdf

    déjà signalé par @odilon ici :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/809783
    Je le remets ici avec des mots clé de plus

    ping @daphne @marty @isskein @karine4

    • La costruzione di muri: un business

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del Muro di Berlino, l’Europa fa parlare di sé ancora una volta per i suoi muri di frontiera. Questa volta non è tanto l’ideologia che la divide, quanto la paura di rifugiati e migranti, alcune tra le persone più vulnerabili al mondo.

      Riassunto del rapporto «The Business of Building Walls» [1]:

      Chi ha ucciso il sogno di un’Europa più aperta? Cosa ha dato inizio a questa nuova era dei muri?
      Ci sono evidentemente molte ragioni: il crescente spostamento di persone a causa di conflitti, repressione e impoverimento, l’ascesa di politiche securitarie sulla scia dell’11 settembre, l’insicurezza economica e sociale percepita in Europa dopo la crisi finanziaria del 2008, solo per nominarne alcune. Tuttavia, c’è un gruppo che ha di gran lunga da guadagnare da questo innalzamento di nuovi muri: le imprese che li costruiscono. La loro influenza nel dare forma ad un mondo di muri necessita di un esame più profondo.

      Questo rapporto esplora il business della costruzione di muri, che è stato alimentato e ha beneficiato di un aumento considerevole della spesa pubblica dedicata alla sicurezza delle frontiere dall’Unione Europea (EU) e dai suoi Stati membri. Alcune imprese beneficiarie sono delle multinazionali che approfittano di un mercato globale per la sicurezza delle frontiere che si stima valere approssimativamente 17,5 miliardi di euro nel 2018, con una crescita annuale prevista almeno dell’8% nei prossimi anni.

      È importante guardare sia oltre che dietro i muri e le barriere d’Europa, perché i reali ostacoli alla migrazione contemporanea non sono tanto le recinzioni, quanto la vasta gamma di tecnologie che vi è alla base, dai sistemi radar ai droni, dalle telecamere di sorveglianza ai sistemi biometrici di rilevamento delle impronte digitali. Allo stesso modo, alcuni tra i più pericolosi muri d’Europa non sono nemmeno fisici o sulla terraferma. Le navi, gli aerei e i droni usati per pattugliare il Mediterraneo hanno creato un muro marittimo e un cimitero per i migliaia di migranti e di rifugiati che non hanno un passaggio legale verso la salvezza o per esercitare il loro diritto di asilo.

      Tutto ciò rende insignificanti le dichiarazioni della Commissione Europea secondo le quali essa non finanzierebbe i muri e le recinzioni. Il portavoce della Commissione, Alexander Winterstein, per esempio, nel rifiutare la richiesta dell’Ungheria di rimborsare la metà dei costi delle recinzioni costruite sul suo confine con la Croazia e la Serbia, ha affermato: “Noi sosteniamo le misure di gestione delle frontiere presso i confini esterni. Queste possono consistere in misure di sorveglianza o in equipaggiamento di controllo delle frontiere... . Ma le recinzioni, quelle non le finanziamo”. In altre parole, la Commissione è disposta a pagare per qualunque cosa che fortifichi un confine fintanto che ciò non sia visto come propriamente costruire dei muri.

      Questo rapporto è il seguito di “Building Walls - Fear and securitizazion in the Euopean Union”, co-pubblicato nel 2018 con Centre Delàs e Stop Wapenhandel, che per primi hanno misurato e identificato i muri che attraversano l’Europa.

      Questo nuovo rapporto si focalizza sulle imprese che hanno tratto profitto dai tre differenti tipi di muro in Europa:
      – Le imprese di costruzione ingaggiate per costruire i muri fisici costruiti dagli Stati membri UE e dall’Area Schengen in collaborazione con le imprese esperte in sicurezza e tecnologia che provvedono le tecnologie, l’equipaggiamento e i servizi associati;
      – le imprese di trasporto marittimo e di armamenti che forniscono le navi, gli aerei, gli elicotteri e i droni che costituiscono i muri marittimi dell’Europa per tentare di controllare i flussi migratori nel Mediterraneo, in particolare le operazioni di Frontex, l’operazione Sophia e l’operazione italiana Mare Nostrum;
      – e le imprese specializzate in informatica e in sicurezza incaricate di sviluppare, eseguire, estendere e mantenere i sistemi dell’UE che controllano i movimento delle persone, quali SIS II (Schengen Information System) e EES (Entry/Exii Scheme), che costituiscono i muri virtuali dell’Europa.
      Dei budget fiorenti

      Il flusso di denaro dai contribuenti ai costruttori di muri è stato estremamente lucrativo e non cessa di aumentare. Il report rivela che dalla fine della guerra fredda, le imprese hanno raccolto i profitti di almeno 900 milioni di euro di spese dei paesi dell’UE per i muri fisici e per le recinzioni. Con i dati parziali (sia nella portata e che negli anni), i costi reali raggiungerebbero almeno 1 miliardo di euro. Inoltre, le imprese che forniscono la tecnologia e i servizi che accompagnano i muri hanno ugualmente beneficiato di un flusso costante di finanziamenti da parte dell’UE, in particolare i Fondi per le frontiere esterne (1,7 miliardi di euro, 2007-2013) e i Fondi per la sicurezza interna - Fondi per le Frontiere (2,76 miliardi di euro, 2014-2020).

      Le spese dell’UE per i muri marittimi hanno raggiunto almeno 676,4 milioni di euro tra il 2006 e il 2017 (di cui 534 milioni sono stati spesi da Frontex, 28 milioni dall’UE nell’operazione Sophia e 114 milioni dall’Italia nell’operazione Mare Nostrum) e sarebbero molto superiori se si includessero tutte le operazioni delle guardie costiera nazionali nel Mediterraneo.

      Questa esplosione dei budget per le frontiere ha le condizioni per proseguire. Nel quadro del suo budget per il prossimo ciclo di bilancio dell’Unione Europea (2021-2027), la Commissione europea ha attribuito 8,02 miliardi di euro al suo fondo di gestione integrata delle frontiere (2021-2027), 11,27 miliardi a Frontex (dei quali 2,2 miliardi saranno utilizzati per l’acquisizione, il mantenimento e l’utilizzo di mezzi aerei, marittimi e terrestri) e almeno 1,9 miliardi di euro di spese totali (2000-2027) alle sue banche dati di identificazione e a Eurosur (il sistemo europeo di sorveglianza delle frontiere).
      I principali attori del settore degli armamenti

      Tre giganti europei del settore della difesa e della sicurezza giocano un ruolo cruciale nei differenti tipi di frontiere d’Europa: Thales, Leonardo e Airbus.

      – Thales è un’impresa francese specializzata negli armamenti e nella sicurezza, con una presenza significativa nei Paesi Bassi, che produce sistemi radar e sensori utilizzati da numerose navi della sicurezza frontaliera. I sistemi Thales, per esempio, sono stati utilizzati dalle navi olandesi e portoghesi impiegate nelle operazioni di Frontex.
      Thales produce ugualmente sistemi di sorveglianza marittima per droni e lavora attualmente per sviluppare una infrastruttura di sorveglianza delle frontiere per Eurosus, che permetta di seguire e controllare i rifugiati prima che raggiungano l’Europa con l’aiuto di applicazioni per Smartphone, e studia ugualmente l’utilizzo di “High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites - HAPS” per la sicurezza delle frontiere, per l’Agenzia spaziale europea e Frontex. Thales fornisce attualmente il sistema di sicurezza del porto altamente militarizzato di Calais.
      Con l’acquisto nel 2019 di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza e identità (biometrica), Thales diventa un attore importante nello sviluppo e nel mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE. L’impresa ha partecipato a 27 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      – La società di armamenti italiana Leonardo (originariamente Finmeccanica o Leonardo-Finmeccanica) è uno dei principali fornitori di elicotteri per la sicurezza delle frontiere, utilizzati dalle operazioni Mare Nostrum, Hera e Sophia in Italia. Ha ugualmente fatto parte dei principali fornitori di UAV (o droni), ottenendo un contratto di 67,1 milioni di euro nel 2017 con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima) per fornire le agenzie di guardia costiera dell’UE.
      Leonardo faceva ugualmente parte di un consorzio che si è visto attribuire un contratto di 142,1 milioni di euro nel 2019 per attuare e assicurare il mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE, ossia il Sistema di entrata/uscita (EES). La società detiene, con Thales, Telespazio, che partecipa ai progetti di osservazione dai satelliti dell’UE (React e Copernicus) utilizzati per controllare le frontiere. Leonardo ha partecipato a 24 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere, tra cui lo sviluppo di Eurosur.

      – Il gigante degli armamenti pan-europei Airbus è un importante fornitore di elicotteri utilizzati nella sorveglianza delle frontiere marittime e di alcune frontiere terrestri, impiegati da Belgio, Francia, Germania, Grecia, Italia, Lituania e Spagna, in particolare nelle operazioni marittime Sophia, Poseidon e Triton. Airbus e le sue filiali hanno partecipato almeno a 13 progetti di ricerca sulla sicurezza delle frontiere finanziati dall’UE, tra cui OCEAN2020, PERSEUS e LOBOS.

      Il ruolo chiave di queste società di armamenti in realtà non è sorprendente. Come è stato dimostrato da “Border Wars” (2016), queste imprese, in quanto appartenenti a lobby come EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza) e ASD (Associazione delle industrie aerospaziali e della difesa in Europa), hanno ampiamente contribuito a influenzare l’orientamento della politica delle frontiere dell’UE. Paradossalmente, questi stessi marchi fanno ugualmente parte dei quattro più grandi venditori europei di armi al Medio Oriente e all’Africa del Nord, contribuendo così ad alimentare i conflitti all’origine di queste migrazioni forzate.

      Allo stesso modo Indra gioca un ruolo non indifferente nel controllo delle frontiere in Spagna e nel Mediterraneo. L’impresa ha ottenuto una serie di contratti per fortificare Ceuta e Melilla (enclavi spagnole nel Nord del Marocco). Indra ha ugualmente sviluppato il sistema di controllo delle frontiere SIVE (con sistemi radar, di sensori e visivi) che è installato nella maggior parte delle frontiere della Spagna, così come in Portogallo e in Romania. Nel luglio 2018, Indra ha ottenuto un contratto di 10 milioni di euro per assicurare la gestione di SIVE su più siti per due anni. L’impresa è molto attiva nel fare lobby presso l’UE. È ugualmente una dei grandi beneficiari dei finanziamenti per la ricerca dell’UE, che assicurano il coordinamento del progetto PERSEUS per lo sviluppo di Eurosur e il Seahorse Network, la rete di scambio di informazioni tra le forze di polizia dei paesi mediterranei (in Europa e in Africa) per fermare le migrazioni.

      Le società di armamenti israeliane hanno anch’esse ottenuto numerosi contratti nel quadro della sicurezza delle frontiere in UE. Nel 2018, Frontex ha selezionato il drone Heron delle Israel Aerospace Industries per i voli di sorveglianza degli esperimenti pilota nel Mediterraneo. Nel 2015, la società israeliana Elbit Systems ha venduto sei dei suoi droni Hermes al Corpo di guardie di frontiera svizzero, nel quadro di un contratto controverso di 230 milioni di euro. Ha anche firmato in seguito un contratto per droni con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima), in quanto subappaltatore della società portoghese CEIIA (2018), così come dei contratti per equipaggiare tre navi di pattugliamento per la Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
      Gli appaltatori dei muri fisici

      La maggioranza di muri e recinzioni che sono stati rapidamente eretti attraverso l’Europa, sono stati costruiti da società di BTP nazionali/società nazionali di costruzioni, ma un’impresa europea ha dominato nel mercato: la European Security Fencing, un produttore spagnolo di filo spinato, in particolare di un filo a spirale chiamato “concertina”. È famosa per aver fornito i fili spinati delle recinzioni che circondano Ceuta e Melilla. L’impresa ha ugualmente dotato di fili spinati le frontiere tra l’Ungheria e la Serbia, e i suoi fili spinati “concertina” sono stati installati alle frontiere tra Bulgaria e Turchia e tra l’Austria e la Slovenia, così come a Calais e, per qualche giorno, alla frontiera tra Ungheria e Slovenia, prima di essere ritirati. Dato che essi detengono il monopolio sul mercato da un po’ di tempo a questa parte, è probabile che i fili spinati “concertina” siano stati utilizzati presso altre frontiere in Europa.

      Tra le altre imprese che hanno fornito i muri e le tecnologie ad essi associate, si trova DAT-CON (Croazia, Cipro, Macedonia, Moldavia, Slovenia e Ucraina), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén e Eulen (Spagna/Marocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov et Indra (Bulgaria/Turchia), Nordecon e Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft e SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Lettonia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lituania/Russi), Minis e Legi-SGS (Slovenia/Croazia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia e Zaun Ltd (Francia/Regno Unito).

      I costi reali dei muri e delle tecnologie associate superano spesso le stime originali. Numerose accuse e denunce per corruzione sono state allo stesso modo formulate, in certi casi perché i progetti erano stati attribuiti a delle imprese che appartenevano ad amici di alti funzionari. In Slovenia, per esempio, accuse di corruzione riguardanti un contratto per la costruzione di muri alle frontiere hanno portato a tre anni di battaglie legali per avere accesso ai documenti; la questione è passata poi alla Corte suprema.

      Malgrado tutto ciò, il Fondo europeo per le frontiere esterne ha sostenuto finanziariamente le infrastrutture e i servizi tecnologici di numerose operazioni alle frontiere degli Stati membri. In Macedonia, per esempio, l’UE ha versato 9 milioni di euro per finanziare dei veicoli di pattugliamento, delle telecamere a visione notturna, dei rivelatori di battito cardiaco e sostegno tecnico alle guardie di frontiera nell’aiuto della gestione della sua frontiera meridionale.
      Gli speculatori dei muri marittimi

      I dati che permettono di determinare quali imbarcazioni, elicotteri e aerei sono utilizzati nelle operazioni marittime in Europa mancano di trasparenza. È dunque difficile recuperare tutte le informazioni. Le nostre ricerche mostrano comunque che tra le principali società implicate figurano i giganti europei degli armamenti Airbus e Leonardo, così come grandi imprese di costruzione navale come l’olandese Damen e l’italiana Fincantieri.

      Le imbarcazioni di pattugliamento di Damen sono servite per delle operazioni frontaliere portate avanti da Albania, Belgio, Bulgaria, Portogallo, Paesi Bassi, Romania, Svezia e Regno Unito, così come per le vaste operazioni di Frontex (Poseidon, Triton e Themis), per l’operazione Sophia e hanno ugualmente sostento la NATO nell’operazione Poseidon.

      Al di fuori dell’Europa, la Libia, il Marocco, la Tunisia e la Turchia utilizzano delle imbarcazioni Damen per la sicurezza delle frontiere, spesso in collaborazione con l’UE o i suoi Stati membri. Per esempio, le sei navi Damen che la Turchia ha comprato per la sua guardia costiera nel 2006, per un totale di 20 milioni di euro, sono state finanziate attraverso lo strumento europeo che contribuirebbe alla stabilità e alla pace (IcSP), destinato a mantenere la pace e a prevenire i conflitti.

      La vendita di imbarcazioni Damen alla Libia mette in evidenza l’inquietante costo umano di questo commercio. Nel 2012, Damen ha fornito quattro imbarcazioni di pattugliamento alla guardia costiera libica, che sono state vendute come equipaggiamento civile col fine di evitare la licenza di esportazione di armi nei Paesi Bassi. I ricercatori hanno poi scoperto che non solo le imbarcazioni erano state vendute con dei punti di fissaggio per le armi, ma che erano state in seguito armate ed utilizzate per fermare le imbarcazioni di rifugiati. Numerosi incidenti che hanno implicato queste imbarcazioni sono stati segnalati, tra i quali l’annegamento di 20 o 30 rifugiati. Damen si è rifiutata di commentare, dichiarando di aver convenuto col governo libico di non divulgare alcuna informazione riguardante le imbarcazioni.

      Numerosi costruttori navali nazionali, oltre a Damen, giocano un ruolo determinante nelle operizioni marittime poiché sono sistematicamente scelti con priorità dai paesi partecipanti a ogni operazione di Frontex o ad altre operazioni nel Mediterraneo. Tutte le imbarcazioni fornite dall’Italia all’operazione Sophia sono state costruite da Fincantieri e tutte quelle spagnole sono fornite da Navantia e dai suoi predecessori. Allo stesso modo, la Francia si rifornisce da DCN/DCNS, ormai Naval Group, e tutte le imbarcazioni tedesche sono state costruite da diversi cantieri navali tedeschi (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Altre imprese hanno partecipato alle operazioni di Frontex, tra cui la società greca Motomarine Shipyards, che ha prodotto i pattugliatori rapidi Panther 57 utilizzati dalla guardia costiera greca, così come la Hellenic Shipyards e la Israel Shipyards.

      La società austriaca Schiebel, che fornisce i droni S-100, gioca un ruolo importante nella sorveglianza aerea delle attività marittime. Nel novembre 2018, è stata selezionata dall’EMSA per un contratto di sorveglianza marittima di 24 milioni di euro riguardante differenti operazioni che includevano la sicurezza delle frontiere. Dal 2017, Schiebel ha ugualmente ottenuto dei contratti con la Croazia, la Danimarca, l’Islanda, l’Italia, il Portogallo e la Spagna. L’impresa ha un passato controverso: ha venduto dei droni a numerosi paesi in conflitto armato o governati da regimi repressivi come la Libia, il Myanmar, gli Emirati Arabi Uniti e lo Yemen.

      La Finlandia e i Paesi Bassi hanno impiegato degli aerei Dornier rispettivamente nel quadro delle operazioni Hermès, Poseidon e Triton. Dornier appartiene ormai alla filiale americana della società di armamenti israeliana Elbit Systems.
      CAE Aviation (Lussemburgo), DEA Aviation (Regno Unito) e EASP Air (Paesi Bassi) hanno tutte ottenuto dei contratti di sorveglianza aerea per Frontex.
      Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Leonardo e l’americana Lockheed Martin hanno fornito il più grande numero di aerei utilizzati per l’operazione Sophia.

      L’UE e i suoi Stati membri difendono le loro operazioni marittime pubblicizzando il loro ruolo nel salvataggio dei rifugiati in mare. Ma non è questo il loro obiettivo principale, come sottolinea il direttore di Frontex Fabrice Leggeri nell’aprile 2015, dichiarando che “le azioni volontarie di ricerca e salvataggio” non fanno parte del mandato affidato a Frontex, e che salvare delle vite non dovrebbe essere una priorità. La criminalizzazione delle operazioni di salvataggio da parte delle ONG, gli ostacoli che esse incontrano, così come la violenza e i respingimenti illegali dei rifugiati, spesso denunciati, illustrano bene il fatto che queste operazioni marittime sono volte soprattutto a costituire muri piuttosto che missioni umanitarie.
      I muri virtuali

      I principali contratti dell’UE legati ai muri virtuali sono stati affidati a due imprese, a volte in quanto leader di un consorzio.
      Sopra Steria è il partner principale per lo sviluppo e il mantenimento del Sistema d’informazione dei visti (SIV), del Sistema di informazione Schengen (SIS II) e di Eurodac (European Dactyloscopy) e GMV ha firmato una serie di contratti per Eurosur. I sistemi che essi concepiscono permettono di controllare e di sorvegliare i movimenti delle persone attraverso l’Europa e, sempre più spesso, al di là delle sue frontiere.

      Sopra Steria è un’impresa francese di servizi per consultazioni in tecnologia che ha, ad oggi, ottenuto dei contratti con l’UE per un valore totale di più di 150 milioni di euro. Nel quadro di alcuni di questi grossi contratti, Sopra Steria ha formato dei consorzi con HP Belgio, Bull e 3M Belgio.

      Malgrado l’ampiezza di questi mercati, Sopra Steria ha ricevuto importanti critiche per la sua mancanza di rigore nel rispetto delle tempistiche e dei budget. Il lancio di SIS II è stato costantemente ritardato, costringendo la Commissione a prolungare i contratti e ad aumentare i budget. Sopra Steria aveva ugualmente fatto parte di un altro consorzio, Trusted Borders, impegnato nello sviluppo del programma e-Borders nel Regno Unito. Quest’ultimo è terminato nel 2010 dopo un accumulo di ritardi e di mancate consegne. Tuttavia, la società ha continuato a ottenere contratti, a causa del suo quasi monopolio di conoscenze e di relazioni con i rappresentanti dell’UE. Il ruolo centrale di Sopra Steria nello sviluppo dei sistemi biometrici dell’UE ha ugualmente portato alla firma di altri contratti nazionali con, tra gli altri, il Belgio, la Bulgaria, la Repubblica ceca, la Finlandia, la Francia, la Germania, la Romania e la Slovenia.

      GMV, un’impresa tecnologica spagnola, ha concluso una serie di grossi contratti per Eurosur, dopo la sua fase sperimentale nel 2010, per almeno 25 milioni di euro. Essa rifornisce ugualmente di tecnologie la Guardia Civil spagnola, tecnologie quali, ad esempio, i centri di controllo del suo Sistema integrato di sorveglianza esterna (SIVE), sistema di sicurezza delle frontiere, così come rifornisce di servizi di sviluppo logistico Frontex. L’impresa ha partecipato ad almeno dieci progetti di ricerca finanziati dall’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      La maggior parte dei grossi contratti riguardanti i muri virtuali che non sono stati conclusi con consorzi di cui facesse parte Sopra Steria, sono stati attribuiti da eu-LISA (l’Agenzia europea per la gestione operazionale dei sistemi di informazione su vasta scale in seno allo spazio di libertà, di sicurezza e di giustizia) a dei consorzi di imprese specializzate nell’informazione e nelle nuove tecnologie, tra questi: Accenture, Atos Belgium e Morpho (rinominato Idemia).
      Lobby

      Come testimonia il nostro report “Border Wars”, il settore della difesa e della sicurezza, grazie ad una lobbying efficace, ha un’influenza considerabile nell’elaborazione delle politiche di difesa e di sicurezza dell’UE. Le imprese di questo settore industriale sono riuscite a posizionarsi come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, portando avanti il loro discorso secondo il quale la migrazione è prima di tutto una minaccia per la sicurezza che deve essere combattuta tramite mezzi militari e securitari. Questo crea così una domanda continua del catalogo sempre più fornito di equipaggiamenti e servizi che esse forniscono per la sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere.

      Un numero alto di imprese che abbiamo nominato, in particolare le grandi società di armamenti, fanno parte dell’EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza), il più importante gruppo di pressione sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      Molte imprese informatiche che hanno concepito i muri virtuali dell’UE sono membri dell’EAB (Associazione Europea per la Biometria). L’EOS ha un “Gruppo di lavoro sulla sicurezza integrata delle frontiere” per “permettere lo sviluppo e l’adozione delle migliori soluzioni tecnologiche per la sicurezza delle frontiere sia ai checkpoint che lungo le frontiere marittime e terrestri”.
      Il gruppo di lavoro è presieduto da Giorgio Gulienetti, della società di armi italiana Leonardo, Isto Mattila (diplomato all’università di scienze applicate) e Peter Smallridge di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza numerica, recentemente acquisita da Thales.

      I lobbisti di imprese e i rappresentanti di questi gruppi di pressione incontrano regolarmente le istituzioni dell’UE, tra cui la Commissione europea, nel quadro di comitati di consiglio ufficiali, pubblicano proposte influenti, organizzano incontri tra il settore industriale, i policy-makers e i dirigenti e si ritrovano allo stesso modo in tutti i saloni, le conferenze e i seminari sulla difesa e la sicurezza.

      Airbus, Leonardo e Thales e l’EOS hanno anche assistito a 226 riunioni ufficiali di lobby con la Commissione europea tra il 2014 e il 2019. In queste riunioni, i rappresentanti del settore si presentano come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, e propongono i loro prodotti e servizi come soluzione alle “minacce alla sicurezza” costituite dall’immigrazione. Nel 2017, queste stesse imprese e l’EOS hanno speso fino a 2,56 milioni di euro in lobbying.

      Si constata una relazione simile per quanto riguarda i muri virtuali: il Centro comune della ricerca della Commissione europea domanda apertamente che le politiche pubbliche favoriscano “l’emergenza di una industria biometrica europea dinamica”.
      Un business mortale, una scelta

      La conclusione di questa inchiesta sul business dell’innalzamento di muri è chiara: la presenza di un’Europa piena di muri si rivela molto fruttuosa per una larga fetta di imprese del settore degli armamenti, della difesa, dell’informatica, del trasporto marittimo e delle imprese di costruzioni. I budget che l’UE ha pianificato per la sicurezza delle frontiere nei prossimi dieci anni mostrano che si tratta di un commercio che continua a prosperare.

      Si tratta altresì di un commercio mortale. A causa della vasta militarizzazione delle frontiere dell’Europa sulla terraferma e in mare, i rifugiati e i migranti intraprendono dei percorsi molto più pericolosi e alcuni si trovano anche intrappolati in terribili condizioni in paesi limitrofi come la Libia. Non vengono registrate tutte le morti, ma quelle che sono registrate nel Mediterraneo mostrano che il numero di migranti che annegano provando a raggiungere l’Europa continua ad aumentare ogni anno.

      Questo stato di cose non è inevitabile. È il risultato sia di decisioni politiche prese dall’UE e dai suoi Stati membri, sia dalle decisioni delle imprese di trarre profitto da queste politiche. Sono rare le imprese che prendono posizione, come il produttore tedesco di filo spinato Mutinox che ha dichiarato nel 2015 che non avrebbe venduto i suoi prodotti al governo ungherese per il seguente motivo: “I fili spinati sono concepiti per impedire atti criminali, come il furto. Dei rifugiati, bambini e adulti, non sono dei criminali”.

      È tempo che altri politici e capi d’impresa riconoscano questa stessa verità: erigere muri contro le popolazioni più vulnerabili viola i diritti umani e costituisce un atto immorale che sarà evidentemente condannato dalla storia.

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del muro di Berlino, è tempo che l’Europa abbatta i suoi nuovi muri.

      https://www.meltingpot.org/La-costruzione-di-muri-un-business.html

    • How the arms industry drives Fortress Europe’s expansion

      In recent years, rising calls for deterrence have intensified the physical violence migrants face at the EU border. The externalization of the border through deals with sending and transit countries signals the expansion of this securitization process. Financial gains by international arms firms in this militarization trend form an obstacle for policy change.

      In March, April, and May of this year, multiple European countries deployed military forces to their national borders. This was done to assist with controls and patrols in the wake of border closures and other movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 crisis. Poland deployed 1,460 soldiers to the border to support the Border Guard and police as part of a larger military operation in reaction to Covid-19. And the Portuguese police used military drones as a complement to their land border checks. According to overviews from NATO, the Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands (military police), Slovakia, and Slovenia all stationed armed forces at their national borders.

      While some of these deployments have been or will be rolled back as the Corona crisis dies down, they are not exceptional developments. Rather, using armed forces for border security and control has been a common occurrence at EU external borders since the so-called refugee crisis of 2015. They are part of the continuing militarisation of European border and migration policies, which is known to put refugees at risk but is increasingly being expanded to third party countries. Successful lobbying from the military and security industry has been an important driver for these policies, from which large European arms companies have benefited.

      The militarization of borders happens when EU member states send armies to border regions, as they did in Operation Sophia off the Libyan coast. This was the first outright EU military mission to stop migration. But border militarization also includes the use of military equipment for migration control, such as helicopters and patrol vessels, as well as the the EU-wide surveillance system Eurosur, which connects surveillance data from all individual member states. Furthermore, EU countries now have over 1,000 kilometers of walls and fences on their borders. These are rigged with surveillance, monitoring, and detection technologies, and accompanied by an increasing use of drones and other autonomous systems. The EU also funds a constant stream of Research & Technology (R&T) projects to develop new technologies and services to monitor and manage migration.

      This process has been going on for decades. The Schengen Agreement of 1985, and the subsequent creation of the Schengen Area, which coupled the opening of the internal EU borders with robust control at the external borders, can be seen as a starting point for these developments. After 2011, when the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ led to fears of mass migration to Europe, and especially since the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the EU accelerated the boosting and militarising of border security, enormously. Since then, stopping migration has been at the top of the EU agenda.

      An increasingly important part of the process of border militarization isn’t happening at the European borders, but far beyond them. The EU and its member states are incentivizing third party countries to help stop migrants long before they reach Europe. This externalising of borders has taken many forms, from expanding the goals of EUCAP missions in Mali and Niger to include the prevention of irregular migration, to funding and training the Libyan Coast Guard to return refugees back to torture and starvation in the infamous detention centers in Libya. It also includes the donation of border security equipment, for example from Germany to Tunisia, and funding for purchases, such as Turkey’s acquisition of coast guard vessels to strengthen its operational capacities.

      Next to the direct consequences of European border externalisation efforts, these policies cause and worsen problems in the third party countries concerned: diverting development funds and priorities, ruining migration-based economies, and strengthening authoritarian regimes such as those in Chad, Belarus, Eritrea, and Sudan by providing funding, training and equipment to their military and security forces. Precisely these state organs are most responsible for repression and abuses of human rights. All this feeds drivers of migration, including violence, repression, and unemployment. As such, it is almost a guarantee for more refugees in the future.

      EU border security agency Frontex has also extended its operations into non-EU-countries. Ongoing negotiations and conclusions of agreements with Balkan countries resulted in the first operation in Albania having started in May 2019. And this is only a small part of Frontex’ expanding role in recent years. In response to the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the European Commission launched a series of proposals that saw large increases in the powers of the agency, including giving member states binding advice to boost their border security, and giving Frontex the right to intervene in member states’ affairs (even without their consent) by decision of the Commission or Council.

      These proposals also included the creation of a 10,000 person strong standing corps of border guards and a budget to buy or lease its own equipment. Concretely, Frontex started with a budget of €6 million in 2005, which grew to €143 million in 2015. This was then quickly increased again from €239 million in 2016 to €460 million in 2020. The enormous expansion of EU border security and control has been accompanied by rapidly increasing budgets in general. In recent years, billions of euros have been spent on fortifying borders, setting up biometric databases, increasing surveillance capacities, and paying non-EU-countries to play their parts in this expansion process.

      Negotiations about the next seven-year-budget for the EU, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, are still ongoing. In the European Commission’s latest proposal, which is clearly positioned as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the fund for strengthening member states’ border security, the Integrated Border Management Fund, has been allotted €12.5 billion. Its predecessors, the External Borders Fund (2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders (2014-2020), had much smaller budgets: €1.76 billion and €2.70 billion, respectively. For Frontex, €7.5 billion is reserved, with €2.2 billion earmarked for purchasing or leasing equipment such as helicopters, drones, and patrol vessels. These huge budget increases are exemplary of the priority the EU attaches to stopping migration.

      The narrative underlying these policies and budget growths is the perception of migration as a threat; a security problem. As researcher, Ainhoa Ruiz (Centre Delàs) writes, “the securitisation process also includes militarisation,” because “the prevailing paradigm for providing security is based on military principles: the use of force and coercion, more weapons equating to more security, and the achievement of security by eliminating threats.”

      This narrative hasn’t come out of the blue. It is pushed by right wing politicians and often followed by centrist and leftist parties afraid of losing voters. Importantly, it is also promoted by an extensive and successful industrial lobby. According to Martin Lemberg-Pedersen (Assistant Professor in Global Refugee Studies, Aalborg University), arms companies “establish themselves as experts on border security, and use this position to frame immigration to Europe as leading to evermore security threats in need of evermore advanced [security] products.” The narrative of migration as a security problem thus sets the stage for militaries, and the security companies behind the commercial arms lobby, to offer their goods and services as the solution. The range of militarization policies mentioned so far reflects the broad adoption of this narrative.

      The lobby organizations of large European military and security companies regularly interact with the European Commission and EU border agencies. They have meetings, organise roundtables, and see each other at military and security fairs and conferences. Industry representatives also take part in official advisory groups, are invited to present new arms and technologies, and write policy proposals. These proposals can sometimes be so influential that they are adopted as policy, almost unamended.

      This happened, for instance, when the the Commission decided to open up the Instrument contributing to Security and Peace, a fund meant for peace-building and conflict prevention. The fund’s terms were expanded to cover provision of third party countries with non-lethal security equipment, for example, for border security purposes. The new policy document for this turned out to be a step-by-step reproduction of an earlier proposal from lobby organisation, Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). Yet, perhaps the most far-reaching success of this kind is the expansion of Frontex, itself, into a European Border Guard. Years before it actually happened, the industry had already been pushing for this outcome.

      The same companies that are at the forefront of the border security and control lobby are, not surprisingly, also the big winners of EU and member states’ contracts in these areas. These include three of the largest European (and global) arms companies, namely, Airbus (Paneuropean), Leonardo (Italy) and Thales (France). These companies are active in many aspects of the border security and control market. Airbus’ and Leonardo’s main product in this field are helicopters, with EU funds paying for many purchases by EU and third countries. Thales provides radar, for example, for border patrol vessels, and is heavily involved in biometric and digital identification, especially after having acquired market leader, Gemalto, last year.

      These three companies are the main beneficiaries of the European anti-migration obsession. At the same time, these very three companies also contribute to new migration streams to Europe’s shores through their trade in arms. They are responsible for significant parts of Europe’s arms exports to countries at war, and they provide the arms used by parties in internal armed conflicts, by human rights violators, and by repressive regimes. These are the forces fueling the reasons for which people are forced to flee in the first place.

      Many other military and security companies also earn up to hundreds of millions of euros from large border security and control projects oriented around logistics and transport. Dutch shipbuilder Damen provided not only many southern European countries with border patrol vessels, but also controversially sold those to Libya and Turkey, among others. Its ships have also been used in Frontex operations, in Operation Sophia, and on the Channel between Calais and Dover.

      The Spanish company, European Security Fencing, provided razor wire for the fences around the Spanish enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, in Morocco, as well as the fence at Calais and the fences on the borders of Austria, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Frontex, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), and Greece leased border surveillance drones from Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). These are Israeli military companies that routinely promote their products as ‘combat-proven’ or ‘battlefield tested’ against Palestinians.

      Civipol, a French public-private company owned by the state, and several large arms producers (including Thales, Airbus, and Safran), run a string of EU-/member state-funded border security projects in third party countries. This includes setting up fingerprint databases of the whole populations of Mali and Senegal, which facilitates identification and deportation of their nationals from Europe. These are just a few examples of the companies that benefit from the billions of euros that the EU and its member states spend on a broad range of purchases and projects in their bid to stop migration.

      The numbers of forcibly displaced people in the world grew to a staggering 79.5 million by the end of last year. Instead of helping to eliminate the root causes of migration, EU border and migration policies, as well as its arms exports to the rest of the world, are bound to lead to more refugees in the future. The consequences of these policies have already been devastating. As experts in the field of migration have repeatedly warned, the militarisation of borders primarily pushes migrants to take alternative migration routes that are often more dangerous and involve the risks of relying on criminal smuggling networks. The Mediterranean Sea has become a sad witness of this, turning into a graveyard for a growing percentage of refugees trying to cross it.

      The EU approach to border security doesn’t stand on its own. Many other countries, in particular Western ones and those with authoritarian leaders, follow the same narrative and policies. Governments all over the world, but particularly those in the US, Australia, and Europe, continue to spend billions of euros on border security and control equipment and services. And they plan to increase budgets even more in the coming years. For military and security companies, this is good news; the global border security market is expected to grow by over 7% annually for the next five years to a total of $65 billion in 2025. It looks like they will belong to the very few winners of increasingly restrictive policies targeting vulnerable people on the run.

      https://crisismag.net/2020/06/27/how-the-arms-industry-drives-fortress-europes-expansion
      #industrie_militaire #covid-19 #coronavirus #frontières_extérieures #Operation_Sophia #Eurosur #surveillance #drones #technologie #EUCAP #externalisation #Albanie #budget #Integrated_Border_Management_Fund #menace #lobby_industriel #Instrument_contributing_to_Security_and_Peace #conflits #paix #prévention_de_conflits #Aerospace_and_Defence_Industries_Association_of_Europe (#ASD) #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #hélicoptères #radar #biométrie #identification_digitale #Gemalto #commerce_d'armes #armement #Damen #European_Security_Fencing #barbelé #European_Maritime_Safety_Agency (#EMSA) #Elbit #Israel_Aerospace_Industries (#IAI) #Civipol #Safran #base_de_données

      –—

      Pour @etraces :

      Civipol, a French public-private company owned by the state, and several large arms producers (including Thales, Airbus, and Safran), run a string of EU-/member state-funded border security projects in third party countries. This includes setting up fingerprint databases of the whole populations of Mali and Senegal, which facilitates identification and deportation of their nationals from Europe

    • GUARDING THE FORTRESS. The role of Frontex in the militarisation and securitisation of migration flows in the European Union

      The report focuses on 19 Frontex operations run by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex) to explore how the agency is militarising borders and criminalising migrants, undermining fundamental rights to freedom of movement and the right to asylum.

      This report is set in a wider context in which more than 70.8 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced, according to the 2018 figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (UNHCR, 2019). Some of these have reached the borders of the European Union (EU), seeking protection and asylum, but instead have encountered policy responses that mostly aim to halt and intercept migration flows, against the background of securitisation policies in which the governments of EU Member States see migration as a threat. One of the responses to address migration flows is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex), established in 2004 as the EU body in charge of guarding what many have called ‘Fortress Europe’, and whose practices have helped to consolidate the criminalisation of migrants and the securitisation of their movements.

      The report focuses on analysing the tools deployed by Fortress Europe, in this case through Frontex, to prevent the freedom of movement and the right to asylum, from its creation in 2004 to the present day.

      The sources used to write this report were from the EU and Frontex, based on its budgets and annual reports. The analysis focused on the Frontex regulations, the language used and its meaning, as well as the budgetary trends, identifying the most significant items – namely, the joint operations and migrant-return operations.

      A table was compiled of all the joint operations mentioned in the annual reports since the Agency was established in 2005 up to 2018 (see annexes). The joint operations were found on government websites but were not mentioned in the Frontex annual reports. Of these operations, we analysed those of the longest duration, or that have showed recent signs of becoming long-term operations. The joint operations are analysed in terms of their objectives, area of action, the mandates of the personnel deployed, and their most noteworthy characteristics.

      Basically, the research sought to answer the following questions: What policies are being implemented in border areas and in what context? How does Frontex act in response to migration movements? A second objective was to analyse how Frontex securitises the movement of refugees and other migrants, with the aim of contributing to the analysis of the process of border militarisation and the security policies applied to non-EU migrants by the EU and its Member States.

      https://www.tni.org/en/guarding-the-fortress

      Pour télécharger le rapport_
      https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/informe40_eng_ok.pdf

      #rapport #TNI #Transnational_institute

    • #Frontex aircraft : Below the radar against international law

      For three years, Frontex has been chartering small aircraft for the surveillance of the EU’s external borders. First Italy was thus supported, then Croatia followed. Frontex keeps the planes details secret, and the companies also switch off the transponders for position display during operations.

      The European Commission does not want to make public which private surveillance planes Frontex uses in the Mediterranean. In the non-public answer to a parliamentary question, the EU border agency writes that the information on the aircraft is „commercially confidential“ as it contains „personal data and sensitive operational information“.

      Frontex offers EU member states the option of monitoring their external borders using aircraft. For this „Frontex Aerial Surveillance Service“ (FASS), Frontex charters twin-engined airplanes from European companies. Italy first made use of the service in 2017, followed a year later by Croatia. In 2018, Frontex carried out at least 1,800 flight hours under the FASS, no figures are yet available for 2019.

      Air service to be supplemented with #drones

      The FASS flights are carried out under the umbrella of „Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance“, which includes satellite surveillance as well as drones. Before the end of this year, the border agency plans to station large drones in the Mediterranean for up to four years. The situation pictures of the European Union’s „pre-frontier area“ are fed into the surveillance system EUROSUR, whose headquarter is located at Frontex in Warsaw. The national EUROSUR contact points, for example in Spain, Portugal and Italy, also receive this information.

      In addition to private charter planes, Frontex also uses aircraft and helicopters provided by EU Member States, in the central Mediterranean via the „Themis“ mission. The EU Commission also keeps the call signs of the state aircraft operating there secret. They would be considered „sensitive operational information“ and could not be disclosed to MEPs.

      Previously, the FOIA platform „Frag den Staat“ („Ask the State“) had also tried to find out details about the sea and air capacities of the member states in „Themis“. Frontex refused to provide any information on this matter. „Frag den Staat“ lost a case against Frontex before the European Court of Justice and is now to pay 23,700 Euros to the agency for legal fees.

      Real-time tracking with FlightAware

      The confidentiality of Frontex comes as a surprise, because companies that monitor the Mediterranean for the agency are known through a tender. Frontex has signed framework contracts with the Spanish arms group Indra as well as the charter companies CAE Aviation (Canada), Diamond-Executive Aviation (Great Britain) and EASP Air (Netherlands). Frontex is spending up to 14.5 million euros each on the contracts.

      Finally, online service providers such as FlightAware can also be used to draw conclusions about which private and state airplanes are flying for Frontex in the Mediterranean. For real-time positioning, the providers use data from ADS-B transponders, which all larger aircraft must have installed. A worldwide community of non-commercial trackers receives this geodata and feeds it into the Internet. In this way, for example, Italian journalist Sergio Scandura documents practically all movements of Frontex aerial assets in the central Mediterranean.

      Among the aircraft tracked this way are the twin-engined „DA-42“, „DA-62“ and „Beech 350“ of Diamond-Executive Aviation, which patrol the Mediterranean Sea on behalf of Frontex as „Osprey1“, „Osprey3“ and „Tasty“, in former times also „Osprey2“ and „Eagle1“. They are all operated by Diamond-Executive Aviation and take off and land at airports in Malta and Sicily.

      „Push-backs“ become „pull-backs“

      In accordance with the Geneva Convention on Refugees, the EU Border Agency may not return people to states where they are at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations. Libya is not a safe haven; this assessment has been reiterated on several occasions by the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, among others.

      Because these „push-backs“ are prohibited, Frontex has since 2017 been helping with so-called „pull-backs“ by bringing refugees back to Libya by the Libyan coast guard rather than by EU units. With the „Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance“, Frontex is de facto conducting air reconnaissance for Libya. By November 2019, the EU border agency had notified Libyan authorities about refugee boats on the high seas in at least 42 cases.

      Many international law experts consider this practice illegal. Since Libya would not be able to track down the refugees without the help of Frontex, the agency must take responsibility for the refoulements. The lawyers Omer Shatz and Juan Branco therefore want to sue responsibles of the European Union before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

      Frontex watches refugees drown

      This is probably the reason why Frontex disguises the exact location of its air surveillance. Private maritime rescue organisations have repeatedly pointed out that Frontex aircrafts occasionally switch off their transponders so that they cannot be tracked via ADS-B. In the answer now available, this is confirmed by the EU Commission. According to this, the visibility of the aircraft would disclose „sensitive operational information“ and, in combination with other kinds of information, „undermine“ the operational objectives.

      The German Ministry of the Interior had already made similar comments on the Federal Police’s assets in Frontex missions, according to which „general tracking“ of their routes in real time would „endanger the success of the mission“.

      However, Frontex claims it did not issue instructions to online service providers to block the real-time position display of its planes, as journalist Scandura described. Nonetheless, the existing concealment of the operations only allows the conclusion that Frontex does not want to be controlled when the deployed aircraft watch refugees drown and Italy and Malta, as neighbouring EU member states, do not provide any assistance.

      https://digit.site36.net/2020/06/11/frontex-aircraft-blind-flight-against-international-law
      #avions #Italie #Croatie #confidentialité #transparence #Frontex_Aerial_Surveillance_Service (#FASS) #Multipurpose_Aerial_Surveillance #satellites #Méditerranée #Thermis #information_sensible #Indra #CAE_Aviation #Diamond-Executive_Aviation #EASP_Air #FlightAware #ADS-B #DA-42 #DA-62 #Beech_350 #Osprey1 #Osprey3 #Tasty #Osprey2 #Eagle1 #Malte #Sicile #pull-back #push-back #refoulement #Sergio_Scandura

    • Walls Must Fall: Ending the deadly politics of border militarisation - webinar recording
      This webinar explored the trajectory and globalization of border militarization and anti-migrant racism across the world, the history, ideologies and actors that have shaped it, the pillars and policies that underpin the border industrial complex, the resistance of migrants, refugees and activists, and the shifting dynamics within this pandemic.

      - #Harsha_Walia, author of Undoing Border Imperialism (2013)
      - #Jille_Belisario, Transnational Migrant Platform-Europe (TMP-E)
      - #Todd_Miller, author of Empire of Borders (2020), Storming the Wall (2019) and TNI’s report More than A Wall (2019)
      - #Kavita_Krishnan, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA).
      https://www.tni.org/en/article/walls-must-fall
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8B-cJ2bTi8&feature=emb_logo

      #conférence #webinar

  • Trump Admits His Border Wall is Not Impenetrable after Reports Parts Have Been Sawed Through: ’You Can Cut Through Anything’

    President Donald Trump has admitted his border wall is not as impenetrable as he had initially claimed after reports that some parts had been sawed through.

    The Washington Post reported on Saturday that smuggling gangs have used commercial power tools to cut through the new parts of Trump’s controversial wall along the Mexican border.

    The gangs used a cordless reciprocating saw, which can be purchased at hardware stores starting from as little as $100, to make gaps big enough for people and drugs to pass through, U.S. agents and officials who have knowledge of the situation told the newspaper.

    Once fitted with specialized blades, the saws can cut through the steel-and-concrete bollards of the barrier in minutes, according to the unnamed agents.

    Trump, who spent years insisting his border wall would be impenetrable, conceded that any wall can be cut through but insisted the damage could be “easily fixed.”

    “We have a very powerful wall. But no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything, in all fairness,” Trump told reporters in Washington, D.C. before his departure for New York City on Saturday evening.

    "We have a lot of people watching,’ Trump added, according to Politico. “Cutting is one thing, but it’s easily fixed. One of the reasons we did it the way we did it, it’s very easily fixed. You put the chunk back in.”

    But according to the Post, smugglers have learned how to cut the bollards and then return them to their positions so that the damage goes unnoticed, allowing the passage to be used multiple times.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents reportedly drive along the barrier and kick the bollards with their boots to check for any defects in the metal. If any are found, welding crews are sent in to fix the damage.

    But smugglers have also returned to the same bollards once they have been fixed and cut through the welds as the metal on those bollards is softer, the Post reported. They have also tried to trick agents by using a putty that looks like welding to make a bollard that has been cut look as if it is still intact.

    And cutting isn’t the only technique used by the smugglers to circumvent the barrier. They have also been building makeshift ladders to scale the wall, especially in the San Diego area, the Post reported.

    In a statement to Newsweek, a CBP spokesperson insisted that “the wall is working.”

    The spokesperson said: "Any characterization that the wall isn’t working is simply false. The wall is working and is providing additional capability that Border Patrol agents have asked for.

    “What we’re building is a wall system, which includes cameras, sensors, infrastructure and border patrol agents to ensure we ultimately apprehend the criminals trying to defeat it. When someone cuts through the wall and a border patrol agent is standing there to arrest them because of the technology that gave them a heads up, that’s a win.”

    The spokesperson didn’t elaborate on how many breaches there have been.

    But a senior administration official, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, said there had been “a few instances” but added that the new fencing had “significantly increased security and deterrence.”

    Trump has made building the wall along the border to stop migrants coming into the U.S. from Mexico a major feature of his presidency, repeatedly boasting about its construction at rallies, in ads and on Twitter.

    He recently touted the taxpayer-funded barrier as a “world-class security system” that is “virtually impenetrable.”

    “When the wall is built, it will be virtually impossible to come over illegally, and then we’re able to take border control and put them at points of entry,” Trump said during a visit to a construction site in San Diego’s Otay Mesa area in September, according to the Associated Press.

    https://www.newsweek.com/trump-admits-border-wall-not-impenetrable-saw-cut-through-1469428

    Si même #Trump le dit.................

    #walls_don't_work #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis

  • The Trump administration is sucking up tens of millions of gallons of precious desert groundwater to build the #BorderWall.

    Even after our children tear down this absurd barrier, it could take the ancient aquifers at #Organ_Pipe generations to recover.

    https://twitter.com/LaikenJordahl/status/1182038921145831424
    #eau #murs #barrières_frontalières #USA #Etats-Unis #nappe_phréatique #désert #frontières

    ping @mobileborders

  • The Wall. Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

    “I was born at the beginning of it all, on the Red side—the Communist side—of the Iron Curtain.” Through annotated illustrations, journals, maps, and dreamscapes, Peter Sís shows what life was like for a child who loved to draw, proudly wore the red scarf of a Young Pioneer, stood guard at the giant statue of Stalin, and believed whatever he was told to believe. But adolescence brought questions. Cracks began to appear in the Iron Curtain, and news from the West slowly filtered into the country. Sís learned about beat poetry, rock ’n’ roll, blue jeans, and Coca-Cola. He let his hair grow long, secretly read banned books, and joined a rock band. Then came the Prague Spring of 1968, and for a teenager who wanted to see the world and meet the Beatles, this was a magical time. It was short-lived, however, brought to a sudden and brutal end by the Soviet-led invasion. But this brief flowering had provided a glimpse of new possibilities—creativity could be discouraged but not easily killed.

    By joining memory and history, Sís takes us on his extraordinary journey: from infant with paintbrush in hand to young man borne aloft by the wings of his art. This title has Common Core connections.


    https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374347017
    #livre #mur #guerre_froide #murs #barrières_frontalières #Tchécoslovaquie #dessin #BD #communisme #histoire #totalitarisme

  • Balkan Region - Report July 2019

    The Border Violence Monitoring Network has just published it’s August report summarizing the current situation regarding pushbacks and police violence in the Western Balkans, primarily in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Se​rbian borders with Croatia and Hungary, but also including Italy, Slovenia, North Macedonia and Greece.

    This report analyzes, among other things:

    – Torture: Recurrence of extreme violence and abuse
    – Pushback from Italy
    – Beyond police: Actors within the pushback framework
    – Further dispersion of pushback sites in NW Bosnia
    – Trends in pushback sites to and from Greece

    More broadly, monitoring work continues to note the trans-national and bilateral cooperation between EU member states in the north of the Balkan route. Instances of chain pushbacks from Italy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, though relatively rare, offer insight into the web of actors engaged in the refoulement of groups across multiple borders, and liminality of due process in these cases. The intersection of unlawful acts also raises key concerns about aiding and abetting of pushbacks by Brussels. Specifically, analysis from this month elaborates on the involvement of Frontex in facilitating pushbacks.

    https://www.borderviolence.eu/wp-content/uploads/August-Report.pdf
    #rapport #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #asile #frontières #violence #push-back #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements

    –------

    v. aussi la liste des push-back avec armes à feu (août 2017-octobre 2019) :
    Push-back reports from Croatia with gun violence
    https://seenthis.net/messages/814569

    • Je mets ici les passages qui m’intéressent particulièrement... et notamment sur la #frontière_sud-alpine

      Push-back from Italy

      Chain push-backs from Italy are comparatively rare. Yet notably one report (see 1.1: https://www.borderviolence.eu/violence-reports/august-5-2019-0700-fernetti-italy conducted last month provided evidence of this sequential phenomena of expulsion from Italy back to BiH, via Slovenia and Croatia; drawing into question why such uncommon and illegal procedure was conducted by Italian police officers. The transit group was initially apprehended by Italian police officers in a small village on theoutskirts of Trieste from where they described being brought to a government building. Both in Italy and later in Slovenia, the transit group in question was detained, made to give their fingerprints, had their pictures taken and were asked to sign paperswritten in languages that they did not understand.

      “We asked the woman, what was on the paper because it was in Italian. She didn’t translate and we didn’t understand what we signed.” “I told the translator that they have to find a solution. They can’t just bring us back to Slovenia, knowing that we were in Italy. And they said, we are just migrants, we are not tourists.”Once they arrived in Croatia, the transit group was detained in a police station and interviewed one at a time before being brought to the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina where the group had their phones individually broken with a hammer by a Croatian police officer. They were then told to walk through a forest into Bosnia-Herzegovina. The chronology of events above alludes also to the complicit nature of preliminary actors within the wider pushbacks. Arguably initiators such as Slovenia and Italy -who often afford groups with translators and legal documents -have an intimate relationship to the violence and terror that accompanies subsequent push-backs from Croatia to BiH. The feigning of due process by these countries, despite prior knowledge of violent chain refoulement, forms a central part of their conceit. Italy and Slovenia mask their actions in a malaise of procedures (regularly untranslated or explained), in order to hide the institutionalisation of illegal chain pushbacks. The nature of chain pushbacks are defined by these bit-part processes, which simultaneously imitate regular procedures, while providing ample space for state authorities to deviate from legal obligations.

      (pp.6-7)
      #Italie #push-back #Slovénie #refoulement

    • And on the

      Construction of further fencing along Slovenian-Croatian border

      This August the Slovenian government authorized the construction (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-slovenia/slovenia-erects-more-border-fence-to-curb-migrant-inflow-idUSKCN1VC19Q) of a fence 40 kms long on the banks of the river Kolpa, on the border with Croatia. The security device, installed by Serbian firm LEGI SGS, will add up to an already existing fence, making the barrier a total of 219km long. The exact location of the construction was not made public, and a spokeswoman for the interior ministry said itwill be a temporary measure to prevent people crossing the border. She did however directly cite migration as a threat to the security of citizens’ in her statement, arguably reinforcing the ideological bordering that accompanies this further fencing. Theconstruction is part of an escalating approach to border security which includes the deployment of military (https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2019/07/slovenia-deploy-soldiers-boost-border-patrols-migrants-190721191235190.ht), stationed on the border since 2016, and bolstered this year alongside regular police forces.

      The opposition party NSi demanded tighter control (https://balkaninsight.com/2019/07/05/slovenia-opposition-demands-tighter-border-controls-with-croatia) sat the border with Croatia in July, and there seems little, or no will to challenge the mainstream rhetoric on migration. These demands, as BVMN reported last month (http://www.nonamekitchen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Final-Report-July-2019.pdf), coincided with concerns of Italy building a wall on the border with Slovenia, were the ongoing joint border not to stem movement from Slovenia into Italy. Thus it seems somewhat ironic to observe the construction of a barrier on Slovenia’s Southern border, preempting the machinations of Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

      Unfortunately, the domino effect being played out between these states only feeds into Croatia’s intensifying security measures. While interior minister David Bozinovic was plethoric, stating that “what Slovenians are doing, is their own decision” (https://www.total-croatia-news.com/politics/38042-migrants), his assertion that a joint European solution would be more welcome rings fairly hollow when viewed in tandem with the heightened repression around pushbacks this month and the already complicit role of Frontex. To this end, there seems to be no escape from the vicious circle of reborderization and loss of human rights in Europe, shown most recentlyby Slovenia’s harder borders.

      Allegations of smuggling made against asylum centerstaff in Ljubljana

      A statement (https://push-forward.org/novica/izjava-iniciative-prosilcev-za-azil-la-lutte-de-la-liberte-6-8-2019-az) by the asylum seekers initiative La lutte de la Liberté, and released at the beginning of August highlights what may be a serious case of abuse by security personnel in the asylum seekers camp Vič, Slovenia. According to the group, a resident in the camp called Ibrahim witnessed a number of security guards smuggling migrants out of the camp with cars in exchange for money. After the incident, which took place at the beginning of July, Ibrahim told the director of the camp who flatly denied the allegations, yet simultaneously removed two guards from their posts, causing great suspicion. In retaliation, other guards started to mob Ibrahim resulting in a series of episodes of violence culminating in a fight, for which Ibrahim was taken to a detention centre in #Postojna.

      Ibrahim has now been released and three security guards in the camp are under investigation, a source from InfoKolpa shared. Even though the actual occurrence of smuggling remains a supposition, the event highlights an important grey zone in which camp staff are operating, and the potential for systemic abuse of the asylum system. It can be argued that such cases can only emerge in the void left by inaccessible procedures and it is well known that extremely long waiting times are built into the asylum system in Slovenia. The behaviorof the security guards, in a position of absolute power over the migrants, can be explained by the fact that they are virtually invisible to the outside world, unless the migrants can organizethemselves as in this case. There has already been proof of violent behaviorby the guards in Vic, as shown in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4GP0qLTsg0

      ) taken some six months ago.

      People on the move, for their part, are in a position of structural and individual disadvantage, susceptible to many types of violence. As the statement correctly underlines, regardless of some staff being amenable, one person abusing a position of power is enough to ruin the life of someone held captive in a protracted asylum system. Infact, evidence would go further to suggest that in this case it seems like the guards were more of an organizedmob, rather than rogue individuals.

      The waiting period for asylum which reaches nine months maximum in theory (with only 18 euros a month granted to applicants by the state), makes the tenure of asylum seekers even more precarious, adding to the poor or nonexistent measures taken to integrate them into society: asylum seekers have no access to welfare, assistance in access to work or social housing and their placement in the detention center in Postojna is decided arbitrarily bythe police. The entire Slovenian asylum system goes thus into inquiry, if viewed through thelensof this case, which both expounds its flaws and the potential corruption within.

      (pp.18-20)

      #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières

  • Le #Pentagone débloque 3,6 milliards de dollars pour le mur de Trump

    Le Pentagone a annoncé mardi avoir débloqué 3,6 milliards de dollars pour financer la construction de 280 km de mur à la frontière mexicaine, à la demande du président Donald Trump.

    Pour débloquer ces fonds, le ministère américain de la #Défense a décidé de « reporter » 127 projets de construction et de modernisation des locaux militaires aux Etats-Unis et à l’étranger prévus dans son budget 2019, a indiqué à la presse un porte-parole du ministère, Jonathan Hoffman.

    Le ministre de la Défense #Mark_Esper « a décidé que ces projets de construction sont nécessaires pour soutenir l’usage des forces armées et le ministère de la Défense va donc mener 11 projets de construction militaire de barrière frontalière », a précisé M. Hoffman au cours d’un point de presse.

    « La longueur totale (...) est de 175 miles », a précisé le responsable des affaires de sécurité intérieure au Pentagone, Kenneth Rapuano. Il a précisé qu’il s’agit de renforcer des segments de barrière frontalière déjà existant mais considérés comme insuffisants, ainsi que de construire de nouveaux segments.

    Les zones considérées sont notamment situées près de #Yuma (Arizona), #El_Centro et #San_Diego (Californie), #Laredo et #El_Paso (Texas).

    Le général Andrew Poppas, directeur des opérations à l’état-major américain, a assuré que la construction de ces pans de mur frontalier permettrait de réduire le nombre des 5.000 militaires américains déployés à la frontière mexicaines à la demande de Donald Trump, qui souhaite endiguer une vague d’immigration en provenance d’Amérique latine.

    Les projets de construction militaire reportés n’ont pas été décrits à la presse, le Pentagone souhaitant informer d’abord les élus des Etats concernés par les 127 projets, mais les élus du Congrès ont très rapidement réagi à cette annonce.

    Parmi les projets affectés figure notamment un bâtiment de la prestigieuse académie militaire de West Point, a indiqué le leader des démocrates au Sénat, Chuck Schumer.

    « C’est une gifle pour les forces armées qui servent notre pays », a-t-il tweeté. Le président Donald Trump est « prêt à cannibaliser des fonds militaires déjà alloués pour satisfaire son ego et pour un mur qu’il a promis que le Mexique paierait », a-t-il ajouté.

    https://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/le-pentagone-debloque-36-milliards-de-dollars-pour-le-mur-de-
    #murs #financement #barrières_frontalières #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis #armée

    ping @mobileborders

    • Trump administration raids military construction projects for border wall

      The move is likely to further inflame Democrats who have accused the administration of illegally overriding Congress’ spending decisions.

      The Trump administration is carrying out plans to raid $3.6 billion in military construction projects to build the border wall, further inflaming lawmakers who have accused President Donald Trump of illegally overriding Congress’ spending decisions.

      Defense Secretary Mark Esper informed congressional leaders on Tuesday of the cash grab from a total of 127 military projects. Roughly half the money will come from funds previously dedicated to upgrading military bases abroad and the other half in the United States.

      Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Esper told him some of the money will come from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in his home state of New York.

      “It is a slap in the face to the members of the Armed Forces who serve our country that President Trump is willing to cannibalize already allocated military funding to boost his own ego and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build,” Schumer said in a statement.

      Trump declared a national emergency in February in order to divert $8 billion from various federal accounts to build a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, including a Treasury Department fund and Defense Department efforts to interdict illegal drugs.

      Tuesday’s announcement comes on top of $2.5 billion the Pentagon already diverted from its budget toward the border barrier this spring over objections from leaders on the House and Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committees.

      In a letter to Senate Armed Services Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Tuesday, Esper detailed 11 border projects on the U.S.-Mexico border that the diverted funds will now finance.

      The barriers, Esper contended, will allow military personnel that have been deployed to the border to beef up security to focus on areas that don’t have physical barriers.

      “In short, these barriers will allow DoD to provide support to DHS more efficiently and effectively,” Esper wrote. “In this respect, the contemplated construction projects are force multipliers.”

      In total, the military construction budget will fund 175 miles of border wall — a combination of new barricades and improvements to existing structures. The earliest construction could begin in about 100 days, Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon’s acting comptroller, told reporters.

      She added that the first projects are likely to begin on land owned by the military, including the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range along the border in Arizona.

      The roster of 127 projects the Pentagon is targeting to pay for the border wall has been winnowed down from a much longer list of $12.9 billion worth of projects in dozens of states, as well as several locations overseas.

      The Pentagon is expected to release a list of all impacted projects on Wednesday, after it notifies lawmakers whose districts will be affected, as well as officials in foreign countries where projects are being deferred, according to Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson.

      However, the military construction projects being raided do not include family housing, military barracks and projects that have already been awarded or are expected to be awarded in fiscal 2019, Hoffman said. He also added that the $1.8 billion from domestic projects will become available only when the $1.8 billion from international projects has been used up.

      Defense officials said they also hope Congress will appropriate more money to backfill the military construction projects that get cut. “The way we’re describing it is deferred. They’re definitely not canceled," McCusker said of the military construction projects being raided.

      Nevertheless, other Democrats in Congress also swiftly rebuked the decision. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who oversees military construction funding in the House, warned that the Trump administration “is about to weaken our national security by stealing billions from our military," including training for soldiers and schools for military families.

      “I reminded his Admin today that I will not support this theft from our military," Wasserman Schultz wrote on Twitter. “Trump can pander to his nativist base, but the House will fight his every attempt to make our military families or national security suffer as a result.”

      A group of Democratic senators sent a letter to Esper on Tuesday demanding more details. “We are opposed to this decision and the damage it will cause to our military and the relationship between Congress and the Department of Defense,” the senators wrote. “We also expect a full justification of how the decision to cancel was made for each project selected and why a border wall is more important to our national security and the well-being of our service members and their families than these projects.”

      In response to the news, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) also taunted Trump in a tweet, writing eight times that “Trump promised Mexico would pay” for his campaign pledge to build a border wall.

      The move is also expected to draw ire of Republicans — at least privately. Lawmakers in both parties have consistently warned the Pentagon against raiding the defense budget for a border wall — a move they fear will hurt military readiness.

      The Trump administration previously angered congressional Democrats by deploying thousands of troops to help secure the southern border.

      It’s possible some of those troops on the border could return home once the wall is erected, Army Lt. Gen. Andrew Poppas, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters. Having more effective barricades could reduce the need for military personnel to patrol those portions of the border, Hoffman added.

      But Congress isn’t the only interested party expected to put up a fight over Trump’s latest move.

      The American Civil Liberties Union said after the announcement that it plans to file a motion to block the transfer of the money. The ACLU is representing the Sierra Club and border advocates in a related federal lawsuit in California.

      “The fact that the government sat on these so-called ‘emergency funds’ for seven months further confirms that this is nothing but an unlawful power grab. We’ll be back in court very soon to block Trump’s latest effort to raid military funds for his xenophobic wall," Dror Ladin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement.

      https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/03/trump-administration-prepares-to-raid-military-projects-for-border-wall-14

    • Trump moving forward to divert $3.6B from military projects for border wall

      The Trump administration is moving forward with its plan to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects, notifying congressional leaders and lawmakers whose states will be impacted by the shuffle.

      Defense Secretary Mark Esper called congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), on Tuesday to detail the decision to reprogram the money away from military construction projects and to the border.

      Schumer, who has projects in his home state that will be impacted, panned the decision as a “slap in the face” to members of the military.


      “The president is trying to usurp Congress’s exclusive power of the purse and loot vital funds from our military. Robbing the Defense Department of much-needed funds is an affront to our service members and Congress will strongly oppose any funds for new wall construction,” he added.

      Pelosi told House Democrats on a caucuswide conference call on Tuesday that Esper also informed her of the move earlier in the day, according to a call participant.

      “Canceling military construction projects at home and abroad will undermine our national security and the quality of life and morale of our troops, making America less secure,” Pelosi said later in a public statement.

      “The House will continue to fight this unacceptable and deeply dangerous decision in the Courts, in the Congress and in the court of public opinion, and honor our oath to protect the Constitution,” she added.

      Pentagon officials on Tuesday also confirmed that Esper approved $3.6 billion in Defense Department dollars to build 175 miles of wall on the U.S.- Mexico border, with Congress being briefed on the construction projects that will be affected by the order.

      The notification to congressional leadership comes following Trump’s declaration of a national emergency earlier this year to access more money for the border wall after Congress passed a funding bill that included only $1.35 billion for the border.

      Republicans bristled over Trump’s decision to declare the national emergency to get wall funding, but Congress was unable to override Trump’s veto of a resolution to nix the declaration. Democrats have pledged to force another vote this fall.

      As part of the declaration, Trump announced that he would reshuffle $3.6 billion from military construction projects. Republicans are promising to “back fill” the money in the upcoming government funding bills, though that requires cooperation from Democrats.

      In the meantime, roughly 127 military construction projects are being put on hold, half of which are overseas and half of which are planned U.S. projects, according to the Pentagon.

      Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker, who also spoke to reporters, said construction is expected to begin in about 135 days.

      Officials also said that the additional miles of wall to be built are expected to diminish the number of U.S. troops deployed to the border but could not give an estimate as to how many.

      Democrats immediately balked at the Pentagon’s decision to formally move forward with the reprogramming.

      Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, knocked the administration on Tuesday, saying there was “no credible reason” for diverting the funding.

      “There should be broad, bipartisan opposition to misusing defense dollars in this manner in both Congress and the courts," he added.

      “The President is robbing the men and women of our armed services of funds meant for critical construction projects that are necessary to serve our troops, support our allies, deter our adversaries, and care for our military families — all to build a wall that will do nothing to solve the humanitarian crisis at our Southwest border or protect the American people,” Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said in a joint statement.

      Leahy is the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, while Durbin is the top Democrat on the Defense subcommittee and Schatz is the top Democrat on the military construction subcommittee.

      Schatz added in a subsequent tweet that “every service member, family member, and veteran should look at the list of projects he is de-funding and know that Trump thinks a wall is more important.”

      Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee sent Esper a letter on Tuesday requesting more information on the impacted projects, including how they were selected.

      “We ... expect a full justification of how the decision to cancel was made for each project selected and why a border wall is more important to our national security and the wellbeing of our service members and their families than these projects,” 10 Democrats on the panel wrote in their letter.

      https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/459800-trump-plans-to-divert-money-from-military-projects-this-week-for-bor

    • Pentagon diverts $3.6bn in funds for southern border wall

      US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper has granted $3.6bn (£3bn) in Pentagon funding to be redirected to help build a US-Mexico border wall.

      The money will fund 175 miles (280km) of construction and will force 127 military projects to be put on hold, he told lawmakers in a letter on Tuesday.

      Building a border wall was a major campaign pledge of President Trump but it has faced significant opposition.

      Tough action on immigration also forms a central part of his re-election bid.

      Mr Esper’s letter did not use the term “wall” but the border barriers described are likely to be cited by Mr Trump as evidence of progress as he gears up for the vote in 2020.

      Last July, the Supreme Court handed Mr Trump a victory in a related case, saying that the national emergency he issued in February allowed him the power to use $2.5bn in defence funds for wall construction while the matter proceeds in courts.

      In a letter sent to several congressional committees, the Department of Defense identified the 127 military construction projects worldwide that stand to lose funding on behalf of the border wall.

      Democrats argue that by diverting funds to the wall, the Trump administration is attempting to circumvent Congress’ role in making budgets for government agencies.

      Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it showed Mr Trump “is willing to cannibalise already allocated military funding to boost his own ego and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build”.

      The American Civil Liberties Union promised to seek a court order to block “the president’s abuse of emergency powers to secure funds for a wall Congress denied”.

      Donald Trump promised to use military construction money to fund his long-promised Mexican border wall. Now that order is being recorded on paper and put into action.

      That may cause some political difficulties for the president, but it’s clear he believes the potential damage from not following through on his 2016 border-wall campaign pledge - even if the funds are coming from US taxpayers, not Mexico - is greater than the risk of disgruntled constituents and interested parties.

      It wasn’t too long ago that border walling was a non-controversial proposition, tucked into larger spending legislation. That was before Donald Trump made it the most visible embodiment of his immigration policies, however.

      Mr Trump has already tweeted aerial video of new border wall construction (technically, just replacement barriers). His goal is to have even more footage to point to - and, perhaps, stand smiling alongside - as his 2020 presidential re-election campaign picks up steam.
      What is being defunded?

      In a letter released on Wednesday evening, first reported by The Daily Beast, Mr Esper identifies 127 projects that stand to lose funding at the expense of the border wall.

      This list includes projects across 23 US states, three US territories and 20 countries. More than $1bn in mainland projects - with a wide array of purposes -will likely be shelved, including $40m to update hazardous waste storage in Virginia and $95m for an engineering centre in New York.

      Nearly $700m will be diverted from projects in US territories Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Of these Puerto Rico will be hit hardest: the island stands to lose $400m worth of planned projects.

      Approximately $770m will be taken from projects across Europe, directed at helping allied countries deter a possible attack from Russia.

      Nine projects overall affect the renovation and replacement of schools for children on US military bases across the world.

      According to the Pentagon, the affected projects have not been cancelled outright but have been “deferred”.

      For the projects to be resumed, however, Congress must agree to do so in its annual defence policy bill. If Congress fails to do so, they will be stuck in legislative limbo and effectively defunded.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49574441

  • USA : Dublin façon frontière Mexique/USA

    Faute d’accord avec le #Guatemala (pour l’instant bloqué du fait du recours déposé par plusieurs membres de l’opposition devant la Cour constitutionnelle) et le #Mexique les désignant comme des « #pays_sûr », les USA ont adopté une nouvelle réglementation en matière d’#asile ( « #Interim_Final_Rule » - #IFR), spécifiquement pour la #frontière avec le Mexique, qui n’est pas sans faire penser au règlement de Dublin : les personnes qui n’auront pas sollicité l’asile dans un des pays traversés en cours de route avant d’arriver aux USA verront leur demande rejetée.
    Cette règle entre en vigueur aujourd’hui et permet donc le #refoulement de toute personne « who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border, but who did not apply for protection from persecution or torture where it was available in at least one third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which he or she transited en route to the United States. »
    Lien vers le règlement : https://www.dhs.gov/news/2019/07/15/dhs-and-doj-issue-third-country-asylum-rule
    Plusieurs associations dont ACLU (association US) vont déposer un recours visant à le faire invalider.
    Les USA recueillent et échangent déjà des données avec les pays d’Amérique centrale et latine qu’ils utilisent pour débouter les demandeurs d’asile, par exemple avec le Salvador : https://psmag.com/social-justice/homeland-security-uses-foreign-databases-to-monitor-gang-activity

    Reçu via email le 16.07.2019 de @pascaline

    #USA #Etats-Unis #Dublin #Dublin_façon_USA #loi #Dublin_aux_USA #législation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #El_Salvador

    • Trump Administration Implementing ’3rd Country’ Rule On Migrants Seeking Asylum

      The Trump administration is moving forward with a tough new asylum rule in its campaign to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the U.S. must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border.

      The restriction will likely face court challenges, opening a new front in the battle over U.S. immigration policies.

      The interim final rule will take effect immediately after it is published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, according to the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

      The new policy applies specifically to the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that “an alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in a third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which the alien transited en route to the United States is ineligible for asylum.”

      “Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ’pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States,” Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan said in a statement about the new rule.

      The American Civil Liberties Union said it planned to file a lawsuit to try to stop the rule from taking effect.

      “This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement.

      Gelernt accused the Trump administration of “trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger.”

      The strict policy shift would likely bring new pressures and official burdens on Mexico and Guatemala, countries through which migrants and refugees often pass on their way to the U.S.

      On Sunday, Guatemala’s government pulled out of a meeting between President Jimmy Morales and Trump that had been scheduled for Monday, citing ongoing legal questions over whether the country could be deemed a “safe third country” for migrants who want to reach the U.S.

      Hours after the U.S. announced the rule on Monday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said it was a unilateral move that will not affect Mexican citizens.

      “Mexico does not agree with measures that limit asylum and refugee status for those who fear for their lives or safety, and who fear persecution in their country of origin,” Ebrard said.

      Ebrard said Mexico will maintain its current policies, reiterating the country’s “respect for the human rights of all people, as well as for its international commitments in matters of asylum and political refuge.”

      According to a DHS news release, the U.S. rule would set “a new bar to eligibility” for anyone seeking asylum. It also allows exceptions in three limited cases:

      “1) an alien who demonstrates that he or she applied for protection from persecution or torture in at least one of the countries through which the alien transited en route to the United States, and the alien received a final judgment denying the alien protection in such country;

      ”(2) an alien who demonstrates that he or she satisfies the definition of ’victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons’ provided in 8 C.F.R. § 214.11; or,

      “(3) an alien who has transited en route to the United States through only a country or countries that were not parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol, or the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”

      The DHS release describes asylum as “a discretionary benefit offered by the United States Government to those fleeing persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

      The departments of Justice and Homeland Security are publishing the 58-page asylum rule as the Trump administration faces criticism over conditions at migrant detention centers at the southern border, as well as its “remain in Mexico” policy that requires asylum-seekers who are waiting for a U.S. court date to do so in Mexico rather than in the U.S.

      In a statement about the new rule, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said that current U.S. asylum rules have been abused, and that the large number of people trying to enter the country has put a strain on the system.

      Barr said the number of cases referred to the Department of Justice for proceedings before an immigration judge “has risen exponentially, more than tripling between 2013 and 2018.” The attorney general added, “Only a small minority of these individuals, however, are ultimately granted asylum.”

      https://www.npr.org/2019/07/15/741769333/u-s-sets-new-asylum-rule-telling-potential-refugees-to-apply-elsewhere

    • Le journal The New Yorker : Trump est prêt à signer un accord majeur pour envoyer à l’avenir les demandeurs d’asile au Guatemala

      L’article fait état d’un projet de #plate-forme_externalisée pour examiner les demandes de personnes appréhendées aux frontières US, qui rappelle à la fois une proposition britannique (jamais concrétisée) de 2003 de créer des processing centers extra-européens et la #Pacific_solution australienne, qui consiste à déporter les demandeurs d’asile « illégaux » de toute nationalité dans des pays voisins. Et l’article évoque la « plus grande et la plus troublante des questions : comment le Guatemala pourrait-il faire face à un afflux si énorme de demandeurs ? » Peut-être en demandant conseil aux autorités libyennes et à leurs amis européens ?

      –-> Message reçu d’Alain Morice via la mailling-list Migreurop.

      Trump Is Poised to Sign a Radical Agreement to Send Future Asylum Seekers to Guatemala

      Early next week, according to a D.H.S. official, the Trump Administration is expected to announce a major immigration deal, known as a safe-third-country agreement, with Guatemala. For weeks, there have been reports that negotiations were under way between the two countries, but, until now, none of the details were official. According to a draft of the agreement obtained by The New Yorker, asylum seekers from any country who either show up at U.S. ports of entry or are apprehended while crossing between ports of entry could be sent to seek asylum in Guatemala instead. During the past year, tens of thousands of migrants, the vast majority of them from Central America, have arrived at the U.S. border seeking asylum each month. By law, the U.S. must give them a chance to bring their claims before authorities, even though there’s currently a backlog in the immigration courts of roughly a million cases. The Trump Administration has tried a number of measures to prevent asylum seekers from entering the country—from “metering” at ports of entry to forcing people to wait in Mexico—but, in every case, international obligations held that the U.S. would eventually have to hear their asylum claims. Under this new arrangement, most of these migrants will no longer have a chance to make an asylum claim in the U.S. at all. “We’re talking about something much bigger than what the term ‘safe third country’ implies,” someone with knowledge of the deal told me. “We’re talking about a kind of transfer agreement where the U.S. can send any asylum seekers, not just Central Americans, to Guatemala.”

      From the start of the Trump Presidency, Administration officials have been fixated on a safe-third-country policy with Mexico—a similar accord already exists with Canada—since it would allow the U.S. government to shift the burden of handling asylum claims farther south. The principle was that migrants wouldn’t have to apply for asylum in the U.S. because they could do so elsewhere along the way. But immigrants-rights advocates and policy experts pointed out that Mexico’s legal system could not credibly take on that responsibility. “If you’re going to pursue a safe-third-country agreement, you have to be able to say ‘safe’ with a straight face,” Doris Meissner, a former commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, told me. Until very recently, the prospect of such an agreement—not just with Mexico but with any other country in Central America—seemed far-fetched. Yet last month, under the threat of steep tariffs on Mexican goods, Trump strong-armed the Mexican government into considering it. Even so, according to a former Mexican official, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador is stalling. “They are trying to fight this,” the former official said. What’s so striking about the agreement with Guatemala, however, is that it goes even further than the terms the U.S. sought in its dealings with Mexico. “This is a whole new level,” the person with knowledge of the agreement told me. “In my read, it looks like even those who have never set foot in Guatemala can potentially be sent there.”

      At this point, there are still more questions than answers about what the agreement with Guatemala will mean in practice. A lot will still have to happen before it goes into force, and the terms aren’t final. The draft of the agreement doesn’t provide much clarity on how it will be implemented—another person with knowledge of the agreement said, “This reads like it was drafted by someone’s intern”—but it does offer an exemption for Guatemalan migrants, which might be why the government of Jimmy Morales, a U.S. ally, seems willing to sign on. Guatemala is currently in the midst of Presidential elections; next month, the country will hold a runoff between two candidates, and the current front-runner has been opposed to this type of deal. The Morales government, however, still has six months left in office. A U.N.-backed anti-corruption body called the CICIG, which for years was funded by the U.S. and admired throughout the region, is being dismantled by Morales, whose own family has fallen under investigation for graft and financial improprieties. Signing an immigration deal “would get the Guatemalan government in the U.S.’s good graces,” Stephen McFarland, a former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala, told me. “The question is, what would they intend to use that status for?” Earlier this week, after Morales announced that he would be meeting with Trump in Washington on Monday, three former foreign ministers of Guatemala petitioned the country’s Constitutional Court to block him from signing the agreement. Doing so, they said, “would allow the current president of the republic to leave the future of our country mortgaged, without any responsibility.”

      The biggest, and most unsettling, question raised by the agreement is how Guatemala could possibly cope with such enormous demands. More people are leaving Guatemala now than any other country in the northern triangle of Central America. Rampant poverty, entrenched political corruption, urban crime, and the effects of climate change have made large swaths of the country virtually uninhabitable. “This is already a country in which the political and economic system can’t provide jobs for all its people,” McFarland said. “There are all these people, their own citizens, that the government and the political and economic system are not taking care of. To get thousands of citizens from other countries to come in there, and to take care of them for an indefinite period of time, would be very difficult.” Although the U.S. would provide additional aid to help the Guatemalan government address the influx of asylum seekers, it isn’t clear whether the country has the administrative capacity to take on the job. According to the person familiar with the safe-third-country agreement, “U.N.H.C.R. [the U.N.’s refugee agency] has not been involved” in the current negotiations. And, for Central Americans transferred to Guatemala under the terms of the deal, there’s an added security risk: many of the gangs Salvadorans and Hondurans are fleeing also operate in Guatemala.

      In recent months, the squalid conditions at borderland detention centers have provoked a broad political outcry in the U.S. At the same time, a worsening asylum crisis has been playing out south of the U.S. border, beyond the immediate notice of concerned Americans. There, the Trump Administration is quietly delivering on its promise to redraw American asylum practice. Since January, under a policy called the Migration Protection Protocols (M.P.P.), the U.S. government has sent more than fifteen thousand asylum seekers to Mexico, where they now must wait indefinitely as their cases inch through the backlogged American immigration courts. Cities in northern Mexico, such as Tijuana and Juarez, are filling up with desperate migrants who are exposed to violent crime, extortion, and kidnappings, all of which are on the rise.This week, as part of the M.P.P., the U.S. began sending migrants to Tamaulipas, one of Mexico’s most violent states and a stronghold for drug cartels that, for years, have brutalized migrants for money and for sport.

      Safe-third-country agreements are notoriously difficult to enforce. The logistics are complex, and the outcomes tend not to change the harried calculations of asylum seekers as they flee their homes. These agreements, according to a recent study by the Migration Policy Institute, are “unlikely to hold the key to solving the crisis unfolding at the U.S. southern border.” The Trump Administration has already cut aid to Central America, and the U.S. asylum system remains in dire need of improvement. But there’s also little question that the agreement with Guatemala will reduce the number of people who reach, and remain in, the U.S. If the President has made the asylum crisis worse, he’ll also be able to say he’s improving it—just as he can claim credit for the decline in the number of apprehensions at the U.S. border last month. That was the result of increased enforcement efforts by the Mexican government acting under U.S. pressure.

      There’s also no reason to expect that the Trump Administration will abandon its efforts to force the Mexicans into a safe-third-country agreement as well. “The Mexican government thought that the possibility of a safe-third-country agreement with Guatemala had fallen apart because of the elections there,” the former Mexican official told me. “The recent news caught top Mexican officials by surprise.” In the next month, the two countries will continue immigration talks, and, again, Mexico will face mounting pressure to accede to American demands. “The U.S. has used the agreement with Guatemala to convince the Mexicans to sign their own safe-third-country agreement,” the former official said. “Its argument is that the number of migrants Mexico will receive will be lower now.”

      https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trump-poised-to-sign-a-radical-agreement-to-send-future-asylum-seekers-to
      #externalisation

    • After Tariff Threat, Trump Says Guatemala Has Agreed to New Asylum Rules

      President Trump on Friday again sought to block migrants from Central America from seeking asylum, announcing an agreement with Guatemala to require people who travel through that country to seek refuge from persecution there instead of in the United States.

      American officials said the deal could go into effect within weeks, though critics vowed to challenge it in court, saying that Guatemala is itself one of the most dangerous countries in the world — hardly a refuge for those fleeing gangs and government violence.

      Mr. Trump had been pushing for a way to slow the flow of migrants streaming across the Mexican border and into the United States in recent months. This week, the president had threatened to impose tariffs on Guatemala, to tax money that Guatemalan migrants in the United States send back to family members, or to ban all travel from the country if the agreement were not signed.

      Joined in the Oval Office on Friday by Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart of Guatemala, Mr. Trump said the agreement would end what he has described as a crisis at the border, which has been overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of families fleeing violence and persecution in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
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      “These are bad people,” Mr. Trump told reporters after a previously unannounced signing ceremony. He said the agreement would “end widespread abuse of the system and the crippling crisis on our border.”

      Officials did not release the English text of the agreement or provide many details about how it would be put into practice along the United States border with Mexico. Mr. Trump announced the deal in a Friday afternoon Twitter post that took Guatemalan politicians and leaders at immigration advocacy groups by surprise.

      Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, described the document signed by the two countries as a “safe third” agreement that would make migrants ineligible for protection in the United States if they had traveled through Guatemala and did not first apply for asylum there.

      Instead of being returned home, however, the migrants would be sent back to Guatemala, which under the agreement would be designated as a safe place for them to live.

      “They would be removable, back to Guatemala, if they want to seek an asylum claim,” said Mr. McAleenan, who likened the agreement to similar arrangements in Europe.
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      The move was the latest attempt by Mr. Trump to severely limit the ability of refugees to win protection in the United States. A new regulation that would have also banned most asylum seekers was blocked by a judge in San Francisco earlier this week.

      But the Trump administration is determined to do everything it can to stop the flow of migrants at the border, which has infuriated the president. Mr. Trump has frequently told his advisers that he sees the border situation as evidence of a failure to make good on his campaign promise to seal the border from dangerous immigrants.

      More than 144,200 migrants were taken into custody at the southwest border in May, the highest monthly total in 13 years. Arrests at the border declined by 28 percent in June after efforts in Mexico and the United States to stop migrants from Central America.

      Late Friday, the Guatemalan government released the Spanish text of the deal, which is called a “cooperative agreement regarding the examination of protection claims.” In an earlier statement announcing the agreement, the government had referred to an implementation plan for Salvadorans and Hondurans. It does not apply to Guatemalans who request asylum in the United States.

      By avoiding any mention of a “safe third country” agreement, President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala appeared to be trying to sidestep a recent court ruling blocking him from signing a deal with the United States without the approval of his country’s congress.

      Mr. Morales will leave office in January. One of the candidates running to replace him, the conservative Alejandro Giammattei, said that it was “irresponsible” for Mr. Morales to have agreed to an accord without revealing its contents first.

      “It is up to the next government to attend to this negotiation,” Mr. Giammattei wrote on Twitter. His opponent, Sandra Torres, had opposed any safe-third-country agreement when it first appeared that Mr. Morales was preparing to sign one.

      Legal groups in the United States said the immediate effect of the agreement will not be clear until the administration releases more details. But based on the descriptions of the deal, they vowed to ask a judge to block it from going into effect.

      “Guatemala can neither offer a safe nor fair and full process, and nobody could plausibly argue otherwise,” said Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who argued against other recent efforts to limit asylum. “There’s no way they have the capacity to provide a full and fair procedure, much less a safe one.”

      American asylum laws require that virtually all migrants who arrive at the border must be allowed to seek refuge in the United States, but the law allows the government to quickly deport migrants to a country that has signed a “safe third” agreement.

      But critics said that the law clearly requires the “safe third” country to be a truly safe place where migrants will not be in danger. And it requires that the country have the ability to provide a “full and fair” system of protections that can accommodate asylum seekers who are sent there. Critics insisted that Guatemala meets neither requirement.

      They also noted that the State Department’s own country condition reports on Guatemala warn about rampant gang activity and say that murder is common in the country, which has a police force that is often ineffective at best.

      Asked whether Guatemala is a safe country for refugees, Mr. McAleenan said it was unfair to tar an entire country, noting that there are also places in the United States that are not safe.

      In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, 116,808 migrants apprehended at the southwest border were from Guatemala, while 77,128 were from Honduras and 31,636 were from El Salvador.

      “It’s legally ludicrous and totally dangerous,” said Eleanor Acer, the senior director for refugee protection at Human Rights First. “The United States is trying to send people back to a country where their lives would be at risk. It sets a terrible example for the rest of the world.”

      Administration officials traveled to Guatemala in recent months, pushing officials there to sign the agreement, according to an administration official. But negotiations broke down in the past two weeks after Guatemala’s Constitutional Court ruled that Mr. Morales needed approval from lawmakers to make the deal with the United States.

      The ruling led Mr. Morales to cancel a planned trip in mid-July to sign the agreement, leaving Mr. Trump fuming.

      “Now we are looking at the BAN, Tariffs, Remittance Fees, or all of the above,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on July 23.

      Friday’s action suggests that the president’s threats, which provoked concern among Guatemala’s business community, were effective.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/world/americas/trump-guatemala-asylum.html

    • Este es el acuerdo migratorio firmado entre Guatemala y Estados Unidos

      Prensa Libre obtuvo en primicia el acuerdo que Guatemala firmó con Estados Unidos para detener la migración desde el Triángulo Norte de Centroamérica.

      Estados Unidos y Guatemala firmaron este 26 de julio un “acuerdo de asilo”, después de que esta semana el presidente Donald Trump amenazara a Guatemala con imponer aranceles para presionar por la negociación del convenio.

      Según Trump, el acuerdo “va a dar seguridad a los demandantes de asilo legítimos y a va detener los fraudes y abusos en el sistema de asilo”.

      El acuerdo fue firmado en el Despacho Oval de la Casa Blanca entre Kevin McAleenan, secretario interino de Seguridad Nacional de los Estados Unidos, y Enrique Degenhart, ministro de Gobernación de Guatemala.

      “Hace mucho tiempo que hemos estado trabajando con Guatemala y ahora podemos hacerlo de la manera correcta”, dijo el mandatario estadounidense.

      Este es el contenido íntegro del acuerdo:

      ACUERDO ENTRE EL GOBIERNO DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA Y EL GOBIERNO DE LA REPÚBLICA DE GUATEMALA RELATIVO A LA COOPERACIÓN RESPECTO AL EXAMEN DE SOLICITUDES DE PROTECCIÓN

      EL GOBIERNO DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA Y EL GOBIERNO DE LA REPÚBLICA DE GUATEMALA, en lo sucesivo de forma individual una “Parte” o colectivamente “las Partes”,

      CONSIDERANDO que Guatemala norma sus relaciones con otros países de conformidad con principios, reglas y prácticas internacionales con el propósito de contribuir al mantenimiento de la paz y la libertad, al respeto y defensa de los derechos humanos, y al fortalecimiento de los procesos democráticos e instituciones internacionales que garanticen el beneficio mutuo y equitativo entre los Estados; considerando por otro lado, que Guatemala mantendrá relaciones de amistad, solidaridad y cooperación con aquellos Estados cuyo desarrollo económico, social y cultural sea análogo al de Guatemala, como el derecho de las personas a migrar y su necesidad de protección;

      CONSIDERANDO que en la actualidad Guatemala incorpora en su legislación interna leyes migratorias dinámicas que obligan a Guatemala a reconocer el derecho de toda persona a emigrar o inmigrar, por lo que cualquier migrante puede entrar, permanecer, transitar, salir y retornar a su territorio nacional conforme a su legislación nacional; considerando, asimismo, que en situaciones no previstas por la legislación interna se debe aplicar la norma que más favorezca al migrante, siendo que por analogía se le debería dar abrigo y cuidado temporal a las personas que deseen ingresar de manera legal al territorio nacional; considerando que por estos motivos es necesario promover acuerdos de cooperación con otros Estados que respeten los mismos principios descritos en la política migratoria de Guatemala, reglamentada por la Autoridad Migratoria Nacional;

      CONSIDERANDO que Guatemala es parte de la Convención sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados de 1951, celebrada en Ginebra el 28 de julio de 1951 (la “Convención de 1951″) y del Protocolo sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados, firmado en Nueva York el 31 de enero de 1967 (el “Protocolo de 1967′), del cual los Estados Unidos son parte, y reafirmando la obligación de las partes de proporcionar protección a refugiados que cumplen con los requisitos y que se encuentran físicamente en sus respectivos territorios, de conformidad con sus obligaciones según esos instrumentos y sujetos . a las respectivas leyes, tratados y declaraciones de las Partes;

      RECONOCIENDO especialmente la obligación de las Partes respecto a cumplir el principio de non-refoulement de no devolución, tal como se desprende de la Convención de 1951 y del Protocolo de 1967, así como la Convención contra la Tortura y Otros Tratos o Penas Crueles, Inhumanos o Degradantes, firmada en Nueva York el 10 de diciembre de 1984 (la “Convención contra la Tortura”), con sujeción a las respectivas reservas, entendimientos y declaraciones de las Partes y reafirmando sus respectivas obligaciones de fomentar y proteger los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales en consonancia con sus obligaciones en el ámbito internacional;

      RECONOCIENDO y respetando las obligaciones de cada Parte de conformidad con sus leyes y políticas nacionales y acuerdos y arreglos internacionales;

      DESTACANDO que los Estados Unidos de América y Guatemala ofrecen sistemas de protección de refugiados que son coherentes con sus obligaciones conforme a la Convención de 1951 y/o el Protocolo de 1967;

      DECIDIDOS a mantener el estatuto de refugio o de protección temporal equivalente, como medida esencial en la protección de los refugiados o asilados, y al mismo tiempo deseando impedir el fraude en el proceso de solicitud de refugio o asilo, acción que socava su legitimo propósito; y decididos a fortalecer la integridad del proceso oficial para solicitar el estatuto de refugio o asilo, así como el respaldo público a dicho proceso;

      CONSCIENTES de que la distribución de la responsabilidad relacionada con solicitudes de protección debe garantizar en la práctica que se identifique a las personas que necesitan protección y que se eviten las violaciones del principio básico de no devolución; y, por lo tanto, comprometidos con salvaguardar para cada solicitante del estatuto de refugio o asilo que reúna las condiciones necesarias el acceso a un procedimiento completo e imparcial para determinar la solicitud;

      ACUERDAN lo siguiente:

      ARTÍCULO 1

      A efectos del presente Acuerdo:

      1. “Solicitud de protección” significa la solicitud de una persona de cualquier nacionalidad, al gobierno de una de las Partes para recibir protección conforme a sus respectivas obligaciones institucionales derivadas de la Convención de 1951, del Protocolo de 1967 o de la Convención contra la Tortura, y de conformidad con las leyes y políticas respectivas de las Partes que dan cumplimiento a esas obligaciones internacionales, así como para recibir cualquier otro tipo de protección temporal equivalente disponible conforme al derecho migratorio de la parte receptora.

      2. “Solicitante de protección” significa cualquier persona que presenta una solicitud de protección en el territorio de una de las partes.

      3. “Sistema para determinar la protección” significa el conjunto de políticas, leyes, prácticas administrativas y judiciales que el gobierno de cada parte emplea para decidir respecto de las solicitudes de protección.

      4. “Menor no acompañado” significa un solicitante de protección que no ha cumplido los dieciocho (18) años de edad y cuyo padre, madre o tutor legal no está presente ni disponible para proporcionar atención y custodia presencial en los Estados Unidos de América o en Guatemala, donde se encuentre el menor no acompañado.

      5. En el caso de la inmigración a Guatemala, las políticas respecto de leyes y migración abordan el derecho de las personas a entrar, permanecer, transitar y salir de su territorio de conformidad con sus leyes internas y los acuerdos y arreglos internacionales, y permanencia migratoria significa permanencia por un plazo de tiempo autorizado de acuerdo al estatuto migratorio otorgado a las personas.

      ARTÍCULO 2

      El presente Acuerdo no aplica a los solicitantes de protección que son ciudadanos o nacionales de Guatemala; o quienes, siendo apátridas, residen habitualmente en Guatemala.

      ARTÍCULO 3

      1. Para garantizar que los solicitantes de protección trasladados a Guatemala por los Estados Unidos tengan acceso a un sistema para determinar la protección, Guatemala no retornará ni expulsará a solicitantes de protección en Guatemala, a menos que el solicitante abandone la ‘solicitud o que esta sea denegada a través de una decisión administrativa.

      2. Durante el proceso de traslado, las personas sujetas al presente Acuerdo serán responsabilidad de los Estados Unidos hasta que finalice el proceso de traslado.

      ARTÍCULO 4

      1. La responsabilidad de determinar y concluir en su territorio solicitudes de protección recaerá en los Estados Unidos, cuando los Estados Unidos establezcan que esa persona:

      a. es un menor no acompañado; o

      b. llegó al territorio de los Estados Unidos:

      i. con una visa emitida de forma válida u otro documento de admisión válido, que no sea de tránsito, emitido por los Estados Unidos; o

      ii. sin que los Estados Unidos de América le exigiera obtener una visa.

      2. No obstante el párrafo 1 de este artículo, Guatemala evaluará las solicitudes de protección una por una, de acuerdo a lo establecido y autorizado por la autoridad competente en materia migratoria en sus políticas y leyes migratorias y en su territorio, de las personas que cumplen los requisitos necesarios conforme al presente Acuerdo, y que llegan a los Estados Unidos a un puerto de entrada o entre puertos de entrada, en la fecha efectiva del presente Acuerdo o posterior a ella. Guatemala evaluará la solicitud de protección, conforme al plan de implementación inicial y los procedimientos operativos estándar a los que se hace referencia en el artículo 7, apartados 1 y 5.

      3. Las Partes aplicarán el presente Acuerdo respecto a menores no acompañados de conformidad con sus respectivas leyes nacionales,

      4. Las Partes contarán con procedimientos para garantizar que los traslados de los Estados Unidos a Guatemala de las personas objeto del presente Acuerdo sean compatibles con sus obligaciones, leyes nacionales e internacionales y políticas migratorias respectivas.

      5. Los Estados Unidos tomarán la decisión final de que una persona satisface los requisitos para una excepción en virtud de los artículos 4 y 5 del presente Acuerdo.

      ARTÍCULO 5

      No obstante cualquier disposición del presente Acuerdo, cualquier parte podrá, según su propio criterio, examinar cualquier solicitud de protección que se haya presentado a esa Parte cuando decida que es de su interés público hacerlo.

      ARTÍCULO 6

      Las Partes podrán:

      1. Intercambiar información cuando sea necesario para la implementación efectiva del presente Acuerdo con sujeción a las leyes y reglamentación nacionales. Dicha información no será divulgada por el país receptor excepto de conformidad con sus leyes y reglamentación nacionales.

      2. Las Partes podrán intercambiar de forma habitual información respecto á leyes, reglamentación y prácticas relacionadas con sus respectivos sistemas para determinar la protección migratoria.

      ARTÍCULO 7

      1. Las Partes elaborarán procedimientos operativos estándar para asistir en la implementación del presente Acuerdo. Estos procedimientos incorporarán disposiciones para notificar por adelantado, a Guatemala, el traslado de cualquier persona conforme al presente Acuerdo. Los Estados Unidos colaborarán con Guatemala para identificar a las personas idóneas para ser trasladadas al territorio de Guatemala.

      2. Los procedimientos operativos incorporarán mecanismos para solucionar controversias que respeten la interpretación e implementación de los términos del presente Acuerdo. Los casos no previstos que no puedan solucionarse a través de estos mecanismos serán resueltos a través de la vía diplomática.

      3. Los Estados Unidos prevén cooperar para fortalecer las capacidades institucionales de Guatemala.

      4. Las Partes acuerdan evaluar regularmente el presente Acuerdo y su implementación, para subsanar las deficiencias encontradas. Las Partes realizarán las evaluaciones conjuntamente, siendo la primera dentro de un plazo máximo de tres (3) meses a partir de la fecha de entrada en operación del Acuerdo y las siguientes evaluaciones dentro de los mismos plazos. Las Partes podrán invitar, de común acuerdo, a otras organizaciones pertinentes con conocimientos especializados sobre el tema a participar en la evaluación inicial y/o cooperar para el cumplimiento del presente Acuerdo.

      5. Las Partes prevén completar un plan de implementación inicial, que incorporará gradualmente, y abordará, entre otros: a) los procedimientos necesarios para llevar a cabo el traslado de personas conforme al presente Acuerdo; b) la cantidad o número de personas a ser trasladadas; y c) las necesidades de capacidad institucional. Las Partes planean hacer operativo el presente Acuerdo al finalizarse un plan de implementación gradual.

      ARTÍCULO 8

      1. El presente Acuerdo entrará en vigor por medio de un canje de notas entre las partes en el que se indique que cada parte ha cumplido con los procedimientos jurídicos nacionales necesarios para que el Acuerdo entre en vigor. El presente Acuerdo tendrá una vigencia de dos (2) años y podrá renovarse antes de su vencimiento a través de un canje de notas.

      2. Cualquier Parte podrá dar por terminado el presente Acuerdo por medio de una notificación por escrito a la otra Parte con tres (3) meses de antelación.

      3. Cualquier parte podrá, inmediatamente después de notificar a la otra parte por escrito, suspender por un periodo inicial de hasta tres (3) meses la implementación del presente Acuerdo. Esta suspensión podrá extenderse por periodos adicionales de hasta tres (3) meses por medio de una notificación por escrito a la otra parte. Cualquier parte podrá, con el consentimiento por escrito de la otra, suspender cualquier parte del presente Acuerdo.

      4. Las Partes podrán, por escrito y de mutuo acuerdo, realizar cualquier modificación o adición al presente Acuerdo. Estas entrarán en vigor de conformidad con los procedimientos jurídicos pertinentes de cada Parte y la modificación o adición constituirá parte integral del presente Acuerdo.

      5. Ninguna disposición del presente Acuerdo deberá interpretarse de manera que obligue a las Partes a erogar o comprometer fondos.

      EN FE DE LO CUAL, los abajo firmantes, debidamente autorizados por sus respectivos gobiernos, firman el presente Acuerdo.

      HECHO el 26 de julio de 2019, por duplicado en los idiomas inglés y español, siendo ambos textos auténticos.

      POR EL GOBIERNO DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA: Kevin K. McAleenan, Secretario Interino de Seguridad Nacional.

      POR EL GOBIERNO DE LA REPÚBLICA DE GUATEMALA: Enrique A. Degenhart Asturias, Ministro de Gobernación.

      https://www.prensalibre.com/guatemala/migrantes/este-es-el-acuerdo-migratorio-firmado-entre-guatemala-y-estados-unidos

    • Washington signe un accord sur le droit d’asile avec le Guatemala

      Sous la pression du président américain, le Guatemala devient un « pays tiers sûr », où les migrants de passage vers les Etats-Unis doivent déposer leurs demandes d’asile.

      Sous la pression de Donald Trump qui menaçait de lui infliger des sanctions commerciales, le Guatemala a accepté vendredi 26 juillet de devenir un « pays tiers sûr » pour contribuer à réduire le nombre de demandes d’asile aux Etats-Unis. L’accord, qui a été signé en grande pompe dans le bureau ovale de la Maison blanche, en préfigure d’autres, a assuré le président américain, qui a notamment cité le Mexique.

      Faute d’avoir obtenu du Congrès le financement du mur qu’il souhaitait construire le long de la frontière avec le Mexique, Donald Trump a changé de stratégie en faisant pression sur les pays d’Amérique centrale pour qu’ils l’aident à réduire le flux de migrants arrivant aux Etats-Unis, qui a atteint un niveau record sous sa présidence.

      Une personne qui traverse un « pays tiers sûr » doit déposer sa demande d’asile dans ce pays et non dans son pays de destination. Sans employer le terme « pays tiers sûr », le gouvernement guatémaltèque a précisé dans un communiqué que l’accord conclu avec les Etats-Unis s’appliquerait aux réfugiés originaires du Honduras et du Salvador.

      Contreparties pour les travailleurs agricoles

      S’adressant à la presse devant la Maison blanche, le président américain a indiqué que les ouvriers agricoles guatémaltèques auraient en contrepartie un accès privilégié aux fermes aux Etats-Unis.

      Le président guatémaltèque Jimmy Morales devait signer l’accord de « pays tiers sûr » la semaine dernière mais il avait été contraint de reculer après que la Cour constitutionnelle avait jugé qu’il ne pouvait pas prendre un tel engagement sans l’accord du Parlement, ce qui avait provoqué la fureur de Donald Trump.

      Invoquant la nécessité d’éviter des « répercussions sociales et économiques », le gouvernement guatémaltèque a indiqué qu’un accord serait signé dans les prochains jours avec Washington pour faciliter l’octroi de visas de travail agricole temporaires aux ressortissants guatémaltèques. Il a dit espérer que cette mesure serait ultérieurement étendue aux secteurs de la construction et des services.

      Les Etats-Unis sont confrontés à une flambée du nombre de migrants qui cherchent à franchir sa frontière sud, celle qui les séparent du Mexique. En juin, les services de police aux frontières ont arrêté 104 000 personnes qui cherchaient à entrer illégalement aux Etats-Unis. Ils avaient été 144 000 le mois précédent.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/07/27/washington-signe-un-accord-sur-le-droit-d-asile-avec-le-guatemala_5493979_32
      #agriculture #ouvriers_agricoles #travail #fermes

    • Migrants, pressions sur le Mexique

      Sous la pression des États-Unis, le Mexique fait la chasse aux migrants sur son territoire, et les empêche d’avancer vers le nord. Au mois de juin, les autorités ont arrêté près de 24 000 personnes sans papiers.

      Debout sur son radeau, Edwin maugrée en regardant du coin de l’œil la vingtaine de militaires de la Garde Nationale mexicaine postés sous les arbres, côté mexicain. « C’est à cause d’eux si les affaires vont mal », bougonne le jeune Guatémaltèque en poussant son radeau à l’aide d’une perche. « Depuis qu’ils sont là, plus personne ne peut passer au Mexique ».

      Les eaux du fleuve Suchiate, qui sépare le Mexique du Guatemala, sont étrangement calmes depuis le mois de juin. Fini le ballet incessant des petits radeaux de fortune, où s’entassaient, pêle-mêle, villageois, commerçants et migrants qui se rendaient au Mexique. « Mais ça ne change rien, les migrants traversent plus loin », sourit le jeune homme.

      La stratégie du président américain Donald Trump pour contraindre son voisin du sud à réduire les flux migratoires en direction des États-Unis a mis le gouvernement mexicain aux abois : pour éviter une nouvelle fois la menace de l’instauration de frais de douanes de 5 % sur les importations mexicaines, le gouvernement d’Andrés Manuel López Obrador a déployé dans l’urgence 6 500 éléments de la Garde Nationale à la frontière sud du Mexique.
      Des pots-de-vin lors des contrôles

      Sur les routes, les opérations de contrôle sont partout. « Nous avons été arrêtés à deux reprises par l’armée », explique Natalia, entourée de ses garçons de 11 ans, 8 ans et 3 ans. Cette Guatémaltèque s’est enfuie de son village avec son mari et ses enfants, il y a dix jours. Son époux, témoin protégé dans le procès d’un groupe criminel, a été menacé de mort. « Au premier contrôle, nous leur avons donné 1 500 pesos (NDLR, 70 €), au deuxième 2 500 pesos (118 €), pour qu’ils nous laissent partir », explique la mère de famille, assise sous le préau de l’auberge du Père César Augusto Cañaveral, l’une des deux auberges qui accueillent les migrants à Tapachula.

      Conçu pour 120 personnes, l’établissement héberge actuellement plus de 300 personnes, dont une centaine d’enfants en bas âge. « On est face à une politique anti-migratoire de plus en plus violente et militarisée, se désole le Père Cañaveral. C’est devenu une véritable chasse à l’homme dehors, alors je leur dis de sortir le moins possible pour éviter les arrestations ». Celles-ci ont en effet explosé depuis l’ultimatum du président des États-Unis : du 1er au 24 juin, l’Institut National de Migration (INM) a arrêté près de 24 000 personnes en situation irrégulière, soit 1 000 personnes détenues par jour en moyenne, et en a expulsé plus de 17 000, essentiellement des Centraméricains. Du jamais vu.
      Des conditions de détention « indignes »

      À Tapachula, les migrants arrêtés sont entassés dans le centre de rétention Siglo XXI. À quelques mètres de l’entrée de cette forteresse de béton, Yannick a le regard vide et fatigué. « Il y avait tellement de monde là-dedans que ma fille y est tombée malade », raconte cet Angolais âgé de 33 ans, sa fille de 3 ans somnolant dans ses bras. « Ils viennent de nous relâcher car ils ne vont pas nous renvoyer en Afrique, ajoute-il. Heureusement, car à l’intérieur on dort par terre ». « Les conditions dans ce centre sont indignes », dénonce Claudia León Aug, coordinatrice du Service jésuite des réfugiés pour l’Amérique latine, qui a visité à plusieurs reprises le centre de rétention Siglo XXI. « La nourriture est souvent avariée, les enfants tombent malades, les bébés n’ont droit qu’à une seule couche par jour, et on a même recensé des cas de tortures et d’agressions ».

      Tapachula est devenu un cul-de-sac pour des milliers de migrants. Ils errent dans les rues de la ville, d’hôtel en d’hôtel, ou louent chez l’habitant, faute de pouvoir avancer vers le nord. Les compagnies de bus, sommées de participer à l’effort national, demandent systématiquement une pièce d’identité en règle. « On ne m’a pas laissé monter dans le bus en direction de Tijuana », se désole Elvis, un Camerounais de 34 ans qui rêve de se rendre au Canada.

      Il sort de sa poche un papier tamponné par les autorités mexicaines, le fameux laissez-passer que délivrait l’Institut National de Migration aux migrants extra-continentaux, pour qu’ils traversent le Mexique en 20 jours afin de gagner la frontière avec les États-Unis. « Regardez, ils ont modifié le texte, maintenant il est écrit que je ne peux pas sortir de Tapachula », accuse le jeune homme, dépité, avant de se rasseoir sur le banc de la petite cour de son hôtel décati dans la périphérie de Tapachula. « La situation est chaotique, les gens sont bloqués ici et les autorités ne leur donnent aucune information, pour les décourager encore un peu plus », dénonce Salvador Lacruz, coordinateur au Centre des Droits humains Centro Fray Matías de Córdova.
      Explosion du nombre des demandes d’asile au Mexique

      Face à la menace des arrestations et des expulsions, de plus en plus de migrants choisissent de demander l’asile au Mexique. Dans le centre-ville de Tapachula, la Commission mexicaine d’aide aux réfugiés (COMAR), est prise d’assaut dès 4 heures du matin par les demandeurs d’asile. « On m’a dit de venir avec tous les documents qui prouvent que je suis en danger de mort dans mon pays », explique Javier, un Hondurien de 34 ans qui a fait la queue une partie de la nuit pour ne pas rater son rendez-vous.

      Son fils de 9 ans est assis sur ses genoux. « J’ai le certificat de décès de mon père et celui de mon frère. Ils ont été assassinés pour avoir refusé de donner de l’argent aux maras », explique-t-il, une pochette en plastique dans les mains. « Le prochain sur la liste, c’est moi, c’est pour ça que je suis parti pour les États-Unis, mais je vois que c’est devenu très difficile, alors je me pose ici, ensuite, on verra ».

      Les demandes d’asile au Mexique ont littéralement explosé : 31 000 pour les six premiers mois de 2019, c’est trois fois plus qu’en 2018 à la même période, et juin a été particulièrement élevé, avec 70 % de demandes en plus par rapport à janvier. La tendance devrait se poursuivre du fait de la décision prise le 15 juillet dernier par le président américain, que toute personne « entrant par la frontière sud des États-Unis » et souhaitant demander l’asile aux États-Unis le fasse, au préalable, dans un autre pays, transformant ainsi le Mexique, de facto, en « pays tiers sûr ».

      « Si les migrants savent que la seule possibilité de demander l’asile aux États-Unis, c’est de l’avoir obtenu au Mexique, ils le feront », observe Salvador Lacruz. Mais si certains s’accrochent à Tapachula, d’autres abandonnent. Jesús Roque, un Hondurien de 21 ans, « vient de signer » comme disent les migrants centraméricains en référence au programme de retour volontaire mis en place par le gouvernement mexicain. « C’est impossible d’aller plus au nord, je rentre chez moi », lâche-t-il.

      Comme lui, plus de 35 000 personnes sont rentrées dans leur pays, essentiellement des Honduriens et des Salvadoriens. À quelques mètres, deux femmes pressent le pas, agacées par la foule qui se presse devant les bureaux de la COMAR. « Qu’ils partent d’ici, vite ! », grogne l’une. Le mur tant désiré par Donald Trump s’est finalement érigé au Mexique en quelques semaines. Dans les esprits aussi.

      https://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Ameriques/Le-Mexique-verrouille-frontiere-sud-2019-08-01-1201038809

    • US Move Puts More Asylum Seekers at Risk. Expanded ‘#Remain_in_Mexico’ Program Undermines Due Process

      The Trump administration has drastically expanded its “Remain in Mexico” program while undercutting the rights of asylum seekers at the United States southern border, Human Rights Watch said today. Under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – known as the “Remain in Mexico” program – asylum seekers in the US are returned to cities in Mexico where there is a shortage of shelter and high crime rates while awaiting asylum hearings in US immigration court.

      Human Rights Watch found that asylum seekers face new or increased barriers to obtaining and communicating with legal counsel; increased closure of MPP court hearings to the public; and threats of kidnapping, extortion, and other violence while in Mexico.

      “The inherently inhumane ‘Remain in Mexico’ program is getting more abusive by the day,” said Ariana Sawyer, assistant US Program researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The program’s rapid growth in recent months has put even more people and families in danger in Mexico while they await an increasingly unfair legal process in the US.”

      The United States will begin sending all Central American asylum-seeking families to Mexico beginning the week of September 29, 2019 as part of the most recent expansion of the “Remain in Mexico” program, the Department of Homeland Security acting secretary, Kevin McAleenan, announced on September 23.

      Human Rights Watch concluded in a July 2019 report that the MPP program has had serious rights consequences for asylum seekers, including high – if not insurmountable – barriers to due process on their asylum claims in the United States and threats and physical violence in Mexico. Human Rights Watch recently spoke to seven asylum seekers, as well as 26 attorneys, migrant shelter operators, Mexican government officials, immigration court workers, journalists, and advocates. Human Rights Watch also observed court hearings for 71 asylum seekers in August and analyzed court filings, declarations, photographs, and media reports.

      “The [MPP] rules, which are never published, are constantly changing without advance notice,” said John Moore, an asylum attorney. “And so far, every change has had the effect of further restricting the already limited access we attorneys have with our clients.”

      Beyond the expanded program, which began in January, the US State Department has also begun funding a “voluntary return” program carried out by the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM). The organization facilitates the transportation of asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico back to their country of origin but does not notify US immigration judges. This most likely results in negative judgments against asylum seekers for not appearing in court, possibly resulting in a ban of up to 10 years on entering the US again, when they could have withdrawn their cases without penalty.

      Since July, the number of people being placed in the MPP program has almost tripled, from 15,079 as of June 24, to 40,033 as of September 7, according to the Mexican National Institute of Migration. The Trump administration has increased the number of asylum seekers it places in the program at ports of entry near San Diego and Calexico, California and El Paso, Texas, where the program had already been in place. The administration has also expanded the program to Laredo and Brownsville, Texas, even as the overall number of border apprehensions has declined.

      As of early August, more than 26,000 additional asylum seekers were waiting in Mexican border cities on unofficial lists to be processed by US Customs and Border Protection as part the US practice of “metering,” or of limiting the number of people who can apply for asylum each day by turning them back from ports of entry in violation of international law.

      In total, more than 66,000 asylum seekers are now in Mexico, forced to wait months or years for their cases to be decided in the US. Some have given up waiting and have attempted to cross illicitly in more remote and dangerous parts of the border, at times with deadly results.

      As problematic as the MPP program is, seeking asylum will likely soon become even more limited. On September 11, the Supreme Court temporarily allowed the Trump administration to carry out an asylum ban against anyone entering the country by land after July 16 who transited through a third country without applying for asylum there. This could affect at least 46,000 asylum seekers, placed in the MPP program or on a metering list after mid-July, according to calculations based on data from the Mexican National Institute of Migration. Asylum seekers may still be eligible for other forms of protection, but they carry much higher eligibility standards and do not provide the same level of relief.

      Human Rights Watch contacted the Department of Homeland Security and the US Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review with its findings and questions regarding the policy changes and developments but have not to date received a response. The US government should immediately cease returning asylum seekers to Mexico and instead ensure them meaningful access to full and fair asylum proceedings in US immigration courts, Human Rights Watch said. Congress should urgently act to cease funding the MPP program. The US should manage asylum-seeker arrivals through a genuine humanitarian response that includes fair determinations of an asylum seeker’s eligibility to remain in the US. The US should simultaneously pursue longer-term efforts to address the root causes of forced displacement in Central America.

      “The Trump administration seems intent on making the bad situation for asylum seekers even worse by further depriving them of due process rights,” Sawyer said. “The US Congress should step in and put an end to these mean-spirited attempts to undermine and destroy the US asylum system.”

      New Concerns over the MPP Program

      Increased Barriers to Legal Representation

      Everyone in the MPP has the right to an attorney at their own cost, but it has been nearly impossible for asylum seekers forced to remain in Mexico to get legal representation. Only about 1.3 percent of participants have legal representation, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, a research center that examined US immigration court records through June 2019. In recent months, the US government has raised new barriers to obtaining representation and accessing counsel.

      When the Department of Homeland Security created the program, it issued guidance that:

      in order to facilitate access to counsel for aliens subject to return to Mexico under the MPP who will be transported to their immigration court hearings, [agents] will depart from the [port of entry] with the alien at a time sufficient to ensure arrival at the immigration court not later than one hour before his or her scheduled hearing time in order to afford the alien the opportunity to meet in-person with his or her legal representative.

      However, according to several attorneys Human Rights Watch interviewed in El Paso, Texas, and as Human Rights Watch observed on August 12 to 15 in El Paso Immigration Court, the Department of Homeland Security and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which manages the immigration court, have effectively barred attorneys from meeting with clients for the full hour before their client’s hearing begins. Rather than having free access to their clients, attorneys are now required to wait in the building lobby on a different level than the immigration court until the court administrator notifies security guards that attorneys may enter.

      As Human Rights Watch has previously noted, one hour is insufficient for adequate attorney consultation and preparation. Still, several attorneys said that this time in court was crucial. Immigration court is often the only place where asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico can meet with attorneys since lawyers capable of representing them typically work in the US. Attorneys cannot easily travel to Mexico because of security and logistical issues. For MPP participants without attorneys, there are now also new barriers to getting basic information and assistance about the asylum application process.

      Human Rights Watch observed in May a coordinated effort by local nongovernmental organizations and attorneys in El Paso to perform know-your-rights presentations for asylum seekers without an attorney and to serve as “Friend of the Court,” at the judge’s discretion. The Executive Office for Immigration Review has recognized in the context of unaccompanied minors that a Friend of the Court “has a useful role to play in assisting the court and enhancing a respondent’s comprehension of proceedings.”

      The agency’s memos also say that, “Immigration Judges and court administrators remain encouraged to facilitate pro bono representation” because pro bono attorneys provide “respondents with welcome legal assistance and the judge with efficiencies that can only be realized when the respondent is represented.”

      To that end, immigration courts are encouraged to support “legal orientations and group rights presentations” by nonprofit organizations and attorneys.

      One of the attorneys involved in coordinating the various outreach programs at the El Paso Immigration Court said, however, that on June 24 the agency began barring all contact between third parties and asylum seekers without legal representation in both the courtroom and the lobby outside. This effectively ended all know-your-rights presentations and pro bono case screenings, though no new memo was issued. Armed guards now prevent attorneys in the US from interacting with MPP participants unless the attorneys have already filed official notices that they are representing specific participants.

      On July 8, the agency also began barring attorneys from serving as “Friend of the Court,” several attorneys told Human Rights Watch. No new memo has been issued on “Friend of the Court” either.

      In a July 16 email to an attorney obtained by Human Rights Watch, an agency spokesman, Rob Barnes, said that the agency shut down “Friend of the Court” and know-your-rights presentations to protect asylum seekers from misinformation after it “became aware that persons from organizations not officially recognized by EOIR...were entering EOIR space in El Paso.

      However, most of the attorneys and organizations now barred from performing know-your-rights presentations or serving as “Friend of the Court” in El Paso are listed on a form given to asylum seekers by the court of legal service providers, according to a copy of the form given to Human Rights Watch and attorneys and organizations coordinating those services.

      Closure of Immigration Court Hearings to the Public

      When Human Rights Watch observed court hearings in El Paso on May 8 to 10, the number of asylum seekers who had been placed in the MPP program and scheduled to appear in court was between 20 and 24 each day, with one judge hearing all of these cases in a single mass hearing. At the time, those numbers were considered high, and there was chaos and confusion as judges navigated a system that was never designed to provide hearings for people being kept outside the US.

      When Human Rights Watch returned to observe hearings just over three months later, four judges were hearing a total of about 250 cases a day, an average of over 60 cases for each judge. Asylum seekers in the program, who would previously have been allowed into the US to pursue their claims at immigration courts dispersed around the country, have been primarily funneled through courts in just two border cities, causing tremendous pressures on these courts and errors in the system. Some asylum seekers who appeared in court found their cases were not in the system or received conflicting instructions about where or when to appear.

      One US immigration official said the MPP program had “broken the courts,” Reuters reported.

      The Executive Office for Immigration Review has stated that immigration court hearings are generally supposed to be open to the public. The regulations indicate that immigration judges may make exceptions and limit or close hearings if physical facilities are inadequate; if there is a need to protect witnesses, parties, or the public interest; if an abused spouse or abused child is to appear; or if information under seal is to be presented.

      In recent weeks, however, journalists, attorneys, and other public observers have been barred from these courtrooms in El Paso by court administrators, security guards, and in at least one case, by a Department of Homeland Security attorney, who said that a courtroom was too full to allow a Human Rights Watch researcher entry.

      Would-be observers are now frequently told by the court administrator or security guards that there is “no room,” and that dockets are all “too full.”

      El Paso Immigration Court Administrator Rodney Buckmire told Human Rights Watch that hundreds of people receive hearings each day because asylum seekers “deserve their day in court,” but the chaos and errors in mass hearings, the lack of access to attorneys and legal advice, and the lack of transparency make clear that the MPP program is severely undermining due process.

      During the week of September 9, the Trump administration began conducting hearings for asylum seekers returned to Mexico in makeshift tent courts in Laredo and Brownsville, where judges are expected to preside via videoconference. At a September 11 news conference, DHS would not commit to allowing observers for those hearings, citing “heightened security measures” since the courts are located near the border. Both attorneys and journalists have since been denied entry to these port courts.

      Asylum Seekers Describe Risk of Kidnapping, Other Crimes

      As the MPP has expanded, increasing numbers of asylum seekers have been placed at risk of kidnapping and other crimes in Mexico.

      Two of the northern Mexican states to which asylum seekers were initially being returned under the program, Baja California and Chihuahua, are among those with the most homicides and other crimes in the country. Recent media reports have documented ongoing harm to asylum seekers there, including rape, kidnapping, sexual exploitation, assault, and other violent crimes.

      The program has also been expanded to Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, both in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which is on the US State Department’s “do not travel” list. The media and aid workers have also reported that migrants there have experienced physical violence, sexual assault, kidnapping, and other abuses. There have been multiple reports in 2019 alone of migrants being kidnapped as they attempt to reach the border by bus.

      Jennifer Harbury, a human rights attorney and activist doing volunteer work with asylum-seekers on both sides of the border, collected sworn declarations that they had been victims of abuse from three asylum seekers who had been placed in the MPP program and bused by Mexican immigration authorities to Monterrey, Mexico, two and a half hours from the border. Human Rights Watch examined these declarations, in which asylum seekers reported robbery, extortion, and kidnapping, including by Mexican police.

      Expansion to Mexican Cities with Even Fewer Protections

      Harbury, who recently interviewed hundreds of migrants in Mexico, described asylum seekers sent to Nuevo Laredo as “fish in a barrel” because of their vulnerability to criminal organizations. She said that many of the asylum seekers she interviewed said they had been kidnapped or subjected to an armed assault at least once since they reached the border.

      Because Mexican officials are in many cases reportedly themselves involved in crimes against migrants, and because nearly 98 percent of crimes in Mexico go unsolved, crimes committed against migrants routinely go unpunished.

      In Matamoros, asylum seekers have no meaningful shelter access, said attorneys with Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG) who were last there from August 22 to 26. Instead, more than 500 asylum seekers were placed in an encampment in a plaza near the port of entry to the US, where they were sleeping out in the open, despite temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Henriette Vinet-Martin, a lawyer with the group, said she saw a “nursing mother sleeping on cardboard with her baby” and that attorneys also spoke to a woman in the MPP program there who said she had recently miscarried in a US hospital while in Customs and Border Protection custody. The attorneys said some asylum seekers had tents, but many did not.

      Vinet-Martin and Claire Noone, another lawyer there as part of the L4GG project, said they found children with disabilities who had been placed in the MPP program, including two children with Down Syndrome, one of them eight months old.

      Human Rights Watch also found that Customs and Border Protection continues to return asylum seekers with disabilities or other chronic health conditions to Mexico, despite the Department of Homeland Security’s initial guidance that no one with “known physical/mental health issues” would be placed in the program. In Ciudad Juárez, Human Rights Watch documented six such cases, four of them children. In one case, a 14-year-old boy had been placed in the program along with his mother and little brother, who both have intellectual disabilities, although the boy said they have family in the US. He appeared to be confused and distraught by his situation.

      The Mexican government has taken some steps to protect migrants in Ciudad Juárez, including opening a large government-operated shelter. The shelter, which Human Rights Watch visited on August 22, has a capacity of 3,000 migrants and is well-stocked with food, blankets, sleeping pads, personal hygiene kits, and more. At the time of the visit, the shelter held 555 migrants, including 230 children, primarily asylum seekers in the MPP program.

      One Mexican government official said the government will soon open two more shelters – one in Tijuana with a capacity of 3,000 and another in Mexicali with a capacity of 1,500.

      Problems Affecting the ‘Assisted Voluntary Return’ Program

      In October 2018, the International Organization for Migration began operating a $1.65 million US State Department-funded “Assisted Voluntary Return” program to assist migrants who have decided or felt compelled to return home. The return program originally targeted Central Americans traveling in large groups through the interior of Mexico. However, in July, the program began setting up offices in Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana, and Mexicali focusing on asylum seekers forced to wait in those cities after being placed in the MPP program. Alex Rigol Ploettner, who heads the International Organization for Migration office in Ciudad Juárez, said that the organization also provides material support such as bunk beds and personal hygiene kits to shelters, which the organization asks to refer interested asylum seekers to the Assisted Voluntary Return program. Four shelter operators in Ciudad Juárez confirmed these activities.

      As of late August, Rigol Ploettner said approximately 500 asylum seekers in the MPP program had been referred to Assisted Voluntary Return. Of those 500, he said, about 95 percent were found to be eligible for the program.

      He said the organization warns asylum seekers that returning to their home country may cause them to receive deportation orders from the US in absentia, meaning they will most likely face a ban on entering the US of up to 10 years.

      The organization does not inform US immigration courts that they have returned asylum seekers, nor are asylum seekers assisted in withdrawing their petition for asylum, which would avoid future penalties in the US.

      “For now, as the IOM, we don’t have a direct mechanism for withdrawal,” Rigol Ploettner said. Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned about the failure to notify the asylum courts when people who are on US immigration court dockets return home and the negative legal consequences for asylum seekers. These concerns are heightened by the environment in which the Assisted Voluntary Return Program is operating. Asylum seekers in the MPP are in such a vulnerable situation that it cannot be assumed that decisions to return home are based on informed consent.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/25/us-move-puts-more-asylum-seekers-risk

      via @pascaline

    • Sweeping Language in Asylum Agreement Foists U.S. Responsibilities onto El Salvador

      Amid a tightening embrace of Trump administration policies, last week El Salvador agreed to begin taking asylum-seekers sent back from the United States. The agreement was announced on Friday but details were not made public at the time. The text of the agreement — which The Intercept requested and obtained from the Department of Homeland Security — purports to uphold international and domestic obligations “to provide protection for eligible refugees,” but immigration experts see the move as the very abandonment of the principle of asylum. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy analyst at American Immigration Council, called the agreement a “deeply cynical” move.

      The agreement, which closely resembles one that the U.S. signed with Guatemala in July, implies that any asylum-seeker who is not from El Salvador could be sent back to that country and forced to seek asylum there. Although officials have said that the agreements would apply to people who passed through El Salvador or Guatemala en route, the text of the agreements does not explicitly make that clear.

      “This agreement is so potentially sweeping that it could be used to send an asylum-seeker who never transited El Salvador to El Salvador,” said Eleanor Acer, senior director of refugee protection at the nonprofit organization Human Rights First.

      DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      The Guatemalan deal has yet to take effect, as Guatemala’s Congress claims to need to ratify it first. DHS officials are currently seeking a similar arrangement with Honduras and have been pressuring Mexico — under threats of tariffs — to crack down on U.S.-bound migration.

      The agreement with El Salvador comes after the Supreme Court recently upheld the Trump administration’s most recent asylum ban, which requires anyone who has transited through another country before reaching the border to seek asylum there first, and be denied in that country, in order to be eligible for asylum in the U.S. Meanwhile, since January, more than 42,000 asylum-seekers who filed their claims in the U.S. before the ban took effect have been pushed back into Mexico and forced to wait there — where they have been subjected to kidnapping, rape, and extortion, among other hazards — as the courts slowly weigh their eligibility.

      Reichlin-Melnick called the U.S.-El Salvador deal “yet another sustained attack at our system of asylum protections.” It begins by invoking the international Refugee Convention and the principle of non-refoulement, which is the crux of asylum law — the guarantee not to return asylum-seekers to a country where they would be subjected to persecution or death. Karen Musalo, law professor at U.C. Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, called that invocation “Orwellian.”

      “The idea that El Salvador is a safe country for asylum-seekers when it is one of the major countries sending asylum-seekers to the U.S., a country with one of the highest homicide and femicide rates in the world, a place in which gangs have control over large swathes of the country, and the violence is causing people to flee in record numbers … is another absurdity that is beyond the pale,” Musalo said.

      “El Salvador is not a country that is known for having any kind of protection for its own citizens’ human rights,” Musalo added. “If they can’t protect their own citizens, it’s absolutely absurd to think that they can protect people that are not their citizens.”

      “They’ve looked at all of the facts,” Reichlin-Melnick said. “And they’ve decided to create their own reality.”

      Last week, the Salvadoran newspaper El Faro reported that the country’s agency that reviews asylum claims only has a single officer. Meanwhile, though homicide rates have gone down in recent months — since outsider president Nayib Bukele took office in June — September has already seen an increase in homicides. Bukele’s calculus in accepting the agreement is still opaque to Salvadoran observers (Guatemala’s version was deeply unpopular in that country), but he has courted U.S. investment and support. The legal status of nearly 200,000 Salvadorans with temporary protected status in the U.S. is also under threat from the administration. This month also saw the symbolic launch of El Salvador’s Border Patrol — with U.S. funding and support. This week, Bukele, who has both sidled up to Trump and employed Trumpian tactics, will meet with the U.S. president in New York to discuss immigration.

      Reichlin-Melnick noted that the Guatemalan and Salvadoran agreements, as written, could bar people not only from seeking asylum, but also from two other protections meant to fulfill the non-refoulement principle: withholding of removal (a stay on deportation) and the Convention Against Torture, which prevents people from being returned to situations where they may face torture. That would mean that these Central American cooperation agreements go further than the recent asylum ban, which still allows people to apply for those other protections.

      Another major difference between the asylum ban and these agreements is that with the asylum ban, people would be deported to their home countries. If these agreements go into effect, the U.S. will start sending people to Guatemala or El Salvador, regardless of where they may be from. In the 1980s, the ACLU documented over 100 cases of Salvadorans who were harmed or killed after they were deported from the U.S. After this agreement goes into effect, it will no longer be just Salvadorans who the U.S. will be sending into danger.

      https://theintercept.com/2019/09/23/el-salvador-asylum-agreement

    • La forteresse Trump ou le pari du mur

      Plus que sur le mur promis pendant sa campagne, Donald Trump semble fonder sa #politique_migratoire sur une #pression_commerciale sur ses voisins du sud, remettant en cause les #échanges économiques mais aussi culturels avec le Mexique. Ce mur ne serait-il donc que symbolique ?
      Alors que l’administration américaine le menaçait de #taxes_douanières et de #guerre_commerciale, le Mexique d’Andres Lopez Obrador a finalement concédé de freiner les flux migratoires.

      Après avoir accepté un #accord imposé par Washington, Mexico a considérablement réduit les flux migratoires et accru les #expulsions. En effet, plus de 100 000 ressortissants centre-américains ont été expulsés du Mexique vers le #Guatemala dans les huit premiers mois de l’année, soit une hausse de 63% par rapport à l’année précédente selon les chiffres du Guatemala.

      Par ailleurs, cet été le Guatemala a conclu un accord de droit d’asile avec Washington, faisant de son territoire un « #pays_sûr » auprès duquel les demandeurs d’asiles ont l’obligation d’effectuer les premières démarches. Le Salvador et le #Honduras ont suivi la voie depuis.

      Et c’est ainsi que, alors qu’il rencontrait les plus grandes difficultés à obtenir les financements pour le mur à la frontière mexicaine, Donald Trump mise désormais sur ses voisins pour externaliser sa politique migratoire.

      Alors le locataire de la Maison Blanche a-t-il oublié ses ambitions de poursuivre la construction de cette frontière de fer et de béton ? Ce mur n’était-il qu’un symbole destiné à montrer à son électorat son volontarisme en matière de lutte contre l’immigration ? Le retour de la campagne est-il susceptible d’accélérer les efforts dans le domaine ?

      D’autre part, qu’en est-il de la situation des migrants sur le terrain ? Comment s’adaptent-ils à cette nouvelle donne ? Quelles conséquences sur les parcours migratoires des hommes, des femmes et des enfants qui cherchent à gagner les Etats-Unis ?

      On se souvient de cette terrible photo des cadavres encore enlacés d’un père et de sa petite fille de 2 ans, Oscar et Valeria Alberto, originaires du Salvador, morts noyés dans les eaux tumultueuses du Rio Bravo en juin dernier alors qu’ils cherchaient à passer aux Etats-Unis.

      Ce destin tragique annonce-t-il d’autres drames pour nombre de candidats à l’exil qui, quelques soient les politiques migratoires des Etats, iront au bout de leur vie avec l’espoir de l’embellir un peu ?

      https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/cultures-monde/les-frontieres-de-la-colere-14-la-forteresse-trump-ou-le-pari-du-mur

      #Mexique #symbole #barrières_frontalières #USA #Etats-Unis #renvois #push-back #refoulements

    • Mexico sends asylum seekers south — with no easy way to return for U.S. court dates

      The exhausted passengers emerge from a sleek convoy of silver and red-streaked buses, looking confused and disoriented as they are deposited ignominiously in this tropical backwater in southernmost Mexico.

      There is no greeter here to provide guidance on their pending immigration cases in the United States or on where to seek shelter in a teeming international frontier town packed with marooned, U.S.-bound migrants from across the globe.

      The bus riders had made a long and perilous overland trek north to the Rio Grande only to be dispatched back south to Mexico’s border with Central America — close to where many of them had begun their perilous journeys weeks and months earlier. At this point, some said, both their resources and sense of hope had been drained.

      “We don’t know what we’re going to do next,” said Maria de Los Angeles Flores Reyes, 39, a Honduran accompanied by her daughter, Cataren, 9, who appeared petrified after disembarking from one of the long-distance buses. “There’s no information, nothing.”

      The two are among more than 50,000 migrants, mostly Central Americans, whom U.S. immigration authorities have sent back to Mexico this year to await court hearings in the United States under the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico program.

      Immigration advocates have assailed the program as punitive, while the White House says it has worked effectively — discouraging many migrants from following up on asylum cases and helping to curb what President Trump has decried as a “catch and release” system in which apprehended migrants have been freed in U.S. territory pending court proceeding that can drag on for months or years.

      The ever-expanding ranks pose a growing dilemma for Mexican authorities, who, under intense pressure from the White House, had agreed to accept the returnees and provide them with humanitarian assistance.

      As the numbers rise, Mexico, in many cases, has opted for a controversial solution: Ship as many asylum seekers as possible more than 1,000 miles back here in the apparent hope that they will opt to return to Central America — even if that implies endangering or foregoing prospective political asylum claims in U.S. immigration courts.

      Mexican officials, sensitive to criticism that they are facilitating Trump’s hard-line deportation agenda, have been tight-lipped about the shadowy busing program, under which thousands of asylum-seekers have been returned here since August. (Mexican authorities declined to provide statistics on just how many migrants have been sent back under the initiative.)

      In a statement, Mexico’s immigration agency called the 40-hour bus rides a “free, voluntary and secure” alternative for migrants who don’t want to spend months waiting in the country’s notoriously dangerous northern border towns.

      Advocates counter that the program amounts to a barely disguised scheme for encouraging ill-informed migrants to abandon their ongoing petitions in U.S. immigration court and return to Central America. Doing so leaves them to face the same conditions that they say forced them to flee toward the United States, and, at the same time, would undermine the claims that they face persecution at home.

      “Busing someone back to your southern border doesn’t exactly send them a message that you want them to stay in your country,” said Maureen Meyer, who heads the Mexico program for the Washington Office on Latin America, a research and advocacy group. “And it isn’t always clear that the people on the buses understand what this could mean for their cases in the United States.”

      Passengers interviewed on both ends of the bus pipeline — along the northern Mexican border and here on the southern frontier with Guatemala — say that no Mexican official briefed them on the potential legal jeopardy of returning home.

      “No one told us anything,” Flores Reyes asked after she got off the bus here, bewildered about how to proceed. “Is there a safe place to stay here until our appointment in December?”

      The date is specified on a notice to appear that U.S. Border Patrol agents handed her before she and her daughter were sent back to Mexico last month after having been detained as illegal border-crossers in south Texas. They are due Dec. 16 in a U.S. immigration court in Harlingen, Texas, for a deportation hearing, according to the notice, stamped with the capital red letters MPP — for Migrant Protection Protocols, the official designation of Remain in Mexico.

      The free bus rides to the Guatemalan border are strictly a one-way affair: Mexico does not offer return rides back to the northern border for migrants due in a U.S. immigration court, typically several months later.

      Beti Suyapa Ortega, 36, and son Robinson Javier Melara, 17, in a Mexican immigration agency waiting room in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

      “At this point, I’m so frightened I just want to go home,” said Beti Suyapa Ortega, 36, from Honduras, who crossed the border into Texas intending to seek political asylum and surrendered to the Border Patrol.

      She, along with her son, 17, were among two dozen or so Remain in Mexico returnees waiting recently for a southbound bus in a spartan office space at the Mexican immigration agency compound in Nuevo Laredo, across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas.

      Ortega and others said they were terrified of venturing onto the treacherous streets of Nuevo Laredo — where criminal gangs control not only drug trafficking but also the lucrative enterprise of abducting and extorting from migrants.

      “We can’t get out of here soon enough. It has been a nightmare,” said Ortega, who explained that she and her son had been kidnapped and held for two weeks and only released when a brother in Atlanta paid $8,000 in ransom. “I can never come back to this place.”

      The Ortegas, along with a dozen or so other Remain in Mexico returnees, left later that evening on a bus to southern Mexico. She said she would skip her date in U.S. immigration court, in Laredo — an appointment that would require her to pass through Nuevo Laredo and expose herself anew to its highly organized kidnapping and extortion gangs.

      The Mexican government bus service operates solely from the northern border towns of Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, officials say. Both are situated in hyper-dangerous Tamaulipas state, a cartel hub on the Gulf of Mexico that regularly ranks high nationwide in homicides, “disappearances” and the discovery of clandestine graves.

      The long-haul Mexican busing initiative began in July, after U.S. immigration authorities began shipping migrants with court cases to Tamaulipas. Earlier, Remain in Mexico had been limited to sending migrants with U.S. court dates back to the northern border towns of Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juarez.

      At first, the buses left migrants departing from Tamaulipas state in the city of Monterrey, a relatively safe industrial center four hours south of the U.S. border. But officials there, including the state governor, complained about the sudden influx of hundreds of mostly destitute Central Americans. That’s when Mexican authorities appear to have begun busing all the way back to Ciudad Hidalgo, along Mexico’s border with Guatemala.

      A separate, United Nations-linked program has also returned thousands of migrants south from two large cities on the U.S. border, Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.

      The packed buses arrive here two or three times a week, with no apparent set schedule.

      On a recent morning, half a dozen, each ferrying more than 40 migrants, came to a stop a block from the Rodolfo Robles international bridge that spans the Suchiate River, the dividing line between Mexico and Guatemala. Part of the fleet of the Omnibus Cristobal Colon long-distance transport company, the buses displayed windshield signs explaining they were “in the service” of Mexico’s national immigration agency.

      The migrants on board had begun the return journey south in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas, after having been sent back there by U.S. immigration authorities.

      Many clutched folders with notices to appear in U.S. immigration court in Texas in December.

      But some, including Flores Reyes, said they were terrified of returning to Matamoros, where they had been subjected to robbery or kidnapping. Nor did they want to return across the Rio Grande to Texas, if it required travel back through Matamoros.

      Flores Reyes said kidnappers held her and her daughter for a week in Matamoros before they managed to escape with the aid of a fellow Honduran.

      The pair later crossed into Texas, she said, and they surrendered to the U.S. Border Patrol. On Sept. 11, they were sent back to Matamoros with a notice to appear Dec. 16 in immigration court in Harlingen.

      “When they told us they were sending us back to Matamoros I became very upset,” Flores Reyes said. “I can’t sleep. I’m still so scared because of what happened to us there.”

      Fearing a second kidnapping, she said, she quickly agreed to take the transport back to southern Mexico.

      Christian Gonzalez, 23, a native of El Salvador who was also among those recently returned here, said he had been mugged in Matamoros and robbed of his cash, his ID and his documents, among them the government notice to appear in U.S. immigration court in Texas in December.

      “Without the paperwork, what can I do?” said an exasperated Gonzalez, a laborer back in Usulutan province in southeastern El Salvador. “I don’t have any money to stay here.”

      He planned to abandon his U.S. immigration case and return to El Salvador, where he said he faced threats from gangs and an uncertain future.

      Standing nearby was Nuvia Carolina Meza Romero, 37, accompanied by her daughter, Jessi, 8, who clutched a stuffed sheep. Both had also returned on the buses from Matamoros. Meza Romero, too, was in a quandary about what do, but seemed resigned to return to Honduras.

      “I can’t stay here. I don’t know anyone and I don’t have any money,” said Meza Romero, who explained that she spent a week in U.S. custody in Texas after crossing the Rio Grande and being apprehended on Sept. 2.

      Her U.S. notice to appear advised her to show up on Dec. 3 in U.S. immigration court in Brownsville.

      “I don’t know how I would even get back there at this point,” said Meza Romero, who was near tears as she stood with her daughter near the border bridge.

      Approaching the migrants were aggressive bicycle taxi drivers who, for a fee of the equivalent of about $2, offered to smuggle them back across the river to Guatemala on rafts made of planks and inner tubes, thus avoiding Mexican and Guatemalan border inspections.

      Opting to cross the river were many bus returnees from Matamoros, including Meza Romero, her daughter and Gonzalez, the Salvadoran.

      But Flores Reyes was hesitant to return to Central America and forfeit her long-sought dream of resettling in the United States, even if she had to make her way back to Matamoros on her own.

      “Right now, we just need to find some shelter,” Flores Reyes said as she ambled off in search of some kind of lodging, her daughter holding her mother’s arm. “We have an appointment on Dec. 16 on the other side. I plan to make it. I’m not ready to give up yet.”

      https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-10-15/buses-to-nowhere-mexico-transports-migrants-with-u-s-court-dates-to-its-far

      –---------

      Commentaire de @pascaline via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      Outre le dispositif d’expulsion par charter de l’OIM (https://seenthis.net/messages/730601) mis en place à la frontière nord du Mexique pour les MPPs, le transfert et l’abandon des demandeurs d’asile MPPS à la frontière avec le Guatemala, par les autorités mexicaines est présentée comme une façon de leur permettre d’échapper à la dangerosité des villes frontalières du Nord tout en espérant qu’ils choississent de retourner par eux-mêmes « chez eux »...

    • In a first, U.S. starts pushing Central American families seeking asylum to Guatemala

      U.S. officials have started to send families seeking asylum to Guatemala, even if they are not from the Central American country and had sought protection in the United States, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

      In July, the Trump administration announced a new rule to effectively end asylum at the southern U.S. border by requiring asylum seekers to claim protection elsewhere. Under that rule — which currently faces legal challenges — virtually any migrant who passes through another country before reaching the U.S. border and does not seek asylum there will be deemed ineligible for protection in the United States.

      A few days later, the administration reached an agreement with Guatemala to take asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. border who were not Guatemalan. Although Guatemala’s highest court initially said the country’s president couldn’t unilaterally enter into such an agreement, since late November, U.S. officials have forcibly returned individuals to Guatemala under the deal.

      At first, U.S. officials said they would return only single adults. But starting Tuesday, they began applying the policy to non-Guatemalan parents and children, according to communications obtained by The Times and several U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials.

      One family of three from Honduras, as well as a separate Honduran parent and child, were served with notices on Tuesday that they’d soon be deported to Guatemala.

      The Trump administration has reached similar agreements with Guatemala’s Northern Triangle neighbors, El Salvador and Honduras, in each case obligating those countries to take other Central Americans who reach the U.S. border. Those agreements, however, have yet to be implemented.

      The administration describes the agreements as an “effort to share the distribution of hundreds of thousands of asylum claims.”

      The deals — also referred to as “safe third country” agreements — “are formed between the United States and foreign countries where aliens removed to those countries would have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection,” according to the federal notice.

      Guatemala has virtually no asylum system of its own, but the Trump administration and Guatemalan government both said the returns would roll out slowly and selectively.

      The expansion of the policy to families could mean many more asylum seekers being forcibly removed to Guatemala.

      Experts, advocates, the United Nations and Guatemalan officials say the country doesn’t have the capacity to handle any sizable influx, much less process potential protection claims. Guatemala’s own struggles with corruption, violence and poverty helped push more than 270,000 Guatemalans to the U.S. border in fiscal 2019.

      Citizenship and Immigration Services and Homeland Security officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

      https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-12-10/u-s-starts-pushing-asylum-seeking-families-back-to-guatemala-for-first-time

    • U.S. implements plan to send Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala

      Mexicans seeking asylum in the United States could be sent to Guatemala under a bilateral agreement signed by the Central American nation last year, according to documents sent to U.S. asylum officers in recent days and seen by Reuters.

      In a Jan. 4 email, field office staff at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) were told Mexican nationals will be included in the populations “amenable” to the agreement with Guatemala.

      The agreement, brokered last July between the administration of Republican President Donald Trump and the outgoing Guatemalan government, allows U.S. immigration officials to send migrants requesting asylum at the U.S.-Mexican border to apply for protection in Guatemala instead.

      Mexico objects to the plan, its foreign ministry said in a statement late on Monday, adding that it would be working with authorities to find “better options” for those that could be affected.

      Trump has made clamping down on unlawful migration a top priority of his presidency and a major theme of his 2020 re-election campaign. His administration penned similar deals with Honduras and El Salvador last year.

      U.S. Democrats and pro-migrant groups have opposed the move and contend asylum seekers will face danger in Guatemala, where the murder rate is five times that of the United States, according to 2017 data compiled by the World Bank. The country’s asylum office is tiny and thinly staffed and critics have argued it lacks the capacity to properly vet a significant increase in cases.

      Guatemalan President-elect Alejandro Giammattei, who takes office this month, has said he will review the agreement.

      Acting Deputy U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said in a tweet in December that Mexicans were being considered for inclusion under the agreement.

      USCIS referred questions to DHS, which referred to Cuccinelli’s tweet. Mexico’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

      Alejandra Mena, a spokeswoman for Guatemala’s immigration institute, said that since the agreement was implemented in November, the United States has sent 52 migrants to the country. Only six have applied for asylum in Guatemala, Mena said.

      On Monday, an additional 33 Central American migrants arrived on a flight to Guatemala City, she said.

      Unaccompanied minors cannot be sent to Guatemala under the agreement, which now applies only to migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico, according to the guidance documents. Exceptions are made if the migrants can establish that they are “more likely than not” to be persecuted or tortured in Guatemala based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

      Numbers of Central American migrants apprehended at the border fell sharply in the second part of 2019 after Mexico deployed National Guard troops to stem the flow, under pressure from Trump.

      Overall, border arrests are expected to drop again in December for the seventh straight month, a Homeland Security official told Reuters last week, citing preliminary data.

      The U.S. government says another reason for the reduction in border crossings is a separate program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, that has forced more than 56,000 non-Mexican migrants to wait in Mexico for their U.S. immigration court hearings.

      With fewer Central Americans at the border, U.S. attention has turned to Mexicans crossing illegally or requesting asylum. About 150,000 Mexican single adults were apprehended at the border in fiscal 2019, down sharply from previous decades but still enough to bother U.S. immigration hawks.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration/us-implements-plan-to-send-mexican-asylum-seekers-to-guatemala-idUSKBN1Z51S
      #Guatemala

    • Mexico begins flying, busing migrants back to #Honduras

      Hundreds of Central American migrants who entered southern Mexico in recent days have either been pushed back into Guatemala by Mexican troops, shipped to detention centers or returned to Honduras, officials said Tuesday. An unknown number slipped past Mexican authorities and continued north.

      The latest migrant caravan provided a public platform for Mexico to show the U.S. government and migrants thinking of making the trip that it has refined its strategy and produced its desired result: This caravan will not advance past its southern border.

      What remained unclear was the treatment of the migrants who already find themselves on their way back to the countries they fled last week.

      “Mexico doesn’t have the capacity to process so many people in such a simple way in a couple of days,” said Guadalupe Correa Cabrera, a professor at George Mason University studying how the caravans form.

      The caravan of thousands had set out from Honduras in hopes Mexico would grant them passage, posing a fresh test of U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to reduce the flow of migrants arriving at the U.S. border by pressuring other governments to stop them.

      Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said 2,400 migrants entered Mexico legally over the weekend. About 1,000 of them requested Mexico’s help in returning to their countries. The rest were being held in immigration centers while they start legal processes that would allow them to seek refuge in Mexico or obtain temporary work permits that would confine them to southern Mexico.

      On Tuesday afternoon, Jesus, a young father from Honduras who offered only his first name, rested in a shelter in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, with his wife and their baby, unsure of what to do next.

      “No country’s policy sustains us,” he said in response to hearing Ebrard’s comments about the situation. “If we don’t work, we don’t eat. (He) doesn’t feed us, doesn’t care for our children.”

      Honduran officials said more than 600 of its citizens were expected to arrive in that country Tuesday by plane and bus and more would follow in the coming days.

      Of an additional 1,000 who tried to enter Mexico illegally Monday by wading across the Suchiate river, most were either forced back or detained later by immigration agents, according to Mexican officials.

      Most of the hundreds stranded in the no-man’s land on the Mexican side of the river Monday night returned to Guatemala in search of water, food and a place to sleep. Late Tuesday, the first buses carrying Hondurans left Tecun Uman with approximately 150 migrants heading back to their home country.

      Mexican authorities distributed no water or food to those who entered illegally, in what appeared to be an attempt by the government to wear out the migrants.

      Alejandro Rendón, an official from Mexico’s social welfare department, said his colleagues were giving water to those who turned themselves in or were caught by immigration agents, but were not doing the same along the river because it was not safe for workers to do so.

      “It isn’t prudent to come here because we can’t put the safety of the colleagues at risk,” he said.

      Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Tuesday that the government is trying to protect the migrants from harm by preventing them from traveling illegally through the country. He said they need to respect Mexican laws.

      “If we don’t take care of them, if we don’t know who they are, if we don’t have a register, they pass and get to the north, and the criminal gangs grab them and assault them, because that’s how it was before,” he said. “They disappeared them.”

      Mexican Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero commended the National Guard for its restraint, saying: “In no way has there been an act that we could call repression and not even annoyance.”

      But Honduras’ ambassador to Mexico said there had been instances of excessive force on the part of the National Guard. “We made a complaint before the Mexican government,” Alden Rivera said in an interview with HCH Noticias without offering details. He also conceded migrants had thrown rocks at Mexican authorities.

      An Associated Press photograph of a Mexican National Guardsman holding a migrant in a headlock was sent via Twitter by acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli with the message: “We appreciate Mexico doing more than they did last year to interdict caravans attempting to move illegally north to our southern border.”

      “They absolutely must be satisfied with (Mexico’s) actions because in reality it’s their (the United States’) plan,” said Correa Cabrera, the George Mason professor. “They’re congratulating themselves, because in reality it wasn’t López Obrador’s plan.”

      She said it is an complicated issue for Mexico, but the National Guard had no business being placed at the border to handle immigration because they weren’t trained for it. The government “is sending a group that doesn’t know how to and can’t protect human rights because they’re trained to do other kinds of things,” she said.

      Mexico announced last June that it was deploying the newly formed National Guard to assist in immigration enforcement to avoid tariffs that Trump threatened on Mexican imports.

      Darlin René Romero and his wife were among the few who spent the night pinned between the river and Mexican authorities.

      Rumors had circulated through the night that “anything could happen, that being there was very dangerous,” Romero said. But the couple from Copan, Honduras, spread a blanket on the ground and passed the night 20 yards from a line of National Guard troops forming a wall with their riot shields.

      They remained confident that Mexico would allow them to pass through and were trying to make it to the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, where his sister lives.

      They said a return home to impoverished and gang-plagued Honduras, where most of the migrants are from, was unthinkable.

      https://apnews.com/4d685100193f6a2c521267fe614356df