Mexico condemns violent actions by migration agents caught on video

Migrants and asylum seekers heading to Mexico City, on a highway in Chiapas state on Aug 29, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) - Mexico's National Migration Institute (INM) condemned the actions of agents caught on video over the weekend throwing a migrant to the ground and kicking him in the face with the help of National Guard troops.

The government deployed hundreds of security forces to head off a caravan of migrants and asylum seekers who left the southern city of Tapachula on Saturday (Aug 28) for Mexico City, where they hoped to seek expedited asylum proceedings.

Videos posted to social media showed confrontations along a highway in the state of Chiapas between members of Mexico's militarized National Guard and the migrants, many of whom were accompanied by young children or carrying babies.

One of the videos shows an INM agent, with the help of National Guards wearing riot gear, grabbing one of the migrants and knocking him to the ground, as another agent kicks him in the face.

In a statement, INM announced the two agents had been "suspended" due to what it described as their inappropriate conduct on Saturday.

"No conduct outside human rights protocols and policies will be tolerated," the statement said, adding that additional punishment will be determined by an internal inspector.

Another video showed members of the National Guard using their shields to beat a migrant carrying a minor. Neither the INM or National Guard made any mention of the videos. It was unclear who had recorded the videos.

Amnesty International's Mexico office called on Twitter for Mexico "to act with a humanitarian approach in the face of the arrival of Central American and Haitian migrants fleeing the violence and crisis generated by natural disasters."

The National Guard, responding to Amnesty International, said on Twitter: "We have increased supervisory controls to improve procedures and prevent abuses."

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