To the Governments of the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras
To all people of good faith.
Migrating should be a flight for the dream of life, not death
In Texas, on June 29, 2022, heat, overcrowding, and lack of oxygen ended the lives of more than 50 migrants abandoned in a trailer that moved them in search of better living conditions, human beings who were forced to leave their country of origin due to injustice and extreme of violence, driven to see refuge in other lands.
The Franciscan Network for Migrants (RFM) expresses indignation and consternation as we have verified the human drama that migrants live in the territories not only of North America, but also in Mexico. Countries whose banners include “republic” and “democracy” as institutions that safeguard the freedom and life of society. We join with the families in their pain. Know that we are with you in prayer and solidarity.
With a view to renewing the policies and practices that criminalize and violate the human rights of each person who migrates, the reaction of the countries of the Central American region and Mexico is urgent. We must change the context of the narrative from containment to protection. In the current regional scenario, vulnerable migrants do not have many options to leave, transit, and reach their destinations safely. This leads them to seek paths that put their human dignity, integrity, health and, in many cases, even their lives at risk.
As the RFM we call on the competent authorities in the United States to thoroughly investigate the facts and find those responsible for this unfortunate tragedy, as well as to work to eradicate human trafficking. The situation also reflects that the xenophobic and racist policies and practices have only benefitted organized crime networks. We condemn the impunity for the various crimes of which migrants are victims.
Likewise, we demand that the governments of the United States, Mexico, and the countries of Central America respond to the commitment assumed by the different human rights standards to guarantee the effective protection of the human rights of migrants, as well as their fundamental freedoms.
As Christians and franciscans, we firmly believe in the dignity of every human being. We believe that the encounter between cultures and groups enriches us all and that justice, equity and freedom are the basis for brotherhood or “social friendship” among peoples. The foreigner must be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated into our societies, as God himself would do (Deuteronomy 19,34). Saint Francis of Assisi was a friend and brother of all the living; nobody was his enemy or considered to be a “foreigner.” We have a political and spiritual legacy that recognizes that both human beings and creatures form a single family, that we live in the same house that is “sister mother earth.”
In these moments of people-to-people solidarity, as the Franciscan Network for Migrants, we continue to accompany the migrants of the Americas who leave, transit or seek to reside in other places. Together with their families, with our prayers, we share in their pain.