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Free 2 defenders of migrants accused of human trafficking in Mexico

Human rights defenders Cristóbal Sánchez and Irineo Mujica, who supported the Central American migrant caravan, were freed in the last hours in Mexico after a judge found no evidence to link them to a human trafficking process, although the investigation continues.

The NGO to which they are related, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said in a statement Wednesday that both were more than ten hours offering their testimony to the authorities in Tapachula, in the southern state of Chiapas, and expressed their “deep concern” that the judge has not completely closed the investigations.

“The judge left open and even seemed to be encouraging the Public Ministry to continue their investigations against Cristóbal, despite having recognized the total lack of evidence against him,” they said.

“Even though we celebrate their freedom, we do it with sore hearts, in the midst of a broad campaign attacking migrants and the defenders who accompanied them throughout the region,” the NGO added.

Mujica, a leader of Pueblo Sin Fronteras and a very visible figure when the phenomenon of Central American caravans began in October 2018, was arrested on June 6 in Sonora, in northwestern Mexico, where he had resided for some time.

While Sanchez, defender of the rights of migrants, was intercepted the same day when he left his home in Mexico City.

The arrest of both, activists for more than a decade, had to do, according to the director of the organization, Alex Mensing, with a warning message that the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants to transfer to the Mexican population in reaction to the threats of the American president, Donald Trump.

“It is no coincidence that he comes just after the United States threatened Mexico with tariffs,” López explained to Efe last week. “It is clear that López Obrador is accepting Trump’s migrant policy and is willing to intimidate his citizens.”

President Trump had given until June 10 to negotiate before the entry into force of the first tariffs that would affect all imports from Mexico.

Finally, on Friday, June 7, an immigration agreement was reached that postponed the decision of the head of the White House.

Now Mexico has 45 days to prove the viability of its immigration plan, or else the threat of tariffs could be reactivated.

Since mid-October, the number of migrants crossing Mexico to reach the United States has grown exponentially.

Mainly due to the phenomenon of caravans – with thousands of mostly Central Americans – traveling in groups for security reasons and to put more pressure on the immigration authorities. (EFE) .-

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