Here the statement:
February 07, 2022 Tijuana, Baja California
On February 6, around 4:00 AM, while children and families were sleeping in their tents, authorities accompanied by riot police and the National Guard arrived unannounced at the “El Chaparral” camp in Tijuana to execute a complete eviction.
The way in which this eviction was carried out caused chaos, psychological and emotional trauma, loss of belongings, widespread unnecessary fear among the migrant population; furthermore, it fosters xenophobia in the region.
The bad conditions that existed in the camp for a long time —which have been documented and denounced on several occasions by civil society— are the result of the abandonment by the Mexican authorities, the negligence of international agencies, and the political denial of the right to seek asylum by the United States government.
This early-morning eviction with hundreds of police and military elements was an unnecessary act that violates people in need of international protection.
Based on face-to-face observation and documentation, testimonies collected in Chaparral and by telephone, public broadcasts, and conversations with authorities, we denounce the following facts:
In other words, the number of police and military personnel deployed for the operation was greater than the number of migrants. Several people stated that they felt fear, panic, confusion and terror when they woke up at 4:00 am with this mobilization; childhood being the most affected.
The elements of the National Guard carried batons and anti-riot shields, and we observed several elements on top of trucks with long weapons. This generates more psychological and emotional trauma for people who have – in many cases – suffered violent attacks by authorities or organized crime.
Authorities said they were not going to evict, but they did: The municipal authorities of the current administration publicly promised on several occasions not to forcibly evict migrants from the “El Chaparral” camp. They even expressed it in recent days during a meeting with people from the camp. These contradictions and broken promises increase the lack of trust and credibility of the authorities.
In a previous case we have documented that people from Chaparral relocated by municipal authorities were sent to places where after three days they could not stay in the shelter.
Several people requested clarity on the length of stay in the shelters and the authorities mentioned that it would be for an indefinite period of time, with no limit. It is essential that this be done.
Hundreds of people from other countries and from Mexico seek to save their lives and face a closed border where their right to request protection is not respected.
We recognize that the conditions in the Chaparral refugee camp were unacceptable. However, for the reasons mentioned above, we believe that the eviction carried out today by the three levels of the Mexican government was cruel and violent.
We make the following calls:
In solidarity with those who migrate and seek international protection. The Chaparral Humanitarian Alliance: APALA-SD (Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance-San Diego), AFSC (American Friends and Services Committee), Border Angels, Border Line Crisis Center, Psychologists Without Borders BC, and United US Sported Veterans together form CHA or the Chaparral Humanitarian Alliance.
This alliance seeks to support migrants and all those seeking asylum in the United States through Tijuana, B.C.