Nelly Vega Gómez is a human rights advocate who daily goes with her husband to the railroad tracks in Celaya, Mexico, to give support, food and service to those who are passing through. It is a dangerous place because it is exposed to the presence of human smugglers, organised crime and other authorities who take advantage of migrants. And although the risk is clear, Nelly keeps doing what she does.
“The migration situation is there and it is getting worse, that’s why we prepare and plan on continuing to grow in the future. In truth, this type of work is really beautiful, very satisfying and ever since we jumped into the deep end, we increasingly feel the responsibility and pleasure of going on”.
Every year, 400,000 undocumented people from Central America transit through Mexico in order to get to the USA. There are different routes but the freight-train route, known as “la Bestia”, is the most dangerous route in the continent. There is a network of 65 houses for migrants that provide help and protection to this vulnerable group, including shelter, food, health and psychosocial services, and legal advice.
Oxfam supports human rights advocates in three important stops in the State of Guanajuato, namely Irapuato, Salamanca and Celaya. This “Support and protection to defenders of migrants in very risky situations in Guanajuato” programme—supported by the European Union—aims for human rights advocates to have more technical and organisational skills to better serve transmigrants in a safer context for both advocates and transmigrants in shelters.
Photo: Consuelo Pagaza/Oxfam
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