"The Central American migration route is violent and brutal, but most who use it have no choice.
Approximately 60 per cent of the people Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treats along migratory routes through Mexico have been subjected to acts of violence. “On their route, the migrant population is exposed to situations of violence such as mugging, theft, extortion, kidnapping and sexual violence against women and minors,” says Marc Bosch, MSF’s head of mission in Mexico. “This violence is basically related to the presence of criminal organizations along the route.” Fearing rape, some women even pre-emptively take contraceptives before their departures.
A lack of official figures makes it difficult to assess the scale of this mass movement of people and the extent of the humanitarian needs.
MSF has been running projects along migration routes in Mexico since 2011. In Ixtepec, MSF operates a clinic and delivers psychological care. There are also mental-health programs in Tierra Blanca and Hueuetoca, and mobile clinics in Lechería and Bojay. In 2014, teams carried out more than 21,200 outpatient consultations and 2,000 mental-health consultations, with 200 patients treated after incidents of sexual violence."
Image © Anna Surinyach/MSF