Autonomous Refugee Warehouse in Tijuana Threatened With Raid, updates to follow

January 4th, 2018, 7 pm PST

At approximately 10:30 am PST, refugees at Benito Juarez, the only self-organized Carvana Migrante camp in Tijuana, were served an eviction notice at Contra Viento y Marea, where they have inhabited since the unannounced night raid at 3 am from their original encampment outside of the warehouse on December 19th .

Mexican riot cops, equipped with shields and tear gas canisters, surrounded the building at 10:30 am and shared that they would begin removing everyone from the building at 12:00 pm PST. The police shut down the road in front of the warehouse around 11:30 am. At around 12:30 the police set up barricades around the only entrance of the building, preventing anyone from entering as well as creating dangerous conditions for anyone leaving the building.

At approximately at 12:00 pm organizers held a short press conference insisting they have the legal right to stay in the building. Organizers delivered paperwork stating the building should not be vacated because the premise of the injunction request is illegal; everyone has been waiting all day to receive an answer from a local judge of will this proceed.

Many refugees willingly left the building throughout the day, but at 6 pm there are still 80 people within the building, including approximately 30 women and children. These brave refugees and allies refuse to leave the building as negotiations press on into the evening. The refugees hold their original demand of being able to remain in the warehouse until January 24th ; folks will continue to hold off the police as long as possible. As the night presses on the police continue to stand in formation, augmenting their barricades. It was shared that they have not raided the building yet because of the American presence inside.

Attached below is the press release from the migrants themselves:

“With this media address we would like to say hello to the people of Tijuana and also give thanks to them for treating us well. At the same time, we would like to apologize for any of the inconveniences we have caused them. We would like to give thanks to Father Solalinde and Senator Don Jaime Bonilla for finding us a place to stay, safe from the elements. From the beginning, we knew this shelter was temporary and that we would be expected to leave on January 24th, 2019. This shelter has provided us with things we need – we have bathrooms, a kitchen, and most importantly, safety, provided by the Federal Police.

When we left our previous shelter in stadium Benito Juárez, we did so in good faith with the promise that we would be provided water and electricity, which we have not received. Even so, we know we are in a better place now than at the previous shelter (the stadium).

All we are asking for is some time. There were 550 of us counted according to the census. There are now only 160. We have all agreed to leave but we ask that we have the peace of mind that we will not be forcefully evicted. Every day, we clean the shelter floors, the bathrooms, and collect all of the trash. However, some local police authorities have not been allowing for the trash to be collected by the proper services. Now, this is being used as a reason against our staying here.

We have the help of Doctors Without Borders, the only organization to have offered us health care. The only negative report have been some cases of respiratory infections.”

Refugiados Indígenas y Centroamericanos se Encierran y Previenen Redada Policial en el Refugio Benito Juarez

Justo después de las 3 de la mañana del sábado 29 de diciembre, aproximadamente 200 policías federales y municipales mexicanos con equipo antidisturbios y vehículos blindados, junto con 5 autobuses, aparecieron fuera del refugio cerca del Estadio Deportivo Benito Juárez, donde cientos de refugiados indígenas y centroamericanos se encuentran en el centro de Tijuana, Baja California.

En los últimos tres días, la policía ha amenazado con allanar el refugio, destruir las tiendas de campaña, y trasladar a todos los refugiados hasta El Barretal, un campamento improvisado parecido a una prisión al aire libre, administrada por el gobierno federal. Los testimonios de testigos de los refugiados indican que la policía tenía toda la intención de sacar a todos del refugiados por fuerza y ​​ponerlos en los autobuses que se dirigían a El Barretal en la hora de la madrugada.

Después de recibir varios consejos de gente fuera del almacén sobre la gran presencia de la policía antidisturbios que rodeaba el refugio, los refugiados votaron para encerrarse dentro de la entrada. Algunos de ellos se encadenaron físicamente a la puerta del almacén para mantenerla cerrada. Cientos de policías antidisturbios, autobuses y varios camiones blindados ocuparon dos bloques de calles completos alrededor del almacén, que no tiene ventanas. Esperaron en silencio, con sus escudos en posición, mientras un par de negociadores se reunían frente a las puertas cerradas del almacén.

Los organizadores de refugiados desde adentro junto con un trabajador de apoyo legal se comunicaron con los federales deslizando un pedazo de papel debajo de la puerta. Los refugiados presentaron 3 demandas simples: no asaltar el campamento del almacén con mujeres y niños adentro, permitir que los refugiados permanezcan allí hasta al menos el 24 de enero, y no ser trasladados a El Barretal. Los jefes federales no sucedieron en sus esfuerzos para que alguien abriera las puertas del almacén.

#centralamericanexodus #caravanamigrante #benitojuarez #tijuana #abolishice #nobordersnowall #Nadieesilegal #chingalamigra #hecatesociety #unmondosinfronteras #usmurderpatrol #nomordeaths #nomasmuertes #womxn #lgbtq #refugees #uronstolenland #nobannowall

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