ArticlePDF Available

Migrating through the Corridor of Death: The Making of a Complex Humanitarian Crisis


Abstract and Figures

Drawing on the concept of a “complex humanitarian crisis,” this paper describes how outflows of migrants from Central America were transformed into such a crisis by intransigent immigration and border policies enacted in both Mexico and the United States. We describe the origins of the migration in U.S. Cold War interventions that created many thousands of displaced people fleeing violence and economic degradation in the region, leading to a sustained process of undocumented migration to the United States. Owing to rising levels of gang violence and weather events associated with climate change, the number of people seeking to escape threats in Central America has multiplied and unauthorized migration through Mexico toward the United States has increased. However, the securitization of migration in both Mexico and the United States has blocked these migrants from exercising their right to petition for asylum, creating a growing backlog of migrants who are subject to human rights violations and predations both by criminals and government authorities, leading migrants to label Mexican routes northward as a “corridor of death.” We draw on data from annual reports of Mexico's Red de Documentación de las Organizaciones Defensoras de Migrantes (Network for the Documentation of Migrant Defense Organizations) to construct a statistical profile of transit migrants and the threats they face as reported by humanitarian actors in Mexico. These reports allow us to better understand the practical realities of the “complex humanitarian crisis” facing undocumented migrants, both as unauthorized border crossers and as transit migrants moving between the southern frontiers of Mexico and the United States. Policy Recommendations Policy makers need to address: Governments must recognize that the humanitarian crisis facing migrants is not confined to border regions but unfolds at places of both origin and destination as well as within extended geographies of transit in-between. The current refugee protection regime and asylum system are ill-matched to the needs and vulnerabilities of today's migrants. In an era of rapid climate change, rising state failures, and escalating violence, people are not moving so much to advance economically as to escape a growing array of threats not covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention, which needs to be updated. Developed nations must honor rather than elide their obligations under international law to accept asylum applicants and fairly adjudicate their cases, Since a large fraction of the Central Americans arriving at the southern US border have relatives in the United States, creating a pathway to legal status for unauthorized US residents would relieve a lot of the pressure on the asylum system by enabling authorities to release applicants to the support and care of legally resident relatives rather than placing them in an overburdened detention system. Governments need to scale back the securitization and criminalization of migration, which have made human mobility an increasingly precarious and risk-filled activity that contributes to rather than forestalls the proliferation of crime and violence. Human rights and humanitarian agencies need to revisit their missions to derive new ways of working conjointly and in parallel with each other and with governments to better understand and meet the needs of migrants in the 21 st century.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Migrating through the Corridor of
Death: The Making of a Complex
Humanitarian Crisis
Priscilla Solano
Lund University
Douglas S. Massey
Princeton University
Executive Summary
Drawing on the concept of a complex humanitarian crisis,this paper describes how outows of migrants
from Central America were transformed into such a crisis by intransigent immigration and border policies
enacted in both Mexico and the United States. We describe the origins of the migration in U.S. Cold War
interventions that created many thousands of displaced people eeing violence and economic degradation
in the region, leading to a sustained process of undocumented migration to the United States. Owing to rising
levels of gang violence and weather events associated with climate change, the number of people seeking to
escape threats in Central America has multiplied and unauthorized migration through Mexico toward the
United States has increased. However, the securitization of migration in both Mexico and the United
States has blocked these migrants from exercising their right to petition for asylum, creating a growing back-
log of migrants who are subject to human rights violations and predations both by criminals and government
authorities, leading migrants to label Mexican routes northward as a corridor of death.We draw on data
from annual reports of Mexicos Red de Documentación de las Organizaciones Defensoras de Migrantes
(Network for the Documentation of Migrant Defense Organizations) to construct a statistical prole of tran-
sit migrants and the threats they face as reported by humanitarian actors in Mexico. These reports allow us
to better understand the practical realities of the complex humanitarian crisisfacing undocumented
migrants, both as unauthorized border crossers and as transit migrants moving between the southern fron-
tiers of Mexico and the United States.
Policy Recommendations
Policy makers need to address:
Governments must recognize that the humanitarian crisis facing migrants is not conned to border
regions but unfolds at places of both origin and destination as well as within extended geographies
of transit in-between.
The current refugee protection regime and asylum system are ill-matched to the needs and vulnerabil-
ities of todays migrants. In an era of rapid climate change, rising state failures, and escalating violence,
people are not moving so much to advance economically as to escape a growing array of threats not
Corresponding Author:
Priscilla Solano, Department of Sociology, Lund University, Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden.
Original Article
Journal on Migration and Human Security
2022, Vol. 10(3) 147-172
© The Author(s) 2022
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/23315024221119784
covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention, which needs to be updated.
Developed nations must honor rather than elide their obligations under international law to accept asy-
lum applicants and fairly adjudicate their cases,
Since a large fraction of the Central Americans arriving at the southern US border have relatives in the
United States, creating a pathway to legal status for unauthorized US residents would relieve a lot of the
pressure on the asylum system by enabling authorities to release applicants to the support and care of
legally resident relatives rather than placing them in an overburdened detention system.
Governments need to scale back the securitization and criminalization of migration, which have made
human mobility an increasingly precarious and risk-lled activity that contributes to rather than fore-
stalls the proliferation of crime and violence.
Human rights and humanitarian agencies need to revisit their missions to derive new ways of working
conjointly and in parallel with each other and with governments to better understand and meet the
needs of migrants in the 21
undocumented migration, humanitarian crisis, Mexico, transit
Published statistics from US Customs and Border
Protection (CPB) (2021a) reveal that from 1998
through 2020 some 7,216 migrants perished along
the US-Mexico border, and the Mesoamerican
Migrant Movement (2016) estimates that upwards
of 70,000 Central American migrants disappeared in
Mexico between 2006 and 2016. The Mexican gov-
ernments own Registro Nacional de Personas
Desaparecidas o no Localizadas (National Registry
of Disappeared or Missing Persons) (2022) lists
101,510 persons who vanished without a trace
between 1964 and 2022. Given these statistics, it is
unsurprising that Mexico has become known as El
Corredor de la Muerte (the Corridor of Death)
among the Central American migrants, refugees,
and asylum seekers who traverse its territory on
their way northward.
The rising visibility of Central American migrants
occurs against a backdrop of declining undocumented
migration from Mexico, one that paradoxically was
accompanied by a sharp increase in migration by
Mexicans holding legal temporary labor visas. From
2000 to 2018 the number of Mexicans apprehended at
the border dropped from 1.6 million to 152,000 and
the number of undocumented Mexicans living in the
United States fell by 1.6 million persons (Warren 2020).
As immigration from Mexico declined, undocu-
mented migration rose from Central Americas
Northern Triangle(i.e., El Salvador, Guatemala,
and Honduras), with a net inow of 258,000 migrants
between 2008 and 2018 (Warren 2020). Although
undocumented migration along the Mexico-U.S.
border has long been framed as a humanitarian
crisis(Huspek, Martinez, and Jimenez 1998;
Falcón 2001; Meneses 2003), the most recent itera-
tion of that framing dates to 2014 when 68,541 unac-
companied minors were apprehended (three quarters
from the Northern Triangle) and President Obamas
initial policy of taking them into custody sparked a
debate on the legality and morality of incarcerating
children (Lind 2014).
In the years since 2014, the movement of Central
Americans toward the US border has continued,
with notable surges in 2016, 2019, and 2021. Over
the ve years from 2016 to 2021, some 4 million
unauthorized migrants were apprehended along the
Mexico-US border, 49.3 percent from the Northern
Triangle compared with just 37.3 percent from
Mexico and 13.4 percent from other nations (U.S.
Customs and Border Protection 2021b). Northern
Triangle migrants generally arrive at the border
seeking asylum, not employment, as evidenced by
the prevalence of children and families among them.
Information documenting the situation of migrants
transiting Mexico is scarce and fragmented. Amnesty
International (2010) refers to transit migrants as
invisible victimsof a rising tide of violence and
exploitation. In response to this perceived crisis, the
148 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
Servicio Jesuita de Migrantes (Jesuit Migration
Service) organized the Red de Documentación de
las Organizaciones Defensoras de Migrantes
(Network for the Documentation of Migrant
Defense Organizations). Commonly known by its
Spanish acronym REDODEM, the organization
seeks to document the perilous circumstances of
transit migrants within Mexico and along its northern
and southern borders (REDODEM 2021). The
network currently manages 23 facilities throughout
the country, providing humanitarian assistance, spiri-
tual counseling, legal advice, and health care to transit
migrants. Each year from 2013 through 2019,
REDODEM has issued a report on the status and
welfare of migrants, using data obtained from
migrants who registered to access the organizations
services, yielding a cumulative sample of around
200,000 migrants that we draw upon in the current
We begin by tracing the origins of Central
American migration to Cold War policies pursued
by United States during the 1980s. We then move
on to describe how international migration has
increasingly been securitizedand how Central
American migration has been further complicated
by gang violence and climate change to create a
complex humanitarian emergency.Drawing on
ofcial statistics from Mexico and the United States,
we document the blocked pathways the migrants
experience in their search for sanctuary and using
data from REDODEMs annual reports we construct
a statistical prole of transit migrants and the human-
itarian threats they face. This statistical prole serves
to outline some of the practical realities of the human-
itarian crisis denounced in Mexico by civil society.
We end with a summary of our ndings and an
appraisal of the changing nature of international
migration and the policy challenges it poses in the
Origins of Central American Migration
Central American migration emerged from civil wars
and counterinsurgency operations that crested in the
1980s as part of the US strategy of Soviet contain-
ment (Chomsky 2021). In Guatemala the story goes
back to 1954 when a coup covertly organized by
the CIA deposed democratically elected President
Jacobo Arbenz to arrest the spread of communism
in the region (Bowen 1983). In subsequent years,
with US support the Guatemalan regime undertook
a campaign of genocidal military suppression that
fell heavily on the indigenous Mayan population,
causing many to ee northward to the United States
(Roniger 2010).
During the 1980s, the United States armed and
trained death squads in El Salvador, also in the
name of ghting communism (Arnson 2000). The
resulting violence and its economic disruptions
brought about the widespread displacement of
people from the countryside and poor urban neighbor-
hoods, leading to mass migration toward the United
States (Stanley 1987; Jones 1989; Stoltz Chinchilla,
Hamilton, and Loucky 2009). Because both
Guatemalans and Salvadorans were eeing nations
ruled by right-wing regimes supported by the
United States, politically they could not be accepted
as refugees or asylum seekers and instead were com-
pelled to enter without authorization, joining
Mexicans as part of the growing undocumented pop-
ulation (Massey, Durand, and Pren 2014).
Unlike migrants from Mexico, however, those from
El Salvador did not have well-developed migrant net-
works or social institutions to support their arrival, adap-
tation, and integration into U.S. society, yielding
fragmented interpersonal ties, social marginalization,
and a fraught process of settlement (Menjívar 2000).
Young men especially found themselves jobless on
the streets of South-Central Los Angeles where they
were targeted by well-established Black gangs, leading
them to form their own gangs, known as maras, in self-
defense (Dudley 2020). These maras mainly developed
in LAs Central American community (Carlson and
Gallagher 2015). With the acceleration of deportations
from the United States during the 1990s and 2000s,
thousands of mara members were expelled to their
countries of origin (Massey 2020a), making the rise of
the infamous mara salvatrucha in the region a direct
export from the United States (Wolf 2012).
Honduras was drawn into the cycle of violence
later during the 1980s when the Reagan
Administration used it as a staging area for counterin-
surgency operations in El Salvador and Guatemala
and later as a base for recruiting, training, and equip-
ping an army of Contrasto invade Nicaragua in
order to overthrow the leftist Sandinista regime.
Solano and Massey 149
Years later, when a military coup deposed democrati-
cally elected President Manuel Zelaya in 2009 shortly
before national elections, the Obama Administration
publicly condemned the coup but behind the scenes
tacitly accepted it, preferring to have Zelaya, whose
policies threatened the nations wealthy elite, out of
power and outside the country during the elections
(Cassel 2009).
Prior to 1980, there was little migration from
Central America to the United States, either docu-
mented or undocumented. During the 1970s, legal
immigration from the Northern Triangle averaged
just 5,000 entries per year. During the 1980s the
gure rose to more than 13,000 per year and
reached 18,000 in the 1990s. In 1980, on the eve of
the US intervention, the number of undocumented
Salvadorans and Guatemalans living in the United
States was estimated at just 38,000 and 30,000,
respectively, with the number of Hondurans being
too small to estimate (Warren and Passel 1987). Ten
years later the undocumented populations had risen
to 298,000 Salvadorans, 118,000 Guatemalans, and
42,000 Hondurans (INS 2002); and in 2018 the
respective numbers reached 730,000, 620,000, and
450,000 (Baker 2021).
Although the civil wars ended in the late 1980s and
the rate of undocumented out-migration peaked,
migration from the region never returned to the
status quo ante. Civil warfare was replaced by gang
violence and the regions economies never recovered
from the destruction of the 1980s. To escape these
conditions, migrants continued to head northward,
but unlike those who departed in the 1980s these
later migrants had ties to friends and relatives living
north of the border they could draw upon to gain
entry and settle (Massey, Durand, and Pren 2014).
Although the United States cannot be held solely
responsible for Central Americas problems, it none-
theless played a central role in rendering economic
turmoil and civil violence endemic throughout the
region (Fasquelle 2011; Taylor-Robinson 2013;
Massey 2020b).
The Securitization of Migration
In the context of the Cold War, President Ronald
Reagan in the 1980s declared border control to be
an issue of national security,warning Americans
of a tidal wave of refugeesand this time theyll
be feet peopleand not boat peopleswarming
into our country seeking safe haven from communist
repression to the south(Massey, Durand, and
Malone 2002, 86). Reagans linking of undocu-
mented migration to national security was the
leading edge of a broader trend in immigration
policy known as the securitization of migration
(Huysmans 2000; Bigo 2008; Buzan, Waever, and
de Wilde 1998).
Since the 1980s, immigrants generally and unau-
thorized migrants in particular, have increasingly
been framed as threats to national security, justifying
the implementation of vigorous enforcement mea-
sures both along borders and within nations
(Bourbeau 2011; Gerard 2014). Despite abundant evi-
dence documenting the failure of harsh enforcement
measures to control unauthorized migration (see
Chavez 1997; Meneses 2003; Castles 2004; Spener
2009; de Leon 2015; Brigden 2018; Durand and
Massey 2019), the United States has continued to
expand enforcement efforts at a great cost in human
Securitization in the United States
In 1981 the Reagan Administration proposed legisla-
tion granting the president power to declare an immi-
gration emergencyand close the border, a provision
that ultimately became part of the 1986 Immigration
Reform and Control Act (Massey, Durand, and
Malone 2002). That act inaugurated a multi-decade
militarization of the Mexico-US border (Massey
2005). From 3,700 ofcers and a budget of $151
million in 1986, the US Border Patrol grew over the
ensuing decades to peak at more than 21,000 ofcers
with a budget of $3.5 billion in 2011. Although the
number of ofcers ceased to grow after this date,
the Border Patrols budget continued to climb, reach-
ing a record $4.9 billion in 2021 (American
Immigration Council 2021).
We began this article by noting the cumulative toll
of more than 7,000 deaths along the Mexico-US
border from 1998 through 2020. Figure 1 combines
statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(2021a) with data marshaled by Eschbach, Hagan,
and Rodriguez (2001) and Sands (2021) to reveal a
toll of 10,031 fatalities from 1985 through 2021,
150 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
likely an underestimate given the perishability of
human remains in the high desert and lower Rio
Grande Valley (de Leon 2015). Although border
deaths were actually declining from 1985 to 1993,
the launching of Operation Blockade in El Paso in
1993 and Operation Gatekeeper in 1994, increasingly
pushed migrants away from crossing points in urban-
ized areas such as San Diego/Tijuana and El Paso/
Juarez into ever more remote and dangerous sectors
of the border (Massey, Durand, and Pren 2016;
Boyce, Chambers, and Launius 2019). From 1993
to 2005 the annual number of border deaths rose
from 67 to 492. Thereafter it declined to a low point
of 365 in 2010 before rising to another peak of 471
and then dropping to 251 in 2015. Deaths then uctu-
ated a bit through 2020 before surging to 557 in 2021,
the largest number ever recorded.
Given the foregoing statistics, it is hardly surpris-
ing that unauthorized migration has increasingly
become associated in public consciousness with
warfare and crime. Chomsky (2014, 23) speaks of
border warsin which international frontiers come
to feel like warzones.Stumpf (2013) labels the
situation at the Mexico-U.S. border a crimmigration
crisis,given that U.S. immigration law, which is
ostensibly civil, has been heavily criminalized over
the years (García Hernández 2021). Border militariza-
tion and crimmigration dene the context in which
Central Americans now migrate toward the United
Donald Trump famously announced his candidacy
alleging that Mexicans were bringing crime; theyre
rapists;and that its coming from more than
Mexico. Its coming from all over South and Latin
America.His remedy, of course was to build a
2,000-mile wall along the border, and upon entering
ofce he not only began to construct it, but also
announced a new zero-tolerance policytoward
asylum seekers (Congressional Research Service
2021). Under both US and international law, migrants
have a right to proceed to a port of entry along the
border and request asylum in the United States.
Since December 2019, however, asylum seekers
have been subject to one of two fast-track asylum
review processes, either the Prompt Asylum Claim
Review(which applies to non-Mexican single
Figure 1. Deaths along the Mexico-US border 19852021.
Solano and Massey 151
adults and family units) or the Humanitarian Asylum
Review Process(which applies to Mexican single
adults and family units). Under these programs,
asylum seekers are held at detention centers near the
border and given just 48 hours to contact family,
friends, and attorneys, leading to rapid processing in
mass trials and quick removal (Shepherd 2020).
Since March 20, 2020, asylum seekers have also
been turned away from the border under what had
been a little-known provision of US public health
law (section 265 of Title 42), used by Trump to
achieve his longstanding goal of closing the country
to asylum seekers, yielding over1.8 millionexpulsions
since the pandemic began (American Immigration
Council 2022). Prior to the invocation of Title 42,
those removed to Mexico languished on the streets
or in squalid camps until in desperation many
attempt to cross (or re-cross) the border without autho-
rization, yielding not only deaths but disappearances.
Since 1994, more than 5,500 migrants have disap-
pearedwhile attempting an unauthorized border
crossing (Patiño Houle and Torres 2019).
As a result of these policy shifts, the number of
migrants apprehended and removed from the United
States rose by a factor of 2.7 during the period from
March 2020 through September of 2021, further
aggravating the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the
borderlands. Immigrant advocates condemned
Trumps policy as cruel, unconstitutional, and a viola-
tion of international law (Aguilera 2019) and human
rights activists denounced the detention of women
and children as immoral (Habitat for Humanity
2021). During the 2020 presidential campaign, candi-
date Joseph Biden promised to pursue a more
humaneborder policy; but since his inauguration,
federal courts have blocked his attempts to do so,
and US border policies have proven to be little differ-
ent from those of his predecessor (Kocher 2021;
Shear et al. 2021). Title 42 expulsions continued unin-
terrupted through 2021, leading to a renewed outcry
of indignation in September of that year when a
video of horse-mounted Border Patrol agents lassoing
running migrants went viral (Rose 2021).
Securitization in Mexico
A key feature of the securitization of migration in
wealthy nations is the outsourcingof enforcement
to third party states to prevent the arrival of migrants
at their borders, yielding a new system of enforcement
by remote control(FitzGerald 2019). Beginning in
the 1990s, under pressure from the United States,
Mexico enacted a succession of initiatives intended
to deter Central Americans from crossing its southern
border and making their way northward. These initia-
tives, subsidized by the United States, have been
defended by Mexican ofcials as necessary to
combat organized crimeand protect migrants."
They include Operativo Guardián (Operation
Guardian in 1994), el Plan de Acción de la Alianza
para la Frontera (the U.S-Mexico Border
Partnership Agreement in 2002), the Alianza para
la Seguridad y la Prosperidad de América del Norte
(the Alliance for Security and Prosperity in North
America in 2005), the Iniciativa Mérida (the Merida
Initiative in 2007), and the Iniciativa más allá de
Mérida (the Beyond Merida Initiative in 2011).
Each new program has functioned to multiply the
presence of Mexican police and military personnel
stationed along the nations borders and patrolling
its internal migration routes. In 2014, Mexican
President Enrique Peña Nieto launched the
Programa Frontera Sur (the Southern Border
Program), justifying it as a means of protecting the
rights of migrantsand better managingports of
entry to promote regional security and prosperity
(Secretería de Gobernación 2015). As one critic
noted, however, under pressure from the U.S. gov-
ernment, Mexico has gradually enforced strict immi-
gration policies aimed at shutting down transit lines
along its southern bordercrackdowns [that] are
accompanied by increased human rights violations
(Castillo 2016).
Figure 2 draws on data from Mexicos Instituto
Nacional de Migración (National Migration
Institute) to show migrant detentions and deportations
during years from 2001 through 2021 (Instituto
Nacional de Migración 2021a). The implementation
of the 2002 US-Mexico Border Partnership under
President Vicente Fox was followed by a surge in
both detentions and deportations, which rose
sharply to peak at 240,000 apprehensions and
232,000 deportations in 2005. Thereafter, the
numbers declined to low levels during the Great
Recession but surged once again after Peña Nieto
implemented his Southern Border Program in 2014,
152 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
increasing to 198,000 detentions and 181,000 depor-
tations in 2015 before dropping back to gures of
94,000 and 82,000, respectively, in 2017.
Conditions for transit migrants have not improved
under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (pop-
ularly known as AMLO). On the contrary, in March
of 2019 he created a 60,000-person National Guard
and ordered its deployment throughout the nation to
combat undocumented migration. In that year, deten-
tions rose back to 183,000 with deportations climbing
to around 150,000. Although as a candidate AMLO
had called for professionalizing Mexicos police and
withdrawing the military from public security
duties, he nonetheless created the National Guard
mostly by borrowing military police from the Army
and Navy and combining them with federal agents
controlled by the Ministry of Defense (Meyer 2019).
Although detentions declined in 2020 owing to the
COVID pandemic, they surged once again to reach a
record 274,000 in 2021, opening up a large gap with
deportations, which numbered only 99,000. Transit
migrants apprehended in Mexico today now are less
likely to experience a quick deportation, leading to
more time spent in the crowded detention centers
that are being constructed throughout the country.
According to the Global Detention Project, Mexico
has one of the largest detention systems in the
world. In 2020 the country operated 60 detention
centers, euphemistically called estaciones migrato-
rias (Global Detention Project 2021). Alison
Mountz (2020) argues that detention centers in
Mexico and elsewhere are part of a global system of
detention centers that imprison asylum seekers
and conceal persistent human rights violations.
The spread of Mexicos immigration enforcement
efforts away from the borderlands into the countrys
interior has, in effect, created a wall that separates for-
eigners from Mexicans wherever migrants might be
found. As one report put it:
The wall that divides the two countries, whose measures double the
one that was built in 2011 is a constant reminder of this situation.
This wallis a symbol of national security politics. It has become a
vertical line that crosses the whole country; it is a wall of security
and persecution against the migrant population from the north to
Figure 2. Mexican detentions and deportations 20012021.
Solano and Massey 153
the south of Mexico (Dimensión Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana
2012, 32).
From 2001 through 2021 some 2.94 million
migrants were detained in Mexico and 2.54 million
were deported, with 90 percent of the former and 95
percent of the latter being sent back into the
Northern Triangle. Although the percentage of detain-
ees from the Northern Triangle was fairly stable over
the period, as shown in Figure 3 the relative contribu-
tions of the three countries has changed substantially.
In the two most recent surges, Hondurans vaulted to
the fore, with 78,000 detentions in 2019 and 98,000
in 2021, compared to respective gures of 52,000
and 65,000 for Guatemalans and 21,000 and 19,000
for Salvadorans.
Although migration has been securitized in both
Mexico and the United States, the two countries none-
theless differ in terms of the nature and extent of crim-
inalization. The United States has declared both the
movement of undocumented migrants and any form
of support provided to them to be unlawful, including
humanitarian assistance (Boyce 2019). It has also
declined to ratify multilateral conventions protecting
human and migrant rights. In Mexico, however, the
INM has gone so far as to issue guidelines to
protect the rights of transit migrants, though admit-
tedly they only apply once a migrant is apprehended.
Nonetheless, unauthorized migration itself is not
criminalized and Mexico is one of the few nations
to have ratied the International Convention on
Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and
the Members of their Families.
The INM actually offers assistance to migrants
through a variety of initiatives such as the
Programa Paisano (the Paisano Program, aimed at
Mexican migrants returning from the United States),
the Programa de Repatriación (the Repatriation
Program, for migrants deported from the United
States), Grupo Beta (the Beta Group, a police force
tasked with protecting migrants along the border),
Ociales de Protección a la Infancia (Ofcials for
the Protection of Minors, aimed at migrant children),
and the Estrategia Integral de Prevención de Delitos,
Secuestros y Extorsión (Comprehensive Strategy to
Prevent Crimes, Kidnappings, and Extortion,
intended to protect migrants in transit) (Instituto
Nacional de Migración 2021b).
In 2012 the Mexican government also created a
humanitarian visa enabling migrants to remain in
Mexico to permit the prosecution of crimes they had
suffered or witnessed. However, even though the
purpose of the visa was humanitarian, in practice it
has been little used. From 2011 to 2013 there were
only 93 applications in all of Mexico, and of these
just 49 were granted (Wolf et al. 2013, 254).
Mexican ofcials explain these low numbers as stem-
ming from a lack of interest among migrants, a lack of
knowledge about the visa, or frustration at the com-
plexity of the process. The Instituto para la
Seguridad y la Democracia (INSYDE 2021) found
that the INM generally favors issuing exit permits
rather than humanitarian visas.
In the end, humanitarian visas are very difcult to
obtain without the assistance of a civil society organi-
zation; and Mexicos Comprehensive Strategy to
Prevent Crimes, Kidnappings, and Extortion was
deemed ineffective by the Comisión Nacional de los
Derechos Humanos (CNDH), which noted that kid-
nappings actually rose after it was implemented
(Wolf et al. 2013, 279). In addition, assistance to
migrants decreased after the Tamaulipas massacre
of 2010. Whereas 226 migrants were assisted in that
year, the number fell to 157 in 2011, and 129 in
2012 (Wolf et al. 2013). Irregular status continues
to mean vulnerability, precarity, and a lack of
access to human rights protection (Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights 2021).
Complicating the Context
Although the term humanitarian crisishas no uni-
versally recognized denition, the term is often used
interchangeably with humanitarian emergency,
which has been dened by the Humanitarian
Coalition (2021) as a series of events that represents
a critical threat to health, safety, security or well-
being of a community or other large group of
people, usually over a wide area.The threats
facing transit migrants in Mexico today comprise
what is known as a complex humanitarian emer-
gency,a term coined in the 1980s during the UNs
efforts to assist displaced persons in East Africa. It
recognizes that some emergencies have multiple
causes, involve multiple local actors, and compel an
international response(Calhoun 2008, 84).
154 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
Within Mexico, the turning point in awareness
came in 2010 when the bodies of 72 Central
American migrants were discovered mutilated and
decapitated at a ranch in the Mexican border state of
Tamaulipas. The discovery rendered transit migrants
suddenly visible and brought them to the attention
of human rights activists everywhere. Although
human rights issues along the Guatemala-Mexico
border have tended to remain out of sight, Human
Rights Watch (2021) reports that Mexican polices
are putting lives at risk through its mass expulsion
of people into remote jungle areas.
In addition, the legacy of economic degradation
and political violence arising from the US interven-
tion has been exacerbated by the effects of global
climate change and the treatment of environmental
distress as a national security matter (Boyce et al.
2020; Dalby 2014; Gilbert 2012). During 2010, for
example, the Obama administration made climate
change a top national security threat (Gilbert 2012;
Boyce et al. 2020, 399); and in 2017 Trump withdrew
the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement
and made cuts in the acceptance of international
refugees (Boyce et al. 2020). Back-to-back
Category 4 hurricanes devastated Honduras in late
2020, displacing some 4.6 million people
(Americares 2020). In the following year, the
number of Hondurans apprehended at the
Mexico-US border climbed to 309,000, nearly eight
times the number recorded in the prior year (CBP
2021b). Among those apprehended, 60 percent were
unaccompanied minors or persons traveling in
family groups rather than single adults traveling
In Mexico, cartel violence has risen to record levels
and climate change has produced an onslaught of
droughts, oods, and other severe weather events.
Although violence appears to generate more internal
than international migrants (Massey, Durand, and
Pren 2020), substantial evidence has accumulated to
suggest that severe weather events and environmental
changes associated with climate change have become
important drivers of migration from Mexico to the
United States (Munshi 2003; Hunter, Murray, and
Riosmena 2013; Nawrotzki et al. 2015) as well as
from Central America (Kaenzig and Piguet 2014;
Figure 3. Migrants detained in Mexico by country of origin.
Solano and Massey 155
Spencer and Urquhart 2018; Baez et al. 2017; Lynch
2019; Sigelmann 2019). These environmental events
have generally been met by a geopopulationism
policy framework (Bhatia et al. 2020), which holds
that climate change migration can somehow be
managed by the militarization of nation-state
borders (Gilbert 2012; Boyce et al. 2020; Dalby
2014; Baldwin, Methmann, and Rothe 2014).
In the Northern Triangle, the intertwined effects of
economic stagnation, endemic violence, and climate
change occur within a context of widespread corrup-
tion, ofcial impunity, and poor governance, compli-
cating the situation to produce a very threatening
environment. This realization leads us to question a
minimalistperspective that views migration as
driven primarily by climate change and fails to recog-
nize the inuence of other factors such as poverty,
lawlessness, and violence. Figure 4 succinctly sum-
marizes the current decision-making context for
migrants contemplating a trip through the corridor
of death. It uses four bar charts to display key indica-
tors computed separately for the Northern Triangle,
Mexico, and the United States, averaging across the
period 20132019, the time span covered by
REDODEMs annual reports.
The rst indicator is GDP per capita, measured in
constant 2017 international PPP dollars (World
Bank 2021). These data show that with respect to
earnings potential, the Northern Triangle lags well
behind both Mexico and the United States. Its value
of $7,300 is just 38 percent of that in Mexico
($19,400) and a mere 12 percent of that in the
United States ($59,300). The second indicator is the
homicide rate, expressed in deaths per 100,000 resi-
dents derived from the UN Ofce on Drugs and
Crime (UNODC 2021). These measures reveal the
Northern Triangle to be the most life-threatening
region in the world, with an average murder rate of
51.3. By most standards Mexico also displays a
very high homicide rate, but its average 22.3 per
100,000 for the period is just 43 percent of that in
the Northern Triangle. Nonetheless, in 2018 the rate
hit 29.1, Mexicos highest level since 1961, compared
to a rate of just 4.9 per 100,000 in the United States.
The third measure we consider is the index of vul-
nerability to climate change developed by the Notre
Dame Global Adaption Initiative (2021). It assesses
a countrys exposure and sensitivity to the negative
effects of climate change in six vital sectors: food,
water, health, ecosystem service, human habitat, and
infrastructure. Of the three regions considered, the
Northern Triangle is clearly the most vulnerable,
with an index value of 45.2, though Mexico is not
far behind at 40.0, yielding just a 12 percent reduction
in risk by moving to Mexico. The position of the
United States is far more favorable at 32.5, yielding
a 28 percent reduction.
Our nal indicator assesses the degree to which the
rule of law prevails in each region. The measure was
developed by the World Justice Project (2021), which
drew on national surveys of more than 138,000
households and 4,200 legal practitioners and experts
to measure how the rule of law is experienced and
perceived in countries throughout the world. In con-
trast to the prior three comparisons, we observe
little difference between the Northern Triangle and
Mexico with respect to the rule of law. Whereas the
index value was 44.8 for the Northern Triangle,
Mexicos index was only marginally higher at 45.4,
a 1 percent differential. In contrast, the index value
of 72.8 for the United States was 63 percent greater.
The foregoing analysis reveals substantial incen-
tives for migrating out of the Northern Triangle
with respect to potential earnings, homicide risk, vul-
nerability to climate change, and access to the rule of
law. Given that the risk of homicide is still quite high
in Mexico and offers little improvement in the rule of
law, migrants moving out of the Northern Triangle
into Mexico have clear incentives to proceed further
northward toward the United States if they wish to
substantially lower risks associated with homicide
and lawlessness.
This reality is clearly reected in border apprehen-
sion statistics compiled by the US Department of
Homeland Security. For many years, the US Border
Patrol did not bother to record the nationality of
persons apprehended along the Mexico-US border,
since almost all were Mexicans. Beginning in 2007,
however, the Border Patrol began to tabulate arrests
by nationality (CBP 2021b). Figure 5 draws upon
these data to show monthly changes in the national
origins of apprehended migrants during scal years
2017 through 2021, revealing huge shifts in national
origins over this ve-year period (the US govern-
mentsscal year runs from October through
156 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
As of October 2017, apprehensions were no longer
dominated by Mexicans and over the ensuing months
their share fell even further (albeit with ups and
downs). In May of 2019 Mexicans comprised just
13.2 percent of those apprehended. In that same
month, the share of Northern Triangle migrants
reached an apogee of 77.7 percent. Thereafter the
share of Mexicans rose again to peak at 82.7 percent
in June of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. From
that point on, however, the share of migrant apprehen-
sions from the Northern Triangle and other regions
rose once again as the share of Mexicans shrank. At
the end of Fiscal Year 2021, the shares were relatively
evenly distributed across origin categories, with 30.3
percent of those apprehended coming from Mexico,
33.3 percent from the Northern Triangle, and 36.4
percent from other nations, an unprecedented surge
for the latter category.
In 2017, the Border Patrol began tabulating appre-
hensions by family status, dividing captured migrants
into three groups: single adults, unaccompanied
minors, and those in family units. These data are pre-
sented by month in Figure 6. Historically, ows
across the Mexico-US border were dominated by
single adults traveling alone, mostly males of
working age either seeking employment or females
pursuing family reunication (though sometimes
also labor). From October of 2017 through May of
2019, however, we see an unprecedented surge in
both unaccompanied minors and migrants traveling
in family groups. At the latter date, 63.6 percent of
those apprehended at the border were members of a
family unit and 8.6 percent were unaccompanied
minors, leaving just 27.8 percent as single adults, an
unprecedented shift in the composition of border
crossers away from the historical norm.
After May of 2018, the share of single adults
among those apprehended began to rise, reaching
peak of 91.2 percent in April of 2020. The dominance
of single adults continued to prevail through
December of 2020. In 2021, however, the share of
families and minors among apprehended migrants
once again began to rise, achieving local peaks in
March of 2021 and August of 2021, when the share
of adults fell to values of 57.4 percent and 49.5
percent, respectively, as the percentage of family
Figure 4. Selected indicators of safety, security, and wellbeing in Mexico, the United States, and the Northern Triangle
Solano and Massey 157
Figure 5. Origins of migrants apprehended along the Mexico-U.S. border by month and year 20172021.
Figure 6. Family status composition of apprehensions by month and year 20172021.
158 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
members rose to 31.6 percent and 40.6 percent, with
the corresponding shares of minors being 11.0
percent and 9.9 percent.
Blocked Pathways to Sanctuary
Government agencies and civil society organizations
face daunting challenges in attempting to manage
these new migratory ows. Nowhere is poverty con-
sidered to be a legitimate reason for the granting of
asylum or refugee status, nor in most cases is being
a crime victim, a person eeing civil violence, or
someone eeing extreme weather events (Meissner,
Hipsman, and Alexander Aleinikof 2018; Davidson
2019). There is still no legal recognition of the
concept of climate or environmental refugees,
despite climate change emerging as a major driver
of migration in the 21
century (Berchin et al. 2017;
Biermann and Boas 2010). Although Climate
Change Induced Displacement(CCCID) has been
recognized in protocols dealing with climate
change, international refugee law remains inadequate
in extending protection to those impacted by environ-
mental distress (Fornalé and Doebbler 2017).
Although migrants may be entitled under interna-
tional law to request asylum, governments are not
obligated to grant it.
Even when an asylum petition is accepted, a fair
adjudication is not guaranteed and is inherently sub-
jective and difcult to predict the outcome; and the
degree of human rights protection afforded to
migrants varies widely across rather arbitrary catego-
ries. The United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) has recognized the need to
ensure protections for the growing variety of migrants
arriving at and crossing borders without authorization
(Crisp 2008). The Global Commission on
International Migration also conrms the need to
protect migrants who do not t neatly into the cate-
gory of refugeeor asylee(Betts 2010).
Whatever the reason for migration, crossing borders
and moving through countries without the benetof
legal status entails signicant threats to human
rights (Menjívar 2006). Protection may be needed
for many reasons, but whatever the motivation for
migration, accepted humanitarian principles dictate
that peoples movements be dignied, safe, and
secure (see United Nations 2018). Vulnerable
migrants nevertheless continue to face widespread
exclusion from wealthy nations, which resist signing
multilateral treaties spelling out humanitarian princi-
ples and immigrant rights and often dont adhere to
the agreements they have signed (Betts 2010).
A prime example occurred in December of 2018,
when the Trump Administration instated a set of
actions known as the Migrant Protection
Protocols(MPP) but which is more commonly
labeled the Remain in Mexico Program(Boyce
2019). The MPP required asylum-seekers to
remain in Mexicofor the duration of their legal
case and allowed them to enter the United States
only for initial processing and subsequent court
appointments. Under Trump, more han 71,000
asylum seekers were sent back to Mexico to await
court hearings, with 29,000 still pending when he
left ofce. Although President Biden sought to end
the MPP in June of 2021, this effort was blocked by
a federal court pending further litigation that was
not resolved until the end of June 2022 when the
Supreme Court Ruled that Biden could indeed termi-
nate the program, yielding an additional 5,114 asylum
seekers being returned to Mexico in the interim
(TRAC Immigration 2022). Médecins Sans
Frontières (2020) reported that among those receiving
medical attention, reported kidnappings rose by 75
percent after the implementation of the MPP program.
In Mexico asylum claims increased by 1,067
percent between 2011 and 2016, but the governments
budget for processing such claims dropped from 26
million pesos in 2015 to 22.5 million pesos in 2016
(REDODEM 2016, 133). Public knowledge of
Mexicos asylum policies is not widespread. In
2018, 61.7 percent of the migrants registered at
REDODEMs shelters said they did not know any-
thing about applying for asylum (REDODEM
2018, 45). While outwardly affecting sympathy for
Central American migrants Mexico, like the United
States, continues to pursue securitization. In January
of 2019 the Mexican government gave out some
13,000 visiting cards to serve as temporary visas for
migrants arriving in caravans, but a month later it
arrested and detained most of them for possible
deportation (REDODEM 2019, 22).
With both the Mexican and U.S. governments
failing to acknowledge much less act upon scale of
the humanitarian crisis, the stark reality is that the
Solano and Massey 159
pathway to security and safety for Central Americans
escaping threats in the Northern Triangle is substan-
tially blocked. Rather than humanitarian assistance,
migrants instead face punitive regimes of apprehen-
sion, detention, and deportation. Although the Biden
Administration sought to terminate Trumps
Migrant Protection Program in June of 2021, the
action was later blocked by a federal judge and at
this writing the protocols are still in force, pending
further action within the US judicial system.
AProle of the Excluded
We now turn our attention to the situation of migrants
and asylum seekers as reected in REDODEMs
annual reports, supplemented by interview and obser-
vational data compiled at several of its shelters in
2012. The REDODEM data were gathered from inter-
views with migrants who registered to access the net-
works shelters but retained the right to opt out of
answering any question. Data collection at the shel-
ters was a work in progress that evolved over time,
as noted by one shelter worker:
There is an evolution from giving food and shelter to begin to mobi-
lize their problems at other levels, even with dialogues with the
(Mexican) state. Before they [the migrants] used to say they kid-
napped me, or something happened to me and we simply gave
them our blessing and they continued their journey, because there
was nothing else to offer (Interview of June 2012).
The systematic surveying of registered migrants
began in 2013 when donated computers enabled
some shelters to begin systematic record keeping.
When people would gather together for meals,
shelter personnel would simply ask for a show of
hands (Who is from Honduras? Who is from
Guatemala?) and then proceed to count and write
the numbers down on a notepad. According to the
founder of one shelter, the collection of data consti-
tuted an important part of REDODEMs humanitarian
It helps if you have data on the person, of who you are serving.
Before, all [the migrants] were lumped up, but you did not know
who you were serving. To know the names of persons, they are
not numbers. Where they are from because their families also ask
about them. Sometimes they disappear and the register helps us to
know where they stayed to provide follow up (Interview of April
In addition to improving the services offered to
migrants, the data are also used to build a moral and
political case for humanitarian action on their
behalf. What we have learned is that the prole of
Central Americans is that of a potential criminal, a
mara salvatrucha (a gang member), so we also have
to change this perception(Interview of June 2012).
The information also serves to help track the move-
ments of migrants who later disappear. What is con-
crete is that the information has helped to localize
them. In other parts there are dozens of disappeared
migrants that we need to track, and we do not even
know where to start(Interview of July 2012).
The main challenges facing REDODEM in collect-
ing these data stem from the fact that the data are col-
lected publicly in the presence of others and are
compiled by untrained volunteers. In four
REDODEM shelters visited in the course of eld-
work, we found it was a constant challenge to main-
tain privacy during registration. As a result,
migrants all too often refused to answer certain ques-
tions out of fear, or reluctance to share memories of
grueling experiences or sensitive information pub-
licly, leading to the underreporting of crimes, harass-
ment, and victimization, as explained by one
We are attempting to create this mechanism (of sharing informa-
tion), because in rst place you cannot expect people to open up
themselves. If you have just been kidnapped, you arrive with adren-
aline (in your body) and distrust at the outset. If something happened
to me, then with that report it is enough. Maybe later in another more
private setting information can be shared. It is something very strong
(fuerte), and with so many persons, the very perpetrator can be right
there in the corner of the room. And I insist this is something that is
evolvingThe number of people that arrive does not allow for
enough time to conduct a proper interview and there is no infrastruc-
ture for a private space. Some shelters are big, yet others have very
limited space (Interview of July 2012).
The migrants registering at REDODEM shelters
cannot be assumed to be a random sample of all
transit migrants in Mexico. Not all migrants who
move through Mexico make use of REDODEMs ser-
vices. Many migrate with assistance from smugglers
and stay in safe houses controlled by cartels. Those
entering shelters generally claim to be travelling
alone, which might explain the relatively low
number of women in the REDODEM database (see
below). Women from Mexico and Central America
160 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
are more likely to travel in the company of others,
most often family members (Cerrutti and Massey
2001; Massey, Fischer, and Capoferro 2006). They
are also more prone to travel in spontaneous cara-
vansthat come together near the Guatemalan
border as migrants organize themselves for self-
protection. Given that shelters are the only formal
spaces in which humanitarian assistance is distribu-
ted, entrants into the networks database are also
likely to be selected on the basis of need and
Despite these problems, the interviews nonetheless
enable the systematic analysis of data on the charac-
teristics of migrants and the risks they face while in
transit and during border-crossing. The REDODEM
data are the only independent source of quantitative
information on transit migrants within Mexico.
Figure 7 presents a series of bar graphs constructed
to describe the social composition of migrants regis-
tered with REDODEM (see the annual reports of
2013 through 2019 listed in the references). The
data are pooled across years, but because some ques-
tions were not asked every year and the focus of ques-
tioning changed over time, sample sizes vary
depending on the variable under consideration.
Gender was one question asked of all registrants in
all shelters in all years, yielding a total sample of
204,702 migrants of which 90.2 percent were male
and 9.7 percent were female, with just 0.1 percent
reporting a non-binary gender identity (see the rst
bar chart on the left of the gure). Age was compiled
and fully tabulated in REDODEM reports from 2013
through 2018, but age was only gathered from around
half of all registrants in 2013 and was only reported
for young people in 2019, yielding a sample of
171,204 migrants. As can be seen in the second bar
chart from the left, the modal category was 1830
years of age, which contained 53.9 percent of all reg-
istrants. The next largest category was 3160 years,
containing around 36.5 percent of the sample. Just
0.4 percent were older than 60, and relatively few
were minors under the age of 18 (9.2 percent in
total, with 2.7 percent being under the age of 11
and 6.5 percent aged 1117). However, many
minors likely overreport their age.
Information on whether minors were accompanied
by an adult was compiled only in 2018 and 2019. Of
the 3,458 minors tabulated in 2018, 54.9 percent were
not accompanied by an adult, with the percentage
ranging from 85.6 percent of those under age 11 to
44 percent among those aged 11 to 17. In 2019
3,857 minors registered with REDODEM, but
results are clouded by missing data in 17.9 percent
of the cases. Among those interviewed, 32.1 percent
were accompanied and 50.0 percent were unaccompa-
nied, but if we ignore the missing cases the shares
shift to 60.9 percent unaccompanied and 39.1
percent accompanied. Under the age of 10, 70.5
percent were unaccompanied whereas among those
aged 1017, 55.1 percent were unaccompanied.
As shown in the third column of Figure 7, the over-
whelming majority migrants who reported their
nationality to REDODEM hailed from the Northern
Triangle (89.3 percent), with the remainder mostly
coming from Mexico (5.5 percent) and Nicaragua
(3.7 percent). Since 2014, the percentage of
Northern Triangle migrants has remained relatively
stable, uctuating around 89 percent. However, the
national origin composition of migrants within this
region has shifted dramatically. Figure 8 illustrates
this fact by graphing nationality separately by year
from 2013 to 2019. Whereas in 2013 two-thirds of
all registrants were either from Guatemala (44.0
percent) or Nicaragua (26.4 percent), over the
ensuing years these percentages fell precipitously,
and by 2019 their respective shares had fallen to 8.1
percent and 7.1 percent. In contrast, the share of
Hondurans rose from 6.4 percent to 76.1 percent
over the period. According to the United Nations
Ofce on Drugs and Crime (2022), the homicide
rate in Honduras stood at 36.3 per 100,000 person,
whereas the rates in El Salvador and Guaemala
were 37.2 and 26.0, respectively, compared to just
6.3 in the United States
Returning to Figure 7, the fourth column shows the
distribution of migrants by years of education, reveal-
ing that the large majority (70.2 percent) had com-
pleted no more than a primary education (six or
fewer years of schooling), including 26.5 percent
who reported no schooling at all. Only 18.0 percent
reported some secondary education (seven to nine
years) and just 9.3 percent had some college prepara-
tory schooling (1012 years), leaving just 2.5 percent
to report having any college experience. Turning to
the column showing the distribution of migrants by
marital status, we see that 57.2 percent were single
Solano and Massey 161
and 26.4 percent were in a stable nonmarital union,
leaving just 13.2 percent who were formally married
and 2.0 percent divorced, widowed, or separated.
As shown in the fth column, almost half of all
migrants (47.5 percent) stated that they had no depen-
dents, with the others being relatively evenly distrib-
uted across the remaining categories: 9.0 percent with
one dependent, 9.9 percent with two, 10.2 percent
with three, 9.0 percent with four, 6.2 percent with
ve, and 8.2 percent with six or more dependents.
The next-to-last column in Figure 8 examines the
ultimate destination that the migrants were trying to
reach, with 63.0 percent setting their sights on the
United States, 19.9 percent saying their nal destina-
tion was Mexico, 3.7 percent reporting some other
nation, and 13.4 percent not reporting a destination.
As shown in the nal column, when asked about
their motivation for migration, the large majority
(69.7 percent) said they were moving for economic
reasons, with 9.8 percent stating were moving for
environmental reasons, 9.4 percent seeking to
escape violence at their place of origin, and 2.2
percent migrating for family reasons, with 8.8
percent departing for a miscellany of other motives.
These reports should be interpreted with caution,
however, as migrants tend to have a hard time report-
ing the underlying reasons for their decisions to
migrate (Dick 2018). Economic issues are usually
given as the proximate cause for their departure, but
the lack of economic opportunity might reect the
effects of violence, climate change, or other exoge-
nous circumstances that go unmentioned. As we
have seen, other data clearly reveal that apart from
economic considerations, migration is likely to be
incentivized by high rates of homicide, rising
climate vulnerability, and widespread lawlessness in
the Northern Triangle region.
The Human Cost of Exclusion
The foregoing vicissitudes are by no means elimi-
nated by entering Mexico and given this reality,
REDODEM asked registrants in its 2013 and 2017
surveys to report on any crimes and abuses they had
Figure 7. Characteristics of migrants registered at REDODEM shelters 20132019.
162 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
experienced. A total of 13,491 migrants reported
some incident of concern and as shown in the rst
column of Figure 9, this number constituted 9.8
percent of the sample, though the true frequency is
likely to be underreported for reasons already stated.
Of those incidents mentioned by the registrants,
81.7 percent were reported by the victim of the
offense and 18.3 percent were reported by someone
who witnessed the incident in question.
Migrants from the Northern Triangle generally
enter Mexico by crossing into the southern state of
Chiapas, most commonly by fording the Suchiate
River near the Mexican city of Tapachula. The
Usumacinta River also forms part of the border
between Chiapas and Guatemala, and portions of
the border are over land, but crossings in these
sectors are rare because the territory is remote,
unpopulated, and has few transportation routes.
Once in Chiapas, migrants proceed northward princi-
pally through Oaxaca or Veracruz, though it is also
possible to pass into Tabasco before moving on to
Veracruz. The third column in Figure 10 shows the
state in which the reported crimes or abuses occurred
and unsurprisingly given the geography just
described, the four most frequent locations were in
Chiapas (37.8 percent of the reported incidents),
Veracruz (18.5 percent), Oaxaca (14.7 percent), and
Tabasco (6.5 percent). Together these states were
responsible for 78 percent of the reports.
The most common transgression was robbery (see
the fourth column in Figure 9), which accounted for
72.1 percent of the incidents reported. It was followed
by extortion (13.1 percent), bodily harm (3.6 percent),
kidnapping (3.4 percent), and abuse of authority (1.7
percent), plus a range of less frequent victimizations
grouped into the othercategory (5.7 percent).
About half (49.0 percent) of the crimes or abuses
were committed by members of a criminal gang
(see the fth column), but in keeping with the weak
rule of law depicted in Figure 4, nearly a quarter
(23.9 percent) were committed by public authorities.
Most of the remainder of the victimizations were per-
petrated by individuals acting alone (26.3 percent of
the total) .
Reecting the widespread corruption of public
security in Mexico, the large majority of crimes and
Figure 8. National origin of migrants registered at REDODEM shelters 20132019.
Solano and Massey 163
abuses committed by public authorities were carried
out by police forces (see the sixth column): 32.1
percent by federal police, 21.9 percent by municipal
police 10.8 percent by state police, and 6.6 percent
immigration police. Another 16.3 percent of the trans-
gressions were initiated by unknown public authori-
ties, with 2.0 percent of being effected by members
of the military, 1.1 percent by members of the
federal judiciary, and 9.2 percent by assorted other
Both criminal groups and public authorities spe-
cialize in the same kinds of crimes, however (see
the nal two columns). Among the infractions com-
mitted by criminals, robbery accounted for 51.1
percent and extortion for 37.8 percent, and among
those committed by authorities the respective
shares in these categories were 41.6 percent and
41.8 percent. Beyond robbery and extortion,
offenses committed by criminals included kidnap-
ping (4.9 percent), threats (2.9 percent), and
bodily harm (2.3 percent). Additional offenses com-
mitted by public authorities included abuse of
authority (5.1 percent), bodily harm (4.0 percent),
false imprisonment (3.3 percent) and assault (1.1
From April to December of 2019, REDODEM staff
members undertook a special analysis of reports by 34
victims of mistreatment by public ofcials in the
process of apprehension. Together they reported 39
acts of predation by authorities, including physical
abuse (69 percent), no reason given for their appre-
hension (23 percent), sexual assault (2 percent),
destruction of documents (2 percent), and bribery (2
percent). Most of the aggressions (69 percent) were
perpetrated by immigration agents from the INM, fol-
lowed by police ofcers (23 percent), military person-
nel (8 percent), and unknown government agents (5
percentsee REDODEM 2019, 176). In addition,
45 migrants reported instances of abuse while being
held in detention, listing 102 incidents of mistreat-
ment, including physical aggression (26 percent),
verbal harassment (19 percent), not providing infor-
mation about the length of detention (12 percent),
denial of hygiene, clothing, or a secure place to
sleep (12 percent), denial of physical needs (8
percent), denial of communication with family
Figure 9. Crimes and abuses reported by migrants registered at REDODEM shelters in 2013 and 2017 (n =13,491).
164 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
members (7 percent), denial of medical attention (7
percent), denial of food and water (6 percent),
sexual solicitation (2 percent), and solicitation of
money (1 percent). Of these aggressions, 78 percent
were carried out by immigration agents, 15 percent
by private security guards, and 7 percent by other or
unknown authorities (REDODEM 2019,178).
In this paper we examined the origins and evolution
of the humanitarian crisis that is presently unfolding
in Mexicoscorridor of death,within which a
large number of deaths and disappearances have
been recorded in recent years. Large-scale migration
from Central AmericasNorthern Trianglecan be
traced to the Reagan Administrations political and
military intervention in the region during the 1980s,
when the United States trained, funded, and supplied
paramilitary death squads in El Salvador and
Guatemala, and later armed and supplied an army of
contrasin Honduras to invade Nicaragua in hopes
of overthrowing the Sandinista regime.
The paroxysms of violence that followed displaced
hundreds of thousands of migrants, both directly as
people sought to avoid the violence itself and indi-
rectly through the effect that violence had in stiing
economic. Whereas most Nicaraguan migrants
escaped the mayhem by moving southward into
Costa Rica, those from El Salvador, Guatemala and
Honduras moved northward into Mexico and
onward toward the United States (cf. Lundquist and
Massey 2005; Massey, Durand, and Pren 2014). As
already noted, because migrants from the Northern
Triangle were escaping nations allied with the
United States, politically they could not be accepted
as refugees or asylum seekers and most entered
without authorization.
Although civil warfare ended after the peace
accords of 1987 (which Guatemala only ratied in
1996) and the Sandinista regime lost power in
Nicaraguas 1990 elections, out-migration from the
Northern Triangle continued owing to economic stag-
nation stemming from the decade of open warfare and
the subsequent escalation of violence sparked by the
mass deportation of US gang members in the late
1990s and early 2000s (resulting from the securitiza-
tion of migration in the United Statessee Massey
2020a). Migration in the 1990s was facilitated by
social networks that had formed during the 1980s,
linking residents of sending communities in the
Northern Triangle to relatives and friends at points
of destination throughout the United States (Massey,
Durand, and Pren 2014).
In addition to poverty and violence, out-migration
from both Mexico and the Northern Triangle increas-
ingly stems from weather events and ecological
changes associated with global warming. In recent
years, they have been joined by other migrants
eeing similar circumstances in other countries to
create a complex humanitarian emergencyembrac-
ing manifold causes and multiple nations. Ofcial sta-
tistics reveal a population of migrants increasingly
composed of family groups and children from the
Northern Triangle seeking to escape threats in their
home communities rather than accessing opportuni-
ties for employment in the United States or Mexico.
Both nations are pursuing restrictive immigration
policies and repressive border enforcement actions,
and the number of migrants languishing in informal
camps or in crowded detention centers has conse-
quently risen in both countries as have deportations.
Slack (2019) has documented the super-charged pun-
ishment faced by deportees politically, socially,
legally, and culturally, leaving them extremely vul-
nerable within border areas. These hostile contexts
of reception are associated with increased nativism
and xenophobia under the populist presidencies of
Donald Trump and Andrés Manual López Obrador.
Documented violations of national and international
treaties have multiplied to threaten basic human
rights on an ever-wider scale.
In addressing this unfolding humanitarian emer-
gency, policy makers need to address three distinctive
features of the current crisis. First, it is no longer con-
ned to border regions but unfolds at places of both
origin and destination, as well as within extended
geographies of transit. Second, the current refugee
protection regime offers a very blunt instrument that
is ill-matched to the needs and vulnerabilities of
todays migrants, including the lack of legal recogni-
tion for climate refugees. In an era of rapid climate
change, rising state failures, and escalating violence,
people are not moving so much for to advance eco-
nomically as to escape a growing array of threats
not covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Solano and Massey 165
Third, the securitization and criminalization of migra-
tion and climate policies have made human mobility
an increasingly precarious and risk-lled activity
that under current policies paradoxically contributes
to the proliferation of crime.
Although humanitarian and human rights protocols
are in place to address the resultant suffering, they
differ as to what kind of suffering matters and
diverge in how the suffering is to be addressed. In
this context, civil society, humanitarian action agen-
cies and human rights institutions need to revisit
their missions to derive new ways of working con-
jointly and in parallel to better understand and meet
the needs of migrants in the 21
Humanitarian and rights organizations are currently
splintered on how to address migration as a human
right, given that Article 13 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights species a right to emi-
grate but not to immigrate. Policy makers tend to see
the issue as one of security or as a short-term emer-
gency to be managed, without seeking to address
the underlying causes or ameliorating long-term suf-
fering. A unied consensus about how, when, and
for how long to intervene has not been reached.
As unauthorized migrants traverse Mexicoscorre-
dor de la muerte, they encounter multiple organiza-
tions and agencies seeking to help them, at times
through humanitarian acts such as providing water,
food, and shelter, and at other times through a spirited
defense of their legal rights while also working to
expose the mal praxis of national security policies.
Boyce et al. (2020, 400) refer to the work of social
activists as an alter-geopolitics,echoing Koopman
(2011, 281) by advocating a politics that works to
keep a larger us safe by building connections with
former thems.We suggest this inclusivist approach
be considered at a policy level by seeking to
address inequalities manifested in access to protec-
tion, especially considering violence, poverty,
climate refugees, and children (inclusive of those
who have joinedgangs)issues that at times are
What we are witnessing now in North America is
the transformation of international migration from a
well-ordered system based on the movement of
workers seeking opportunities within an expanding
North American economy, into a new system of dis-
ordered migration undertaken by families and
dependents desperately seeking to escape threats
linked to rising civil violence, weather events, and
state failures. If the late 20
century was dominated
by migrants of hope, the early 21
century appears
to be dominated by migrants of despair. In this
sense, the humanitarian crisis now unfolding in
North Americascorridor of deathis a harbinger
of the future in the rest of the world.
Declaration of Conicting Interests
The author(s) declared no potential conicts of interest
with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication
of this article.
The author(s) received no nancial support for the
research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Priscilla Solano
Aguilera, Jasmine. 2019. Trumps New Restrictions on
Asylum Seekers Violate U.S. and International Law,
Experts Say.Time Magazine Online, July 24. https://
American Immigration Council. 2021. The Cost of
Immigration Enforcement and Border Security.
Washington, DC: American Immigration Council.
American Immigration Council. 2022. A Guide to Title 42
Expulsions at the Border. Washington, DC: American
Immigration Council. https://www.americanimmigration
Americares. 2020. Status Crisis Alert: Hurricanes Iota,
Eta. Stamford, CT: Americares. https://www.
Amnesty International. 2010. Invisible Victims: Migrants
on the Move in Mexico. London, UK: Amnesty
Arnson, Cynthia J. 2000. Window on the Past: A
Declassied History of Death Squads in El Salvador.
In Death Squads in Global Perspective, edited by
Bruce B. Campbell, and Arthur D. Brenner, 85124.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan. https://link.springer.
166 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
Baez, Javier, German Caruso, Valerie Mueller, and
Chiyu Niu. 2017. Heat Exposure and Youth
Migration in Central America and the Caribbean.
American Economic Review 107(5):44650. https://
Baker, Bryan. 2021. Estimates of the Unauthorized
Immigrant Population Residing in the United States:
January 2015January 2018. Washington, DC: Ofce
of Immigration Statistics, US Department of
Homeland Security.
Baldwin, Andrew, Chris Methmann, and Delf Rothe. 2014.
Securitizing Climate Refugees: The Futurology of
Climate-Induced Migration.Critical Studies on
Security 2(2):12130.
Berchin, Issa I., Isabela B. Valduga, Jessica Garcia, and
Jose B. S. Osório de Andrade. 2017. Climate Change
and Forced Migrations: An Effort towards
Recognizing Climate Refugees.Geoforum; Journal
of Physical, Human, and Regional Geosciences
Betts, Alexander. 2010. The Refugee Regime Complex.
Refugee Survey Quarterly 29(1):1237.
Bhatia, Rajani, Jade S. Sasser, Diana Ojeda,
Anne Hendrixson, Sarojini Nadimpally, and Ellen
E. Foley. 2020. A Feminist Exploration of
Populationism: Engaging Contemporary Forms of
Population Control.Gender, Place & Culture
Biermann, Frank, and Ingrid Boas. 2010. Preparing for a
Warmer World: Towards a Global Governance System
to Protect Climate Refugees.Global Environmental
Politics 10(1):6088.
Bigo, Didier. 2008. Globalized (In)Security: The Field
and the Ban-Opticon.In Terror, Insecurity and
Liberty: Illiberal Practices of Liberal Regimes after 9/
11, edited by Didier Bigo, and Anastassia Tsoukala,
1048. London: Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.
Bourbeau, Philippe. 2011. The Securitization of
Migration: A Study of Movement and Order.
New York: Routledge.
Bowen, Gordon L. 1983. U.S. Foreign Policy toward
Radical Change: Covert Operations in Guatemala,
19501954.Latin American Perspectives 10(1):88
Boyce, Geoffrey A. 2019. The Neoliberal Underpinnings
of Prevention Through Deterrence and the United States
Governments Case Against Geographer Scott
Warren.Journal of Latin American Geography
Boyce, Geoffrey A., Samuel N. Chambers, and
Sarah Launius. 2019. Bodily Inertia and the
Weaponization of the Sonoran Desert in US Boundary
Enforcement: A GIS Modeling of Migration Routes
Through Arizonas Altar Valley.Journal on
Migration and Human Security 7(1):2335. https://doi.
Boyce, Geoffrey, Sarah Launius, S. Jill Williams, and
Todd Miller. 2020. Alter-Geopolitics and the
Feminist Challenge to the Securitization of Climate
Policy.Gender, Place & Culture 27(3):394411. .
Brigden, Noelle. 2018. The Migrant Passage: Clandestine
Journeys from Central America. Ithaca: Cornell
University Press.
Buzan, Barry, Ole Waever, and Jaap de Wilde. 1998.
Security: A New Framework for Analysis. Boulder,
CO: Lynne Rienner.
Calhoun, Craig. 2008. The Imperative to Reduce
Suffering: Charity, Progress, and Emergencies in the
Field of Humanitarian Action.In Humanitarianism
in Question: Power, Politics, Ethics, edited by
Michael Barnett, and Thomas G. Weiss, 7397.
Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. https://www.
Carlson, Elizabeth, and Anna Marie Gallagher. 2015.
Humanitarian Protection for Children Fleeing
Gang-Based Violence in the Americas.Journal on
Migration and Human Security 3(2):12958. https://doi.
Cassel, Douglass. 2009. Honduras: Coup dEtat in
Constitutional Clothing?-Revision.American Society
for International Law - Insights 13(9):119. https://
Castillo, Alejandra. 2016. Programa Frontera Sur: The
Mexican Governments Faulty Immigration Policy.
Washington, DC: Council on Hemispheric Affairs.
Solano and Massey 167
Castles, Stephen. 2004. Why Migration Policies Fail.
Ethnic and Racial Studies 27(2):20527.
CBP (US Customs and Border Protection). 2021a. Stats
and Summaries: U.S. Border Patrol Fiscal Year
Southwest Border Sector Deaths. Washington, DC:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (FY 1998 -
FY 2020).
CBP. 2021b. U.S. Border Patrol Nationwide
Apprehensions by Citizenship and Sector. Washington,
DC: U.S. Department of Homeland Security. https://
Cerrutti, Marcela, and Douglas S. Massey. 2001. On the
Auspices of Female Migration between Mexico and the
United States.Demography 38(2):187200. https://
Chavez, Leo R. 1997. Shadowed Lives: Undocumented
Immigrants in American Society. 2nd Edition.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. https://
Chomsky, Aviva. 2014. Undocumented: How
Immigration Became Illegal. Boston: Beacon Press.
. 2021. Central Americas Forgotten History:
Revolution, Violence, and the Roots of Migration.
Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Congressional Research Service. 2021. The Trump
AdministrationsZero ToleranceImmigration
Enforcement Policy. Washington, DC: Congressional
Research Service. February 2. Available at: https://
Crisp, Jeff. 2008. Beyond the Nexus: UNHCRs
Evolving Perspective on Refugee Protection and
International Migration.New Issues in Refugee
Research Paper No. 155. Geneva, CH: UN High
Commissioner for Refugees.
Dalby, Simon. 2014. Rethinking Geopolitics: Climate
Security in the Anthropocene.Global Policy 5(1):1
Davidson, John D. 2019. Toward a 21st-Century Asylum
System. Austin, TX: Texas Public Policy Foundation.
de Leon, Jason. 2015. The Land of Open Graves: Living
and Dying on the Migrant Trail. Berkeley, CA:
University of California Press. https://www.ucpress.
Dick, Hilary P. 2018. Words of Passage: National
Longing and the Imagined Lives of Mexican
Migrants. Austin: University of Texas Press. https://
DPMH (Dimensión Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana).
2012. "Informe de Actividades de La DPMH en el
Periodo 2006 - 2012, México: DPMH, Área Pastoral
de Migrantes, Comisión Episcopal para la Pastoral
Social, Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano."
Available from:
TBL_CDOCUMENTOS_71_2_35.pdf [Accessed: 2
May 2016].
Dudley, Steven. 2020. MS-13: The Making of Americas
Most Notorious Gang. New York: Hanover Square
Durand, Jorge, and Douglas S. Massey. 2019. Debacles at
the Border: Five Decades of Fact-Free Immigration
Policy.Annals of the American Academy of Political
and Social Science 684:620.
Eschbach, Karl, Jacqueline Hagan, and Nestor Rodriguez.
2001. Causes and Trends in Migrant Deaths along the
US-Mexican Border 1985-1998.Working Paper Series
014, Center for Immigration Research, University of
Falcón, Sylvanna. 2001. Rape as a Weapon of War:
Advancing Human Rights for Women at the
U.S.-Mexico Border.Social Justice 28(2):3150.
Fasquelle, Rodolfo P. 2011. The 2009 Coup and the
Struggle for Democracy in Honduras.NACLA Report
on the Americas 44(1):1621.
FitzGerald, David. 2019. Refuge beyond Reach: How Rich
Democracies Repel Asylum. New York: Oxford
University Press.
Fornalé, Elisa, and Curtis F.J. Doebbler. 2017. UNHCR
and Protection and Assistance for the Victims of
Climate Change.The Geographical Journal
García Hernández, César Cuauhtémoc. 2021.
Crimmigration Law. Second Edition. Chicago, IL:
ABA Book Publishing.
168 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)
Gerard, Alison. 2014. The Securitization of Migration and
Refugee Women. New York: Routledge. https://www.
Gilbert, Emily. 2012. The Militarization of Climate
Change.ACME: An International Journal for
Critical Geographies 11(1):114. https://acme-journal.
Global Detention Project. 2021. Country Report.
Immigration Detention in Mexico: Between the
United States and Central America.https://www.
Habitat for Humanity. 2021. Refugees, Asylum Seekers &
Migrants: A Crucial Difference. London, UK: Habitat
for Humanity Great Britain. https://www.
Humanitarian Coalition. 2021. What Is a Humanitarian
Emergency? Ottawa, ON: Humanitarian Coalition. https://
Human Rights Watch. 2021. Mexico: Mass Expulsion of
Asylum Seekers to Guatemala. Washington, DC: Human
Rights Watch.
Hunter, Lori M., Sheena Murray, and Fernando Riosmena.
2013. Rainfall Patterns and US Migration from Rural
Mexico.International Migration Review 47(4):874
Huspek, Michael, Roberto Martinez, and Leticia Jimenez.
1998. Violations of Human and Civil Rights on the
U.S.-Mexico Border, 1995 to 1997: A Report.Social
Justice 25(2):11030. http://www.socialjusticejournal.
Huysmans, J. 2000. The European Union and the
Securitization of Migration.Journal of Common
Market Studies 38(5):75177.
INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración). 2021a. Boletines
Estadísticos. CDMX: Secretaría de Gobernación. http://
INM. 2021b. Nuestros Servicios. CDMX: Secretaría de
Instituto para la Seguridad y la Democracia (INSYDE).
2021. Assessment Study of the National Migration
Institute: Towards an Accountability System for
Migrant Rights in Mexico-Executive Summary.
Coyoacán, CDMX: Instituto para la Seguridad y la
Democracia, A.C.
INS (US Immigration and Naturalization Service). 2002.
Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population
Residing in the United States: 1990 to 2000.
Washington, DC: INS Ofce of Policy and Planning.
Available at:
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. 2021.
IACHR Condemns Use of Force Against People in
Movement in Mexico and Calls on the State to
Investigate Events and Prevent Them from Being
Repeated. Washington, DC: Organization of
American States.
Jones, Richard C. 1989. Causes of Salvadoran Migration
to the United States.Geographical Review 79(2):183
94. .
Kaenzig, Raoul, and Etienne Piguet. 2014. Migration and
Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In People on the Move in a Changing Climate, edited
by Etienne Piguet, and Frank Laczko, 15576.
New York: Springer.
Kocher, Austin. 2021. Migrant Protection Protocols and the
Death of Asylum.Journal of Latin American Geography
20(1):24958. .
Koopman, Sara. 2011. Alter-Geopolitics: Other
Securities Are Happening.Geoforum; Journal of
Physical, Human, and Regional Geosciences
2011.01.007. .
Lind, Dara. 2014. The 2014 Central American Migrant
Crisis.Vox, October 10.
Lundquist, Jennifer H., and Douglas S. Massey. 2005.
Politics or Economics? International Migration During
the Nicaraguan Contra War.Journal of Latin
American Studies 37(1):2953. https://www.cambridge.
Lynch, Connor. 2019. The Impacts of Warming Coffee:
The Climate Change-Coffee-Migration Nexus in the
Northern Triangle of Central America.Independent
Study Project Collection 3008. https://
Massey, Douglas S., Jorge Durand, and Nolan J. Malone.
2002. Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican
Solano and Massey 169
Immigration in an Age of Economic Integration.
New York: Russell Sage Foundation. https://www.
Massey, Douglas S., Jorge Durand, and Karen A. Pren.
2014. Explaining Undocumented Migration to the
U.S.International Migration Review 48(4):102861.
. 2016. Why Border Enforcement Backred.
American Journal of Sociology 121(5):1557600. .
. 2020. Lethal Violence and Migration in Mexico:
An Analysis of Internal and International Moves.
Migraciones Internacionales 11(12):120. https://
Massey, Douglas S., Mary J. Fischer, and
Chiara Capoferro. 2006. International Migration and
Gender in Latin America: A Comparative Analysis.
International Migration 44:129. https://onlinelibrary.
Massey, Douglas S. 2020a. Immigration Policy
Mismatches and Counterproductive Outcomes:
Unauthorized Migration to the U.S. in Two Eras.
Comparative Migration Studies 8(21):127. https://
. 2020b. The Real Crisis at the U.S.-Mexico
Border: A Humanitarian and not an Immigration
Emergency.Sociological Forum 35(3):787805.
Médecins Sans Frontières. 2020. The Devastating Toll of
Remain in MexicoAsylum Policy One Year Later.
Geneva, CH: Médecins Sans Frontières. https://www.
Meissner, Doris, Faye Hipsman, and T. Alexander
Aleinikof. 2018. The U.S. Asylum System in Crisis:
Charting a Way Forward. Washington, DC:
Migration Policy Institute. Available at: https://www.
Meneses, Guillermo A. 2003. Human Rights and
Undocumented Migration along the Mexican-U.S.
Border.UCLA Law Review 51:26787. https://www.
Menjívar, Cecilia. 2000. Fragmented Ties: Salvadoran
Immigrant Networks in America. Berkeley: University
of California Press.
. 2006. Liminal Legality: Salvadoran and
Guatemalan ImmigrantsLives in the United States.
American Journal of Sociology 111(4):9991037.
Mesoamerican Migrant Movement. 2016. Central American
Migration. San Francisco, CA: WordPress Foundation.
Meyer, Maureen. 2019. Mexicos Proposed National
Guard Would Solidify the Militarization of Public
Security.WOLA. January 10, 2019. https://www.
Mountz, Alison. 2020. The Death of Asylum: Hidden
Geographies of the Enforcement Archipelago.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. https://
Munshi, Kaivan. 2003. Networks in the Modern Economy:
Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market.Quarterly
Journal of Economics 118(2):54999.
Nawrotzki, Raphael J., Lori M. Hunter, Daniel
M. Runfola, and Fernando Riosmena. 2015. Climate
Change as a Migration Driver from Rural and Urban
Mexico.Environmental Research Letters
Notre Dame Global Adaption Initiative. 2021. ND-GAIN
Country Index. South Bend, IN: University of Notre
Patiño Houle, Christina, and John-Michael Torres. 2019.
Thousands Have Disappeared Crossing the
U.S.-Mexico Border: They Deserve to be Remembered.
Texas Observer, August 29, 2019. https://www.
REDODEM. 2014. Migrantes Invisibles, Violencia
Tangible. Mexico City, MX: Servicio Jesuita a
REDODEM. 2015. Migración in Tránsito por México:
Rostro de una Crisis Humanitaria Internacional.
Mexico City, MX: Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes. http://
REDODEM. 2016. Migrantes en México: Recorriendo un
Camino de Violencia. Mexico City, MX: Servicio
Jesuita a Migrantes.
REDODEM. 2017. El Estado Indolente: Recuento de la
Violencia en las Rutas Migratorias y Perles de
Movilidad en México. Mexico City, MX: Servicio
Jesuita a Migrantes.
170 Journal on Migration and Human Security 10(3)