Emmaus International

Emmaus International was present at the World Social Forum on Migrations, from 2nd to 4th November, in Mexico, to denounce the violation of migrants' rights and the criminalization of their defenders, activists or journalists, like Bartolo Fuentes, pursued for covering the Honduran caravan.

Press release

Bartolo Fuentes, a Honduran journalist covering and accompanying the migrant caravan, has fallen victim to judicial persecution and intimidation. He is appealing to the press and human rights defenders for support.

CP Bartolo

Successive caravans of thousands of people from Central America, mainly from Honduras but also from El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, are currently passing through Mexico on their way to the USA. This unique, spontaneous mobilisation of people means that, through their sheer numbers, migrants are protected from repressive migratory policies as well as from the police violence, criminality and organised crime that are often found along the road to exile. For them, there is some safety in numbers, but the risks and violence that migrants face extend to all those who mobilise to highlight migrant rights.

Bartolo Fuentes, a Honduran journalist covering and accompanying the migrant caravan, has fallen victim to judicial persecution and intimidation. He was forced to flee Honduras following accusations that he organised the caravan’s departure, acting as a ‘people smuggler’. The Guatemalan police detained Bartolo Fuentes following false information spread by the Honduran government. Without a shred of incriminating evidence, the authorities in Guatemala decided to deport him even though his life and his safety, as well as that of his family, is threatened in Honduras.  

The Honduran government has been waging a campaign of hatred against migrants, as well as all those who stand in solidarity with them. This campaign risks leading to attacks or providing justification for extrajudicial actions (using death squads or sicarios). The goings on in Honduras are a demonstration of the worst forms of repression against human rights defenders, the likes of which can be found the world over but which is particularly serious in Central America and Mexico.

“I am being pursued by the government for having brought the migrant issue to light and for having informed migrants of their rights. It is criminalising solidarity and journalistic activity.” 

As part of the World Social Forum on Migrations, which took place in Mexico City from 2-4 November 2018, Bartolo Fuentes called for the support of the press and journalists the world over who, like him, defend freedom of information and the right to information. Solidarity with those defenders of rights who find themselves prevented from denouncing unacceptable situations, in particular violence suffered by migrants, is crucial.

Bartolo Fuentes has decided to invite an international delegation of journalists and representatives from social movements to give visibility to the current situation in Honduras.

Contact: Bartolo Fuentes - + 504 99 77 25 62 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Organisations and individuals that sign up will be showing their support for Bartolo Fuentes, as well as for all human and migrant rights defenders who are attacked and persecuted for their work defending human rights:

AMF (Association des Marocains de France) Attac France, Carovane Migranti, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, CRID (Centre de recherche et d’information pour le développement), CRLDHT (Comité pour le respect des libertés et des droits de l’Homme en Tunisie), Emmaüs International, FORIM (Forum des organisations de solidarité internationale issues des migrations), FTDES (Forum tunisien des droits économiques et sociaux), France Amérique Latine, IDD (Immigration développement démocratie), IPAM (Institut pour un autre monde), Inclusión y Equidad Consultora Latinoamérica,  Massada, MDCD (Plateforme euro-marocaine migrations développement citoyenneté et Démocratie), Mundo en Movimiento, #SickOfWaiting, Tous Migrants.