TIJUANA (Border Report) — A migrant shelter in Tijuana has shut its doors because members of a criminal organization tried to extort money from migrants, an activist south of the border said.
Activist Hugo Castro said people were going to the Migrant Embassy shelter at night demanding money from the migrants.
“There’s been cases where some have been beaten severely,” Castro said. “Some have left as a way to save their lives, these have been victims of extortion whose human rights have been violated.”
This shelter is located close to the beach near the international barrier between Mexico and the United States.
It’s an area where many migrants attempt to cross the border illegally.
Esperanza Lozano, director of the shelter, said the 40 migrants staying in the facility were being charged $200 by a cartel and police officers to be allowed to remain in the area and for “permission to cross the border.”
She also said the shelter has filed 17 complaints against police officers that have gone ignored by state prosecutors.
Lozano stated they are now waiting for Mexico’s Human Rights Commission to act on their behalf. For now, there aren’t any plans to reopen the shelter.
On Tuesday, a group of armed men broke down the door of a church-run migrant shelter in Juarez, Mexico, and tried to abduct asylum-seekers sheltered there.