Mexican border - 1) Geography a) Mexico's southern border...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1) Geography a) Mexico’s southern border with Belize and Guatemala stretches for over 750 miles. Much of the border is mountainous terrain and dense jungle making it difficult to patrol. The Suchiate River runs along the border, much like the Rio Grande separating the U.S from Mexico. Most of the immigration from Guatemala is into the Mexican state of Chiapas, which is a predominately agricultural area that is greatly impoverished and has a large indigenous population. 2) History a) Seasonal migrants have been a large part of Chiapas economy since the early 1900’s. Many subsistence farmers came to Mexico to work on coffee plantations or to harvest sugarcane, bananas, mangoes and other products in order to help out their families. b) A larger number of Central Americans began to migrate to Mexico during the political crises in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Guatemalan insurgents used Chiapas as a place to rest and regroup and also acquire food and supplies due to the porous nature of the border. The Guatemalan Army would also cross the border in order to capture guerillas, gather intelligence and monitor the refugee camps. It was reported that 200,000 Guatemalans fled to Mexico, putting a strain on the already troubled state of Chiapas. c) The Guatemalan government was convinced that the Mexican government was aiding the guerillas in the refugee camps. Because of the high level of security problems on the border because of refugee camps, it was decided that the camps would be moved out of Chiapas into the Yucatan peninsula. This caused an uproar within the refugee camps because the indigenous population of Chiapas was so similar to that of the Guatemalan population living there. Numerous human rights abuses including arrests, burning of camps and cut offs of food and other services to those who did not want to move were recorded by human rights organizations. d) The government claimed that those who were willing to relocate were genuinely fleeing for their lives from the civil war while those who did not want to relocate were subversives and guerillas who were using the camps as a base for their activities against the Guatemalan government. e) More recently, the border has been seen as a gateway to the United States. The largest number of people crossing it illegally are Central Americans, but there are also a significant number of South Americans and Asians crossing, particularly those of Chinese or Indian descent. One estimate of the number of people crossing illegally each year is around 400,200. f) Economic opportunity is obviously the driving factor for those crossing the border illegally. In Honduras, 70 percent of the active population are casual workers. This means workers are hired out for jobs only for a few days or hours as needed. In 2000, 78 percent of Central Americans lived below the poverty line. Free trade has
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
hurt local producers and structural readjustments imposed by the IMF has forced many civil servants out of work. Natural disasters have also caused economic
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/26/2008 for the course POLITICAL 460 taught by Professor Guernica during the Spring '08 term at Winona.

Page1 / 5

Mexican border - 1) Geography a) Mexico's southern border...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online