Migrants in the City of Coatzacoalcos
Every year, an estimated 500,000 people flee violence and poverty in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and enter Mexico with the hope of reaching the United States.

In Mexico, these people are systematically exposed to further episodes of violence. We have teams working on Mexico’s southern and northern borders, and at various key locations in between, offering medical, psychological and social support to migrants and refugees along the perilous migration route from Central America to the United States.

Our projects also assist vulnerable local communities and victims of violence, including sexual violence, in Guerrero state and in the border city of Reynosa.

MSF teams are currently responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico.

Our activities in 2021 in Mexico

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.

MSF in Mexico in 2021 In Mexico, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supports communities affected by violence and ever-growing numbers of refugees and migrants travelling through the country.
Map_Mexico_2021.png

According to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, the numbers of displaced people in Central American countries reached record levels in 2021, creating a humanitarian crisis. Almost a million people fled their homes to escape violence and a lack of opportunities in their home countries, a situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new US administration had indicated that it would adopt a more compassionate attitude towards undocumented migrants and refugees arriving from the south, but it maintained its restrictive asylum policies, citing public health reasons, closed its borders and deported hundreds of thousands of people to Mexico and other countries. This, and the criminalisation of migration by regional governments, forced people to risk more dangerous routes, where they were exposed to robbery, extortion, torture, sexual aggression, rape and kidnapping. 

Our teams worked to improve access to medical and psychological care at different points along the migration route, prioritising assistance to the most vulnerable groups: children, unaccompanied minors, women travelling alone, non-Spanish-speaking people, extracontinental migrants, older adults, LGBTIQ+ people and victims of direct violence. 

The mobility of our operations enabled us to provide emergency responses to specific needs as they were detected. We sent teams to work on Mexico’s northern border, in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state, and Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila state, as well as in the south, where we assisted migrants arriving in Tapachula, Chiapas state. Our comprehensive care centre in Mexico City continued to offer medical, psychological, physiotherapy and social work care to migrants, refugees and Mexican citizens who have been victims of extreme violence.  

In September, we decided to reorient our project in Reynosa and Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, where we had been providing care for victims of violence and sexual violence since 2019, to assist thousands of migrants trapped in precarious conditions in shelters and makeshift camps. As well as medical and psychological consultations, we ran health promotion activities, offered social support and distributed drinking water and hygiene kits. 

In the second half of the year, we launched an emergency intervention in Mexico City, focused on health promotion activities, to support institutions to address the needs of huge influxes of migrants, mainly from Haiti. 

The COVID-19 health emergency has not curtailed the activities of the many armed groups and gangs operating in Guerrero state. People continue to be displaced or unable to move freely due to violence in their communities. Our teams in Guerrero worked to improve access to basic health services in these areas by running mobile clinics offering medical and psychological care, as well as social support. In January 2021, MSF expanded these activities to cover Tierra Caliente region in Michoacán state.  

 

In 2021
Reynosa Mexico Caring for migrants and deportees_ENG
video

Reynosa, Mexico: Caring for migrants and deportees

The situation in Reynosa, through the eyes of MSF and the people we assist

MSF has worked in Reynosa since 2017 treating victims of violence in the city, and more recently providing mental and medical care to migrants and deportees

Forced to leave their home countries because of gang violence and poverty, people on the move are increasingly prevented from reaching the US to ask for asylum.

Instead, they find themselves trapped at the border in areas of rampant violence, waiting to cross in deplorable humanitarian conditions.

Our teams have documented a pattern of violent displacement, persecution, sexual violence and forced repatriation. It’s a violence that starts in the country of origin and is replicated along their journeys through Mexico.

Access to mental healthcare/ "I am not a criminal" (ENG)
video

"I'm not a criminal"

"I'm not a criminal"

"I fled Honduras because the gangs wanted to recruit me and I refused."

The story of 17-year-old José* is representative of many of the young patients we care for in our projects in Tegucigalpa and Choloma, in Honduras, and Reynosa, Mexico.

 
Recovering from the Horror - Stories of torture victims in Mexico
Mexico

Recovering from the horror: restoring body and mind after torture

Interview 23 Jun 2022
 
Title 42
Central American Migration

Pushed back, beaten and exposed: Stories from the US-Mexico border

Voices from the Field 29 Mar 2022
 
Tapachula
Central American Migration

US and Mexico asylum policies leave migrants in deplorable and dangerous conditions

Press Release 9 Sep 2021
 
Migrants in the City of Coatzacoalcos
Central American Migration

Migrants through Mexico further criminalised, exposed to danger, through militarised border pact

Project Update 27 Apr 2021
 
MSF installed a treatment center for COVID-19 in Tamauilpas.
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

MSF opens two COVID-19 treatment centres in northeastern Mexico

Project Update 3 Jun 2020
 
MSF intervenes in Tijuana in response to the critical situation caused by COVID19
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

MSF provides critically-needed COVID-19 medical care in Tijuana

Project Update 7 May 2020
 
Increasing activities in Matamoros-covid19
United States of America

MSF demands US ends deportations to stop COVID-19 spread to fragile health systems

Press Release 4 May 2020
 
Migrants and Refugees in Mexico shelters
Central American Migration

MSF calls for release of migrants after deadly fire in Tenosique detention centre

Press Release 3 Apr 2020
 
The Migration Protection Protocol in the state of Tamaulipas
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

US must include asylum seekers in COVID-19 response, rather than shut border

Press Release 27 Mar 2020

Contact us

Acapulco Sexual Violence
MSF Mexico

Fernando Montes de Oca 56
Col. Condesa, 06140
Del. Cuauhtémoc, Ciudad de Mexico
Mexico