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 2020 in Mexico
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.
In 2020, MSF organised a range of COVID-19 emergency responses in Mexico, which had one of the world’s highest number of deaths from the virus. In May, we began working in a hospital extension unit at Los Zonkeys stadium in Tijuana, Baja California, where patients with mild and moderate COVID-19 symptoms received treatment. In June, we handed the facility back to the health authorities. We also cared for patients with mild to severe COVID-19 in two dedicated centres set up in the campuses of Reynosa and Matamoros universities. These activities ended on 1 October.
We adopted a mobile strategy focused on supporting infection prevention and control. Our teams visited nine states to evaluate 46 health facilities, train medical personnel and implement staff and patient flow routes. Another COVID-19 team provided technical support and training in 40 shelters along the migration route.
In addition, our teams conducted medical, psychological and social work consultations to assist migrants trapped at the northern border. We worked in all the migrant shelters in Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa and Matamoros, including an improvised asylum seekers camp. In Reynosa, we also continued to assist victims of violence and, in Guerrero, visited communities without access to health services due to pervasive violence. In the south, our teams continued caring for migrants through mobile clinics. In February, we published the report No Way Out on the damaging health impact of US-Mexico migration policies.
In Mexico City, we run a specialised centre offering medical and mental healthcare for migrants who have been victims of torture or extreme violence in their countries of origin or on their journeys.
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.
"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.
Fernando Montes de Oca 56
Col. Condesa, 06140
Del. Cuauhtémoc, Ciudad de Mexico