Thursday, 18 November 2010

Migrants from around the world blocked from approaching the site of GFMD

Eni Lestari from IMA at the IAMR3

[PUERTO VALLARTA] On 10 November 2010, over 500 demonstrators from the The Peoples’ Caravan Against the Global Forum on Migration Development (GFMD) were met by police, clad with riot gear.  The rally against the GFMD consisted of international delegates of the Third International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR3), the Madres de los desaparecidos [mothers of the disappeared] from Honduras, the ex-braceros representing 24 states of Mexico, the indigenous peoples of Michoacan, and students from Tamaulipas, the site of the massacare of 72 migrant workers earlier this year.  The Caravan spent the last two days traveling from Mexico City and Guadalajara to accurately voice the concerns of migrant workers across the globe. 

Fr. Luis Angel Nieto of Comite Promotor de Mexico said, “No pueden hacer un foro de migrantes, sin migrantes.   Somos de todas partes de Mexico, unidos con migrantes del mundo. Nos representamos la voz actual de migrantes y decimos no al FMMD.” [They cannot have a forum on migrants without migrants.  We have come from all parts of Mexico, joined by migrants from around the world. We represent the true voice of migrants and we say no to GFMD.]  Many of the demonstrators belonged to international movements that address labor issues and the lack of protections for migrants from developing nations.

 The Puerto Vallarta police blocked off major roads to contain the protest shortly after the march was initiated.  “Every year we protest the GFMD and ever year this is what the states do,” said chairperson of the International Migrants Alliance, Eni Lestari, at the police blockade.  “While they discuss how to exploit us, they silence us and they shut us out.  We say to them: as long as the GFMD exists we will come back year after year to continue our fight for migrant rights.” 

Julia Camagong of Philippine Forum (New York, USA) said, "The GFMD is illegitimate. It does not protect the rights and welfare of the migrants and refugees. It does not speak for migrants and only reflects the interests of the corporations and neoliberal policies that further exploit and oppress the migrants of the world. It should therefore be dismantled.”

For the last four years, the GFMD has used the guise of “development” to usurp the actual needs of migrants in favor of transnational trade agreements.  Much of the structural improvements put forth by the GFMD focus on remittance models, instead of creating sustainable employment opportunities within the given host nations. 

Camagong said, “It is the IAMR3 that is the true voice of the migrants workers. We saw this clearly in the eyes of the international delegates who attended the assembly in Mexico City; the ex-braceros in Guadalajara; the families from the provinces of Michoacan, Oaxaca, and Zacatecas; the Honduran mothers of the disappeared; and the students from Tamaulipas, all of whom united in the streets of Puerto Vallarto to oppose the GFMD.”

This mobilization was the conclusion of the Third International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR3), which took place from November 6 – 10. The assembly and caravan operated with no budget, but was made possible by the broad grassroots support of migrant organizations throughout Mexico and all over the world. 


For more information visit:

No comments: