PBI-Mexico says shutoff at the Saltillo Migrant Shelter a violation of the right to water
The Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project has tweeted, “Our concern about water suspension at @CDMSaltillo on December 28 and the defamation series against its director @BETTOXICO through press releases from different media.”
On Facebook, PBI-Mexico adds, “As an international organization that accompanies Casa Del Migrante de Saltillo since 2014, we reject the slander against Alberto Xiconténcatl Carrasco as a human rights defender, we support the work of the organization as well as its different members and we reiterate all our trust.”
PBI-Mexico also notes, “The suspension in the supply of water to the hostel on December 28, 2019, violates the human rights to water and sanitation for the migrant population that is currently in the house in conditions of extreme vulnerability.”
Xicotencátl first raised the alert by stating, “This morning [Saturday December 28], the company Aguas de Saltillo arrived with a water cut order and from this morning, around 9, we already have a shelter without water. In 2019 we attended to more than 9 thousand people, imagine the public health problem that we have in front of us.”
Xicotencátl says that it costs the Shelter 13,000 pesos (about CAD $895) a month for water. He adds, “We have no way to pay because we owe almost half a million pesos (about CAD $34,000) in the last three years and months.”
El Universal reports, “[Xicotencátl] considered that they may file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of the State of Coahuila (CDHEC) because AGSAL violates a human and constitutional right of people to access water.”
In 2010, Radio Mundo Real reported, “In 2001, the government of Saltillo authorized to sell 49 per cent of the water system of the municipality to [the Spanish] transnational company Aguas de Barcelona [AGBAR].”
That article adds, “Aguas de Saltillo is accused of violating the Mexican Constitution, several federal and state laws and regulations related to water, health, information access and consumer rights.”
In 2012, Claudia Campero-Arena noted, “Aguas de Saltillo (which is a public-private partnership with AGBAR) has increased its commercial efficiency through water cutoffs to those homes that have been unable to pay their bills.”
The Saltillo Migrant Shelter offers daily humanitarian assistance – including clothes, medicines, food, rest, and medical and psychological care – to thousands of migrants crossing Mexico to reach the United States. As noted in PBI-Mexico expresses concern about continued harassment of the Saltillo Migrant Shelter, these services are offered in the context of the further militarization of the US-Mexico border.
PBI-Canada will be hosting a representative of the Saltillo Migrant Shelter on speaking tour in Ontario and Quebec this coming March. More on that soon.