Activists highlight ordeal of migrants in southern Mexico:

Published April 21, 2011, EFE

Mexico City – An ecumenical Stations of the Cross procession began Wednesday in southern Mexico to denounce the "Calvary" suffered daily by undocumented migrants who attempt to head north across the country risking becoming victims of organized crime and corrupt officials.

The goal "is to hold a mirror up to what is happening with the migrants and we're going to do it live, to recall all those deeds that we've been experiencing. It's nothing more than the Stations of the Cross of Jesus in the person of the migrant," the Rev. Alejandro Solalinda told Efe.

The Catholic priest runs the Hermanos en el Camino migrants shelter in the southern border state of Chiapas.

"It's not a protest of one cry, useless - it's a language of symbols that they have to move us with, to lead to changes," he said.

The first station of the procession was undertaken on Wednesday in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, where four activists and a dozen or so migrants crossed the Suchiate River - which forms the border - to perform the second station on Mexican soil.

In a few hours, 25 participants had gathered.

An undocumented Honduran, Carlos, played the role of Jesus Christ. "If the National Migration Institute doesn't grab him he's going to be Christ until the end," Ruben Figueroa, one of the activists accompanying him, told Efe.

The participants, whose numbers increased as they moved forward, on Wednesday will go on foot and by pickup truck to La Arrocera, a spot in the municipality of Huixtla, where there have been cases of abuse of migrants who were heading to northern Mexico to cross into the United States.

On Thursday, three stations are scheduled, one devoted to the shelters, another that will evoke "La Bestia" (The beast), as the freight train that traverses Mexico from south to north with migrants perched upon it is known, and the third will recall the dispossessed.

On Good Friday the final round of activity will be devoted to the mothers of those who emigrate, the tireless seekers of those who disappear on their journey north, to the cemeteries, kidnappings and massacres, especially that of 72 Central and South American migrants by members of a drug cartel last August in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

Marta Sanchez Soler, the promoter of the initiative and representative of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, the procession also allows people to recall tragedies such as the massacre of 145 people whose bodies were found in several common graves this month, also in Tamaulipas, a deed attributed to the Los Zetas drug cartel.

"Central Americans say that Mexico is a cemetery for migrants," she said.

According to the latest report on the matter issued by Mexico's independent National Commission on Human Rights, at least 11,300 migrants were kidnapped between April and September 2010.

Official figures are that each year some 300,000 undocumented migrants, the majority of them Central Americans, cross over the 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of border Mexico shares with Guatemala and Belize to try and reach the United States to find work. ... rn-mexico/