Mexican Bishops Criticize Use of Rubber Bullets on Immigrants

Violates Human Rights and Causes Serious Damage

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CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, SEPT. 24, 2004 (
Mexican Bishops reaffirmed their rejection of the immigration agreement which allows the use of rubber bullets by the U.S. border police against Mexican immigrants.

The statement was made at the conclusion of the meeting of Mexican bishops and pastoral care agents who share the border with the United States. It was the 5th Workshop on Migration promoted by the Episcopal Commission on Human Mobility (CEPMH) of the Mexican episcopal conference.

The Mexican bishops, headed by Bishop Renato Ascencio León of the border town of Ciudad Juarez (state of Chihuahua) and President of the CEMPH, confirmed that representatives of the Catholic Church met with Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista to call for the review of the agreements that allow the use of rubber bullets against illegal immigrants «because it violates, from all angles, the human rights of immigrants.»

The measure also violates the spirit of the document issued recently by the Mexican and U.S. bishops who share the border.

«We know that some immigrants — we do not have the exact number –, have lost the use of their senses by the impact of a rubber bullet; because it must be pointed out that members of U.S. immigration carry out a hunt of immigrants and many times strike them in an eye or an ear,» said Bishop León.

The number of Mexicans who have died this year crossing the border exceeds 400.

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