[Source: PLoS One, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
OPEN ACCESS / PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE
Migrants in transit through Mexico to the US: Experiences with violence and related factors, 2009-2015
René Leyva-Flores , Cesar Infante , Juan Pablo Gutierrez , Frida Quintino-Perez , MariaJose Gómez-Saldivar , Cristian Torres-Robles
Published: August 21, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220775
The objectives of the study are to 1) estimate the burden of physical, sexual, and psychological violence among migrants in transit through Mexico to the US; and 2) examine the associations between experiencing violence and sociodemographic characteristics, migratory background, and health status in this vulnerable population.
A cross-sectional study combining qualitative and quantitative methods was carried out from 2009 to 2015 with a sample of 12,023 migrants in transit through Mexico to the US. Information on gender (male, female, and transsexual, transgender and transvestite -TTTs-); nationality; health status; migratory background; and experiences with violence was obtained. Fifty-eight migrants participated in in-depth interviews to explore any experiences of violence during their journey. A descriptive analysis was performed and a probit regression model was applied to analyze the factors associated with violence. Qualitative information was analyzed to understand experiences, meanings and responses to violence.
The overall prevalence of suffering from any form of violence was 29.4%. Nearly 24% reported physical violence, 19.5% experienced psychological violence, and approximately 2% reported sexual violence. TTTs experienced a significantly greater burden of violence compared to men and women. Violence occurred more frequently among migrants from Central American (30.6%) and other countries (40.0%) than it did among Mexican migrants (20.5%). Experiences involving sexual, physical and psychological violence as well as theft and even kidnapping were described by interviewees. Migrants mistrust the police, migration authorities, and armed forces, and therefore commonly refrain from revealing their experiences.
Migrants are subjected to a high level of violence while in transit to the US. Those traveling under irregular migratory conditions are targets of even greater violence, a condition exacerbated by gender inequality. Migrants transiting through Mexico from Central American and other countries undergo violence more frequently than do Mexican migrants. Protective measures are urgently needed to ensure the human rights of these populations.
Citation: Leyva-Flores R, Infante C, Gutierrez JP, Quintino-Perez F, Gómez-Saldivar M, Torres-Robles C (2019) Migrants in transit through Mexico to the US: Experiences with violence and related factors, 2009-2015. PLoS ONE 14(8): e0220775. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220775
Editor: Mary C. Smith Fawzi, Harvard Medical School, UNITED STATES
Received: May 25, 2018; Accepted: July 23, 2019; Published: August 21, 2019
Copyright: © 2019 Leyva-Flores et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Data Availability: Data are from the Multicenter Project: International Migration and Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Migrants from Mexico and Central America, 2009-2015, whose authors may be contacted at: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. Data base are available at: Data base: https://osf.io/2sq8b; Do files: https://osf.io/4d5vw; Qualitative: https://osf.io/uwz2q; Zip file: https://osf.io/fs6x9. The data files uploaded to Open Science Framework represent the underlying data necessary to replicate the findings of this study in their entirety. For additional information regarding the project, interested researchers may also contact the President of Ethics Committee at INSP (PhD. Angelica Angeles) at: email@example.com.
Funding: This study was funded by the Ford Foundation for Mexico and Central America, grant 1100-0482 to RL-F. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Keywords: Mexico; USA; Society; Poverty; Migrants.