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Tijuana Police Chief Says He'll Work With Caravan Group To Protect Migrants

Jean Guerrero
Tijuana’s police chief meets with migrant rights activists including Irineo Mujica, Sept. 9, 2018

An activist who organizes caravans of asylum seekers to the U.S. scored a meeting with Tijuana's police chief Friday, days after he was arrested for an alleged "affront" against police.

Irineo Mujica of Pueblo Sin Fronteras wanted to talk to him about how he thinks the U.S. and Mexican governments are complicit in the "dehumanization" of migrants, including Tijuana police abuses against them.

"They treat them like animals," Mujica said.

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Tijuana's police chief Marco Antonio Sotomayor said Friday he would work with Mujica and his group to improve police treatment of migrants, according to a department spokesman and Mujica.

Mujica was arrested Tuesday while demanding the release of a Honduran boy who had been jailed without committing a crime. Tijuana's police director Mario Martinez told KPBS the boy was picked up for his own safety because he was walking in a dangerous area.

Jean Guerrero
Tijuana’s police chief meets with migrant rights activists including Irineo Mujica, Sept. 9, 2018

RELATED: Migrant Activist Who Led Asylum Caravans Released From Jail In Mexico

According to the police, Mujica and another Pueblo Sin Fronteras activist were detained because they were shouting at police and then resisted arrest. Mujica and his fellow activists say the police were the ones who roughed them up.

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The Honduran boy and the two activists were released from jail Wednesday. While protesting outside the police department on Friday, the activists received word that Sotomayor and other officials were willing to meet with them in private to discuss alleged abuses against migrants.

Officials committed to provide training for police to improve the treatment of migrants and to collaborate with Pueblo Sin Fronteras on this goal.

Tijuana Police Chief Says He'll Work With Caravan Group To Protect Migrants
Tijuana's police chief says he'll work to protect migrant rights with Pueblo Sin Fronteras, the group whose leader was arrested earlier this week.