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Mexico: Protection Monitoring, Quarterly Report (July, August & September 2021)

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This report presents the results of Protection Monitoring jointly conducted by DRC and JRS in Ciudad Juarez and Tapachula, Mexico between July and September 2021. During the quarter, 394 households covering a total of 892 individuals were surveyed with a standardized Protection Monitoring instrument, gathering information about protection risks and related humanitarian needs.

This quantitative data was complemented by qualitative insights obtained from focus group discussions, key informant interviews, direct observations and a review of news and other secondary sources. Quarterly data is analyzed to detect tendencies during the period, but also since the start of the Protection Monitoring exercise in October 2020.

The main findings from July to September 2021 include:

Persons of concern have left their home countries (in the case of foreign nationals) or are attempting to leave their countries (in the case of Mexican nationals) mostly due to fear of persecution (66.0% and 56.2% of families, respectively) and generalized violence (76.6% and 97.2% of families, respectively). Barriers to initiate the asylum process and prolonged case processing times in Mexico, together with the suspension of the United States’ asylum procedure at the border, prevent significant numbers of persons in need of international protection from being able to access effective protection.

Different priority needs were identified among persons of concern in the two locations where Protection Monitoring was conducted. In Tapachula, documentation, food and income are the main concerns, while in Ciudad Juarez, health, security and the asylum process are the dominant priorities.

A majority of persons of concern in Tapachula (76.3%) manifest an intention to settle in Mexico, of which 84.3% have initiated or attempted to initiate the asylum process with the COMAR. Only one person monitored in Ciudad Juarez had initiated and subsequently abandoned the COMAR process. This suggests that those who file for asylum in Mexico plan to remain in the country.

Overall, 31.0% of respondents have not received any documentation confirming asylum-seeker status or otherwise conferring migratory status in Mexico. These individuals are more likely to resort to risky transit routes and to smugglers.

There are significant gaps in humanitarian assistance. In Tapachula, those who have not been able to initiate an asylum application with the COMAR are not eligible to access multi-purpose cash assistance programs targeting asylum-seekers. In Ciudad Juarez, many church shelters are beyond capacity and can offer only very limited food assistance. In both locations, there is an evident need for additional mental health and psychosocial support services.