Detainees Fear for Lives If Deported

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LOS ANGELES--Three handwritten letters, signed by 21 detained immigrants in a New Mexico detention center, were received by the Tuscon, Ariz–based immigration advocacy organization No More Deaths, reports La Opinion.

In the letters, written in Spanish, the immigrants ask that they not be deported to the territory of the Los Zetas cartel, fearing for their lives. They also ask that "activists intercede on their behalf to immigration authorities, asking for their possessions and identification be returned to them and if they are deported that they are not hurt.”

According to the news report, immigrants who have been deported and returned to “Las Zetas” cartel territory have been kidnapped and killed. Another letter written in English provides more detail about the kinds of torture faced by deportees upon their return to Mexico.

“The police wait for you and stop you with the excuse to help them look for someone wanted, that you look like someone they are looking for, or that there was a shooting in the area and they will take you to your destination, but in reality they take you to Los Zetas to an alley or an abandoned house and keep you hostage.”

Sarah Launius, a spokeswoman for No More Deaths, noted that this is not the first time activists have collected testimonies from people who had been deported and abducted across the border. But what makes these stories different is the requests for help from immigrants held n U.S. detention centers.

According to a recent report by the National Immigration Institute of Mexico (INM), Mexico is receiving 1,300 deportees daily.