Amnesty International: Mexico makes the wrong move on vaccinations

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​​​Mexico: Vaccination registry excludes important sectors of the population

by Amnesty International

Registration on the website that the Mexican government set up on 2 February for the vaccination of people over 60 years old requires a Unique Population Registration Number (CURP), excluding large numbers of the population who do not have this document, and thus putting public health at risk, warned the Alianza Movilidad Inclusiva en la Pandemia, a coalition of more than 30 organizations and shelters in Mexico and Central America, led by the Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración, AC (IMUMI), the Grupo de Monitoreo Independiente del Salvador (GMIES) and Amnesty International.

“The COVID-19 vaccine should not be subject to a single document as there is no universal form of identification in Mexico, where the state has substituted this on a discretional basis with National Electoral Institute credentials, passports, and in this case the CURP. To make it so is to leave in limbo the migrant population, deported Mexicans, binational people who have not been able to prove their Mexican nationality for lack of an apostille, indigenous internal migrants, and those who, due to conditions of exclusion or the backwardness of municipal institutions, have not been able to acquire a birth certificate or have theirs corrected,” said Gretchen Kuhner, director of IMUMI, on behalf of the Alliance.

The organizations denounce that the Mexican government has not made public any plan to allow people who do not have a CURP to access vaccinations. They also note that throughout the pandemic the Mexican government, through the National Migration Institute and in the absence of sanitary vigilance, has failed to provide people on the move with effective access to health care or measures to stop the spread of the virus.

In Central American countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica, similar failures have been observed to include migrants, deportees and other sectors of the population in vaccination plans, by requiring documents that not everyone in those places has.

“Access to the vaccine for everyone, including those on the move across different countries in Central America, regardless of their migratory status, is crucial. It must be provided without discrimination. It’s not a privilege, it’s about guaranteeing a level playing field,” said Vinicio Sandoval, executive director of GMIES.

“We call on the governments of Mexico and Central America, especially on their health authorities, to coordinate the management of pathways to vaccination, putting people’s needs at the forefront of their policies without exceptions and with differentiated approaches to gender, the need for international protection and movement, to ensure no one is left behind,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

“These authorities must generate health policies and vaccination plans that are inclusive in practice, to avoid putting public health at risk at national and regional level. Health is a human right that cannot be denied to anyone for any reason, including their nationality or immigration status.”

[Editor’s note: Panama faces many of the same issues, and will even more so with our land borders reopened.]

 

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