LOS ANGELES, CA – EIN 472910078 alotrolado.org
Al Otro Lado is a bi-national, direct legal services organization with offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees, that is deeply engaged in efforts to protect the familial rights of migrants. The not-for-profit organization is also a central player in litigation and other advocacy efforts challenging the systemic human rights violations brought about by governmental policies and practices that infringe upon the right to seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico Border. Al Otro Lado’s Tijuana-based Border Rights Project provides legal orientation and know-your-rights training to asylum seekers in Tijuana who wish to present themselves to U.S. authorities to seek asylum, while also conducting human rights monitoring at the San Ysidro port-of-entry.
The request for precautionary measures seeks Mexico’s protection from ongoing and imminent threats to the safety and security experienced by Al Otro Lado and its staff, which in recent months have escalated to include death threats by suspected criminal organizations. Mexican authorities have met those threats with the detention and expulsion from Mexico of Al Otro Lado co-directors Erika Pinheiro on January 29, and Nora Phillips on January 31, in response to a “migratory alert” on their passports. In taking such actions, seemingly at the behest of the US. government, the Mexican State has sent a message to Al Otro Lado that its work as human rights defenders on behalf of asylum seekers on the U.S.-Mexico border has made them unwelcome in Mexico; Mexico appears willing to deprive them of their liberty, and attack their physical, mental, and moral integrity, in apparent retaliation for their work on behalf of refugees, in violation of its obligations under the American Convention on Human Rights.