Human Rights Activist to Speak Feb. 16 on Plight of Migrants

Rev. Alejandro Solalinde

The Lehman community is invited to hear a talk on Thursday, Feb. 16, by Rev. Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, a leading advocate for the rights of migrants traveling through Mexico to the U.S. Rev. Solalinde, a Catholic priest in the town of Ixtepec, Oaxaca, will speak on “Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Addressing the Needs of Central American Immigrants in Mexico.” His talk will be held from 6-8 p.m. in the East Dining Room.

In his work with migrants, Rev. Solalinde travelled the network of freight trains—one is called “The Beast”—in an effort to understand the migrants’ journey. What he learned from that experience prompted him to create the shelter, which opened officially in 2007 and is called “Hermanos en el Camino.” Since then, he has faced death threats and other challenges from local officials and gangs.

The National Human Rights Committee of Mexico estimates that over 11,000 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico in a six-month period in 2010. Through his shelter and as coordinator of the Catholic Pastoral Care Centre for Migrants in southwestern Mexico, Rev. Solalinde is leading the charge against human rights abuse in this area.

This talk is co-sponsored by Lehman’s Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies, the Department of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies, New York University’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, and the Faculty Initiative for the Formation of a Mexican Studies Institute.