2013 Speakers

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    Photo of Father Alejandro  Solalinde - Keynote Speaker
    Father Alejandro Solalinde - Keynote Speaker

    Padre Alejandro Solalinde Guerra is a Catholic priest, the coordinator of the Pastoral of Human Mobility for Mexico’s South Pacific Region and founder of Hermanos en el Camino migrant shelter in Ixtepec, Oaxaca.  Padre Alejandro began his mission with migrants, when the conditions facing hundreds of thousands of Central American people riding trains northward through Mexico to the United States each year came to his attention. These men, women and children travel undocumented in the most desperate conditions, extraordinarily vulnerable to criminal predation. As he witnessed the intensification of violence directed at migrants in transit from criminal gangs and corrupt authorities, Padre Alejandro became convinced of the necessity to establish refuge in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, a critical juncture for routes north through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The ‘Hermanos en el Camino’ migrant shelter opened its doors in 2007, joining a system of over fifty shelters and food kitchens that have emerged along the unauthorized migratory route to the United States.

    The shelter has become a frontline in the fight against increasingly organized and brutal attacks on undocumented Central American migrants in transit through Mexico.  The shelter also engages in activism on behalf of the migrants and human rights. It became the staging ground for numerous protests, and launched Padre Alejandro into the national political fight against abuses of human rights in Mexico.   Padre Solalinde has received numerous human rights awards including the Emilio Krieger Medal in 2011, and the “Peace and Democracy Award.   Because of his activism, Padre Alejandro has endured many death threats, and he has been spotlighted on the Amnesty International Urgent Action List. Nonetheless, he continues his work without fear, convinced that he has found a mission in service to the migrants.

     

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