Mexico’s top prosecutor says there are “no plans” to deport more than 1,000 people from the southwestern state of Michoacan, where demonstrators have staged sit-ins for more than a week demanding the end of the deportation.
In a statement on Tuesday, the office of Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said that the office “does not intend to deport” people because they do not pose a threat to public order.
“The people of Michonacan are angry and frustrated because they are being forced to pay for crimes committed by illegal immigrants,” the statement said.
Murillo said he believes there is a “strong likelihood” that “a certain number” of the detained people are related to violent criminals.
The office did not identify them.
A week of demonstrations by Michoacans has brought violent clashes between police and protesters who have taken to the streets in the capital, Mexico City, to call for the deportation of more than 400 people.
Protesters say the deportations violate a federal law that grants them rights to a fair trial.
The U.S. government has been helping Mexico deport criminals, including gang members, drug traffickers and other violent offenders.
Murilo says there is “no evidence” that Michoacs people have committed a crime.
Murillos office said the number of deportations is “extremely low,” but added that the department does not have any plans to deport any more than 500 people.
The government has not provided any evidence to support its claim that Michos people are criminals.
Murillas office says it will release the list of people it plans to release to protesters “as soon as possible.”