This is how Mexico helped evacuate New York Times journalists from Kabul

Mexico received this Wednesday a group of 124 people formed by reporters who worked in Afghanistan and their relatives, hours after taking in five young afghans of an internationally awarded robotics team, all evacuated after the seizure of power by the taliban.

The group of journalists belong to The New York Times and some of The Wall Street Journal, according to the American media in a posted note.

“It is about those who are risking their lives to inform, to communicate, that they are committed to freedom of expression, freedom and independence of communication,” said the foreign minister. Marcelo Ebrard during a welcome ceremony for journalists at the Mexico City airport.

The group, made up of workers from various media that operate in Kabul, arrived in Mexico after a 20-hour flight from Doha on a Qatari Air Force plane, where children also traveled, according to images released by the Foreign Ministry.

The New York Times reported that they arrived at the Mexico City 24 Afghan families who worked for the media, however, highlight the role of the Mexican authorities in the face of the help that “the United States was unable to provide.”

“Mexican officials, unlike their counterparts in the United States, managed to overcome the bureaucracy of their immigration system to quickly provide the documents that, in turn, allowed Afghans to fly from the besieged Kabul airport to Doha, Qatar. ”, He indicated.

As proposed, Afghan families will receive temporary humanitarian protection in Mexico while future options are explored in the United States or other countries.

The chancellor Marcelo Ebrard told NYT that Mexico had opened its doors to Afghan journalists “in order to protect them and to be consistent with foreign policy that promotes free expression, freedoms and feminist values.”

Give a message to Ebrard to evacuate families from Kabul

The media reports that Ebrard received a WhatsApp message from Azam Ahmed, who was head of the correspondent offices in Kabul and Mexico, on August 12 at 5 in the afternoon.

“The government of Mexico Are you willing to receive refugees from Afghanistan? ”asked Azam Ahmed. “We have people there, good people who are trying to get out,” he added.

According to the Times, Ebrard was quick to respond that it wouldn’t be possible, but then thought his secretariat could get around what would typically require “hours and hours” of processing and a cabinet meeting. “So I called the president and explained the situation to him,” he said.

“President Andrés Manuel López Obrador he agreed that ‘the situation was moving very quickly and the decision had to be made just as quickly,’ “Ebrard told the outlet.

One hour and a half later Ebrard he replied to Ahmed that he was ready to give assurances that he would accept a list of Afghans.

However, the situation changed when the Taliban advanced towards the city of Kabul. “The commercial airport closed and there was a period when only US military flights took off. Qatar, where the United States jets landed, usually only accepts Afghans if the officials have guarantees that they are going to a third country, “said the media.

He added that the media did not reveal details about the evacuation of their journalists for fear of flooding the narrow escape channels. Given this, the New York Times did not disclose his arrangement with Mexico. The government also extended its help to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

The media reported that USA, Although it has increased its evacuation flights, it has an immigration system that has had difficulties responding to the crisis.

“Many of the special visas that the United States has issued to journalists require them to spend at least one year in a third country, presumably to satisfy forces that warn that Muslim immigrants could be terrorists working very undercover,” he explained. in a note published this Wednesday.

“We are deeply grateful for the help and generosity of the Mexican government,” AG Sulzberger, editor and president of The New York Times, said in an email. “Your help has been invaluable in putting our Afghan colleagues and their families out of harm’s way. We urge the entire international community to follow this example and to continue working on behalf of the brave Afghan journalists who are still at risk. “

Policy with Central American Migrants

The media questioned the Chancellor Marcelo Ebrard about your response to afghans and the policy they handle towards Central American migrants who also seek to reach Mexico.

“Ebrard said that the government’s actions were consistent with Mexico’s push to clarify the difference between economic migrants and people seeking refuge and asylum,” the outlet detailed.

Read also Afghanistan and the Taliban regime… a danger for the World Cup in Qatar?

He added that the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not anticipate much criticism in his country for the speed with which he accepted the Afghans.

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