Mexico’s Beta Group Works with Panama’s Humanitarian Border Security Unit

Mexico, Panama
26 August, 2021


Some members of the Humanitarian Border Security Unit (USFROH), belonging to Panama’s Ministry of Public Security, were in Mexico with the staff of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) of Panama and Mexico, in late August, in the company of the Beta Group of Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM). They traveled along trails and migratory routes along the border with the United States, to learn about and replicate humanitarian assistance for people in mobility conditions. 



USFROH is part of the Chucunaque Battalion and has been consolidating its role as the humanitarian security arm of the National Border Service (SENAFRONT) of Panama since April of this year and, through the technical support of IOM, considered it appropriate to visit the context of border migration management in Mexico, to add the experience of the Beta Groups for Migrant Protection of the INM, who have recently commemorated 31 years of carrying out this work. 



As part of the exchange of knowledge and experiences, USFROH and IOM delegations visited the main areas of care and assistance for migrants located in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and in the community of Acayucan, Veracruz. 



This exchange of experiences and the work carried out by both USFROH in Panama and the Beta Group in Mexico is important because it "allows us to know the different motives and situations generated by migration in our continent and the actions we can develop to address the phenomenon as a region, respecting human rights and migrants’ right to life", said Deputy Commissioner César Patiño, chief of the SENAFRONT Chucunaque Battalion. 



From Panama’s and Mexico’s diverse contexts, both the USFROH and the INM Beta Group are working on similar tasks according to their functions, facing the challenges posed by monitoring, surveillance, and assistance of border crossings, especially by providing protection and assistance to those in a position of mobility, in addition to the fact that both aim to safeguard the security, dignity and life of migrants on their way to their migratory destinations. 



In a clear and operational manner, SENAFRONT and the Beta Group exchanged experiences on the ground, learning first-hand about good practices in the field of migrant protection and they hope to be able to continue consolidating, complementing the efforts of the Government of Panama to address the challenges of managing migration in a safe, orderly, regular, and dignified manner in the border context.  



These activities are part of IOM’s Western Hemisphere Program, funded by the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.