Tag Archives: La-migra

Immigrant Rights Groups: Congress Must Investigate Separation & Suffering Caused by Trump ‘Remain-in-Mexico’ Policy

July 12, 2019

Immigrant Rights Groups: Congress Must Investigate Separation & Suffering Caused by Trump ‘Remain-in-Mexico’ Policy

Recent Stories Demonstrate Great Harm to Children on Both Sides of Border

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of a congressional hearing today about family separation and the mistreatment of migrant children, a group of immigrant rights organizations working on behalf of asylum seekers released a statement and stories of families separated by the Trump administration’s “Remain-in-Mexico” policy:
The following statement is from Al Otro Lado, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, Human Rights Watch, Kino Border Initiative, Latin America Working Group and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Today’s hearing of the House Oversight Committee regarding family separation and the mistreatment of migrants in detention facilities run by the U.S. government is incredibly important. As evidenced by the recent accounts summarized below, the Trump administration’s ‘Remain-in-Mexico’ policy has put migrant children in even greater danger and caused enormous harm on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.”
The groups cited the following examples:
  • A woman from El Salvador traveling with her 4-year-old daughter and two younger siblings entered the U.S. near Tijuana, Mexico, to seek asylum. The woman had been the primary caretaker for her siblings ever since their mother was murdered in El Salvador. Upon apprehension by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the woman and her child were detained and returned to Mexico to await their immigration court hearings, while her siblings were transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is responsible for the care and custody of unaccompanied children
  • A Guatemalan father and his 15-year-old son were detained separately in CBP holding cells known as hieleras (iceboxes) because of their frigid, cramped conditions. Before separating them, CBP officers tore up the son’s birth certificate and threw it in the trash. After four days in CBP custody, the father was returned to Mexicali under the ‘remain-in-Mexico’ policy. The son was transferred to ORR custody. Following the separation, the son was so traumatized that he had to be hospitalized.
  • After crossing the border in Texas, a Nicaraguan mother and her two sons, ages 7 and 18, were detained in a CBP hielera for four days. The mother and her younger son were then sent to California, where they spent four more days in CBP custody before being returned to Mexico. Initially, the mother had no idea where to find her older son but learned later that he was detained in Texas.
  • Fearing gang violence, a Salvadoran family of four fled to the United States to seek asylum. Following apprehension by CBP, the mother and two daughters were detained for seven days in a hielera. Although they became gravely ill, CBP did not allow them to see a doctor. The mother and older daughter have since been returned to Mexico, while the younger daughter and her father (who had been separately detained) were released to live with relatives.
“As this administration has continued to abandon its legal and ethical obligations to those seeking protection in our country, the crisis is as much across the border as it is here.
“Congress must drastically increase oversight regarding the human impact of the administration’s anti-immigrant policies. These policies have created a humanitarian crisis that demands an immediate response.”

Peru wants to remove protections for over 100,000 hectares of forest and indigenous land

stupid, greed, and killing Amazon and maybe earth for humans Regional authorities in Ucayali, Peru are set to implement an order which will remove protections for 3.5 million hectares of Amazon rainforest and allow for the invasion of indigenous lands, with at least 100,000 hectares under direct threat from settlers and agribusiness. The affected forests have previously been declared as “Permanent Production Forests” (BPP), meaning they enjoy a high degree of legal protection from deforestation, […]

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No, Mueller Did Not Clear Trump. Period.

By Arturo Castañares / La Prensa San Diego Publisher and CEO

After going more than two years without making any public comments as he headed the independent counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, Robert Mueller finally spoke out on Wednesday to clarify the intention of his report.

US Attorney General William Barr gave the world his own summary of the Mueller Report back in early March just days after Mueller had turn it over to the Justice Department. Barr’s summary was that the report did not find any collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russians, and that there was no evidence that Trump tried to obstruct justice during the investigation.

According to Barr, and then Trump and his supporters, the report completely cleared Trump of any wrongdoing, and that it was the clear no one around Trump colluded with Russians.

For nearly two months now, we have heard repeated chants from Trump et al that the Mueller investigation was a waste of time, money, and manpower in its attempt to find what they maintained never existed. Case closed, they all declared.

But that’s not what Robert S. Mueller said this week. Not even close.

The surprise press conference was announced just hours before Mueller took to the podium at the Justice Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. Exactly on time at 9 a.m. Eastern time, the man who had held his tongue for two years while investigating the President of the United States finally got his opportunity to explain his work-product.

For background, Robert Mueller is a former Assistant US Attorney, former US Attorney, former Assistant US Attorney General, former Acting-Deputy US Attorney General, former Director of the FBI under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and also a highly decorated former US Marine who earned a Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, Purple Heart Medal, and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat “V” during his service in Vietnam.

His stellar reputation as a serious and respected former Justice Department and FBI official is why he was appointed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to conduct the special investigation. Although he was routinely criticized by Donald Trump and others, there were no comments or leaks from his office during the two-year investigation.

Until this week, most people had never even heard Mueller’s voice. But when he spoke on Wednesday, the course of American history may have changed.

Robert Mueller clearly stated that Robert Mueller clearly stated that his investigation found evidence of obstruction of justice by Donald Trump but that a Department of Justice policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted limited him from bringing any charges. Mueller said that had they found no evidence of obstruction of justice, the report would have clearly stated that.

Translation. He didn’t say there was no evidence of obstruction of justice. He didn’t say Donald Trump was innocent. He didn’t exonerate the President of the United States.

Mueller said that a criminal indictment is not the way to accuse a sitting president of serious crimes.

“The Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” Mueller said on Wednesday.

Let that sink in for a minute.

The former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations for 12 years, who was appointed by GW Bush and reappointed for a second term under Barack Obama on a 98-1 vote of the US Senate, a registered Republican, and is described as a good friend of current Attorney General William Barr, publicly said that there is enough evidence of obstruction of justice that he could not clear the current President.

What’s more troubling is that for two months, the Attorney General and Republicans protecting Donald Trump have carried on a charade in front of the world, restating the Mueller Report as proof of Trump’s innocence. It took two months for Mueller to finally take a stand and accurately explain his report. And that’s a shame.

The position of Attorney General of the United States is supposed to be the chief lawyer for the federal government, not the personal lawyer for the president. Historically, presidents have kept their distance from the AG so that they didn’t seem to be exerting pressure on them, especially when it involved the president himself.

It wasn’t too long ago that even a meeting between the AG and a former president was shocking, well, at least to Donald Trump.

In June 2016, former President Bill Clinton was at an airport in Phoenix at the same time that a plane carrying then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch landed there too. It was reported that Clinton boarded Lynch’s plane and they chatted for a few minutes, reported about personal issues.

But Republicans, and then-candidate Donald Trump, called it “terrible” and “unethical”. They charged that Lynch couldn’t be unbiased and impartial in her review of the Benghazi investigation and Hillary Clinton’s emails because she had met with the former president, who didn’t have any authority over her in any way.

If it was wrong for former President Clinton to even meet with the AG, then how it is acceptable for Donald Trump and William Barr to discuss the Mueller report when Trump appointed and could fire Barr?

It was Trump’s appointed AG Barr that has been describing the Mueller report for two months, and publicly declared that there was no collusion and no obstruction of justice by his boss. Barr could have let the report speak for itself, or waited for Mueller to discuss it.

If you’ve seen this movie before, its because again the Trump White House is acting much like the Nixon White House during the Watergate scandal. Back then, it was Attorney General John Mitchell, who had run Nixon’s first campaign, that took direction directly from the President.

Now, Barr, who previously served as Attorney General under George H.W. Bush, also believes in a “unitary executive” doctrine that all federal officers, agencies, and commissions must be under the direct control of the President.

AG Barr even helped Bush Sr. in pardoning six men charged or convicted in the Iran- Contra scandal, including former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger. Bush’s pardons ended an independent counsel investigation into the Iran-Contra affair, including Bush’s own actions that would have been investigated.

So, Donald Trump’s appointment of William Barr as Attorney General just three months ago now seems like a preemptive move to protect himself, knowing that Barr could run interference for him during and after the Mueller investigation.

Mueller’s report and comments this week should be taken at face value, and it is up to Congress to look into the underlying evidence the two-year investigation compiled. After a reported $20 million expense on the investigation, taxpayers should demand a full review – not for partisan reasons – but for full transparency. It’s what Congress does, and should do.

If, after public hearings, Congress doesn’t find enough evidence to move forward, then it ends, much like the Congressional hearings into the Benghazi incident. After two years, millions of dollars, and 11 hours of testimony by Hillary Clinton, the committees did not find any evidence of wrong-doing.

Donald Trump should not be afraid of Congressional oversight if, as he so vehemently claims, he did nothing wrong. Congress has the obligation to pursue the work of Mueller’s team to its conclusion, for the good of the country.

This shouldn’t be about Democrats or Republicans, Trump, Mueller, or Barr. It should be about the institutions that must survive these times, for all time. That’s what makes America great.

Huyó de la Violencia de Pandillas y a Días de dar a luz, Joven Salvadoreña de 15 Años Quiere ser Abogada

Por Manuel Ocaño

Milagro de Jesús, de 15 años de edad, tuvo que huir de El Salvador con su hermanita de 13 años cuando miembros de una pandilla de la Mara les advirtieron que las iban a hacer parejas de algunos de ellos.

Cuando el papá de Milagro intentó hablar con los pandilleros para pedirles que dejaran en paz a sus hijas, los mareros lo golpearon tanto que se le dificultaba ponerse en pie.

“Entonces decidimos que teníamos que huir y mi papá dijo que viniéramos a Tijuana, de donde podríamos pasar a Estados Unidos”, dice Milagro, es escasa semana de dar a luz a su bebé mexicano.

Pero las cosas no resultaron como padre e hijas esperaban. Al ingresar a México les impidieron el paso y no podían continuar, pero tampoco podían regresar. Después de huir, los pandilleros impondrían represalias “y allá la policía no hace nada, parece que más bien obedece a las pandillas”, dice Milagro.

Su papá decidió separarse y buscar suerte solo, para tratar de llegar a Estados Unidos, trabajar y con lo que ganara ayudar a los demás en la familia, pero al cruzar a San Diego lo arrestaron y deportaron a El Salvador, de donde volvió a salir en cuanto el vuelo tocó tierra.

Mientras tanto, Milagro y su hermana se integraron a una caravana que cruzó a México y ambas viajaron como menores sin compañía de adultos hasta Tijuana, donde esperaban encontrar a su padre, sin saber que había sido deportado.

Cuando el padre intentó cruzar nuevamente de Guatemala a México fue detenido, porque ante pasó con permiso mexicano solo para ser deportado, y ahora está en Chispas, donde tiene que firmar cada semana sin poder salir de ese estado.

Mientras tanto, Milagro ha decidido permanecer en México, solicitar asilo en Tijuana.

Aunque dice que su embarazo es deseado, reconoce que desde que salió de El Salvador ha sido víctima de acoso, tanto de autoridades como de individuos. “Nos han dicho vulgaridades, a mi hermanita también”.

“Para mí ha sido difícil porque prácticamente todo el apoyo que he tenido por parte de mi familia es mi hermanita. Fue muy difícil decirle lo que pasaba a mi mamá, luego a mi papá, pero creo que han entendido y me apoyan, aunque estén tan lejos”, platica Milagro.

Ahora, aunque su bebé nace en unos días, quiere estudiar, pues en El Salvador solo cursó parte de la secundaria, su hermanita estaba en la primaria cuando tuvo que huir con ella.

“Por todo lo que vi, desde que vivía en El Salvador, y lo que he visto en el camino y lo que sufren los migrantes y la gente por donde pasamos, quiero estudiar derecho”, dice Milagro.

La quinceañera es testigo en un caso que se sigue por desaparición de jovencitas migrantes en Tijuana, con involucramiento de un coyote guatemalteco que sigue libre porque las autoridades descartan los testimonios de Milagro por su edad.

Mientras estudie, tendrá que trabajar y espera que a veces su hermanita le ayude a cuidar al bebé que nacerá por estas fechas. Se va a llamar Alexander Adonai, de acuerdo con la mamá.

En el refugio, Milagro ha sido la mamá más felicitada en el día de las madres.

The Five Hundred Year Rebellion: Indigenous Movements and the Decolonization of History in Bolivia

After centuries of colonial domination and a twentieth century riddled with dictatorships, indigenous peoples in Bolivia embarked upon a social and political struggle that would change the country forever. As part of that project activists took control of their own history, starting in the 1960s, by reaching back to oral traditions and then forward to […]

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California Threatens to Ban Trump from Primary Ballot if He Fails to Release his Tax Returns


By Manuel Ocaño

The California Legislature joins three other states in passing bills that would deny President Donald Trump access to their primary ballots unless he discloses his tax returns for recent years. About a dozen more state legislatures will be debating similar measures this week.

The majority of the California Senate voted in favor of a bill that requires presidential candidates to disclose the last five years of their tax returns. Although the bill makes no specific reference to the President, bill co-author Mike McGuire said “we believe that President Trump, if he truly doesn’t have anything to hide, should step up and release his tax returns” before running for reelection in 2020.

“Voters deserve to know, for example, if the President is putting America’s security at risk through his tangled web of business dealings with corporate interests and his dealings with foreign governments and foreign banks,” added McGuire.

The bill has now been sent to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk, who could sign it into law. However, Newsom spokesman Jesse Melgar said the Governor would evaluate it on its own merits.

Former California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill two years ago, but Newsom – even back when he was running – expressed an interest in Trump releasing his tax returns.

Although California has a large electoral weight on its own, should the other states follow suit it would be impossible for the President to run for reelection unless he releases his tax filings to the IRS.

Illinois, Washington and Nueva York have already passed similar measures, and at least 13 other states confirmed this week that they are preparing similar bills to bring to a vote.

At the federal level, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters is insisting that the President disclose his tax returns for the past seven years, stating that Trump is the only president in American history that has refused to release his tax returns.

In response, Trump has threatened to sue two different banks if they agree to provide his tax return information.

The Financial Services Committee is pressuring Deutsche Bank and Capital One to turn over the President’s tax returns. Trump responded by threatening to sue the 2 banks if they agree to the Committee’s request.

The returns would inform how much Trump paid in taxes, how much he claimed in deductions, and the reasons why both the president – a real estate mogul – and the Trump Foundation have paid no taxes for several years.

Lessons from History on US Border Policy

Central American migrants traveling in a group make their way to Pijijiapan, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. 

© 2018 AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

The Exodus story, which Jews will be celebrating this week with the Passover holiday, starts with the “hardened heart” of Pharaoh, who refuses to allow the Hebrew slaves to leave. Tyrants’ refusals to allow oppressed people to flee is a theme of history that continued into the Cold War era of the late 20th century and beyond. The cry of “Let my people go,” has resonated universally as a clarion call for freedom. 

President Trump’s decision to cut foreign assistance to the “northern triangle” countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras because they “were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.,” addresses this issue once again. His position demonstrates a myopic failure to see that the foreign assistance is intended precisely to alleviate the conditions of poverty, poor governance, and disrespect for human rights that cause displacement. It also ignores  a fundamental human right that has been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Rights and binding human rights treaties:  the right to leave.

Throughout history and around the world, the right to leave has been the last resort and the last hope of people facing suffering, violence and persecution. As articulated under the core human rights treaty on civil and political rights that the US itself has ratified, “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own.”

“Are they willing to stop people from leaving the country?” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked of the Northern Triangle governments in an interview with Fox Business News. “We have not yet seen enough demonstration of their commitment for actually preventing these folks from crossing into Mexico.” Now, the State Department says that it is reviewing current funding to the three Northern Triangle countries and “planning to redirect” 2018 funding, “potentially up to $450 million,” to other priorities.

Can one imagine the reaction if the US president and his secretary of state had called on North Korea, China, or Russia to stop their nationals from leaving?  Or if anyone had the temerity to tell the United States not to let its citizens go?

In fact, the United States, perhaps more than any other country, has championed the right to leave. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy famously stood near the Berlin Wall and declared, “Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in.”

Nearly a quarter century later, President Ronald Reagan standing near the same spot, called on the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, to let East Germans go: “Come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” For President Trump, keeping Central Americans out of the US or keeping them in their own countries is all the same; If he could get away with building his wall on Mexico’s narrow southern border, he probably would. 

It is true that there is an asymmetry between the right to leave and the absence of a right of entry. But the right to seek asylum represents a human rights exception to the right of sovereign states to control their borders. It is appropriate for Americans to debate how best to respond to people seeking asylum at the US border. But for the US president and secretary of state to tell other countries to stop their citizens from leaving is completely out of bounds and demonstrates utter disregard for the human right of last resort. 

Colombia’s Minga Protests Demand Justice, but President Duque Isn’t Listening

Since March 10, Indigenous communities, leaders, and organizations in southwest Colombia have gathered in the Sat Tama Kiwe ancestral territory in an elevated stretch of the Pan-American Highway that connects the cities of Popayán and Cali. About 15,000 people have showed up for a Minga in Defense of Life, Territory, Democracy, Justice, and Peace. Minga […]

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Juez Bloquea Programa que Enviaba a Centroamericanos a Tijuana a Esperar Asilo

Por Manuel Ocaño

Un juez federal de California bloqueó temporalmente este lunes el programa del gobierno estadunidense que enviaba a centroamericanos a Tijuana y Mexicali a esperar resultados a solicitudes de asilo.

También ordenó que algunos de los migrantes ahora en México, lo que ya se presentaron a corte bajo ese proyecto, regresen a lo inmediato a Estados Unidos.

La medida entre en vigor este viernes 12 de abril a las 5 de la tarde, hora de San Diego, Tijuana, cuando los migrantes deberán comenzar a volver, de acuerdo con la decisión del juez Richard Seeborg.

La orden obliga a regresar a parte de 1,105 centroamericanos que se encuentran en Tijuana, Mexicali y Ciudad Juárez bajo el programa de Protocolos de Protección a Migrantes, más conocido como Permanecer en México.

El proyecto que inició unilateralmente en enero pasado fue aceptado por razones humanitarias por el gobierno del presidente André0s Manuel López Obrador.

Hasta esta semana el proyecto incluyó a 716 migrantes enviados a Tijuana, 188 a Mexicali y 201 a Ciudad Juárez. Muchos de ellos familias.

La corte falló a favor de organizaciones nacionales que desde San Diego documentaron el proyecto.

La abogada Judy Ravinovitz, de la Unión Americana de Libertades Civiles (Aclu), uno de los grupos demandantes, dijo que “la corte rechazó hoy enérgicamente la política sin precedentes del gobierno del presidente Donald Trump de obligar a los solicitantes de asilo a regresar México sin escuchar sus reclamos”.

Dijo que “el gobierno de Trump no puede simplemente ignorar nuestras leyes” de asilo y migración.

Según la Aclu, el Centro Legal Sureño para la Pobreza y el Centro de Estudios de Género y Refugiados — grupos que presentaron la demanda colectiva —, el proyecto era utilizado para obstaculizar que las personas busquen asilo en los Estados Unidos.

A los primeros migrantes que fueron enviados a Tijuana a esperar fechas para audiencias ante cortes de migración les cambió el calendario una corte en San Diego, adelantó seis días las audiencias sin poder informar a los migrantes, quienes al perder las audiencias enfrentaban demandas de deportación por parte de la fiscalía.

La demanda fue interpuesta en marzo a nombre de once solicitantes de asilo y organizacionales como el Laboratorio de Derecho de Innovación, Centro de Recursos Centroamericanos del Norte de California, Centro Legal de la Raza, la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de San Francisco Clínica de Defensa de Inmigración y Deportación, Al Otro Lado. y el Centro de Justicia de Tahirih.

La demanda menciona que el programa viola la Ley de Inmigración y Nacionalidad, la Ley de Procedimiento Administrativo, y recuerda a la corte que Estados Unidos está obligado por el derecho internacional y los derechos humanos a no expulsar o hacer regresar a las personas a condiciones peligrosas.

La casa Blanca reacción a través de la portavoz, Sarah Sanders, quien dijo que “Estados Unidos y México colaboran en ese programa”.

Lo cierto es que la cancillería mexicana y más tarde el director del Instituto Nacional de Migración, Tonatiuh Guillén, dijeron que es un programa unilateral del gobierno de Estados Unidos, y que, por razones humanitarias, México aceptaba que aguardaran en su territorio migrantes que envía la administración Trump sin un acuerdo.

Dice Trump que Podría Venir a San Diego en el Cierre de Frontera

Por Manuel Ocaño

El presidente Donald Trump dijo que esta semana podría venir a San Diego, cuando también advierte que podría cerrar indefinidamente la frontera si el gobierno de México se niega a detener a todos los migrantes que cruzan su territorio rumbo a la frontera estadounidense para pedir asilo.

“Lo creas o no, nos rogaron que construyeramos en San Diego, rogándonos que construyeramos el muro. Y estamos en el proceso de completar un tramo importante de muchas millas y vamos a tener una conferencia de prensa allí para mostrarle a la gente; es algo realmente bueno”, dijo el mandatario en entrevista televisada.

El presidente otorgó esa declaración al hablar sobre un cierre de la frontera esta semana.

En una serie de dos mensajes por Twitter, el presidente dijo primero que “México no está haciendo NADA para ayudar a detener el flujo de inmigrantes ilegales a nuestro país. Todos son charlas y no hay acción. Que se cierre la frontera sur”.

En un segundo mensaje advirtió que el cierre podría ser esta semana.

El canciller mexicano, Marcelo Ebrard, respondió también por Twitter que “México no actúa con base en amenazas. Somos un gran vecino. Díganlo si no el millón y medio de estadounidenses que eligieron a nuestro país como hogar, la más grande comunidad de ese origen fuera de EE.UU.”.

Pero Trump pareció tomar esa respuesta como burla y respondió a reporteros que “no estoy jugando, puede ser un cierre por un largo tiempo”.

Algunos medios de información en México informan que ya en el fin de semana se han cerrado carriles de garitas y que los conductores esperan largas horas para cruzar de México a Estados Unidos desde que el mandatario pronunció las amenazas.

Pero la oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP), a cargo de las garitas, informa que el flujo vehicular es normal.

El presidente asegura que por una crisis de seguridad u humanitaria en la frontera, las autoridades tienen saturados los centros de detenciones con migrantes centroamericanos que buscan asilo.

También la secretaria de Seguridad, Kirstjen Nielsen, y el comisionado de CBP, Kevin McAleenan, sostienen que el flujo migratorio es “inmanejable”, y a sus declaraciones acompañan fotografías de cientos de migrantes en un perímetro cercado con tela de alambre.

El mandatario dijo la semana pasada que Estados Unidos tiene leyes de migración “muy débiles” y que México en contraste tiene fuertes leyes de migración que servirían para detener los migrantes que tratan de llegar a la frontera estadunidense.

“Tenemos una emergencia nacional en nuestra frontera. ¡México, con las leyes de inmigración más fuertes del mundo, se niega a ayudar con la inmigración ilegal y las drogas!”, comentó el mandatario.

La posición el gobierno de México, según su canciller, es que “trabajamos con Estados Unidos para avanzar en la coexistencia de nuestras posturas distintas sobre migración”.

Indicó que “México actuará responsablemente en el tema a partir de su propia visión, expresada en el Pacto de Marrakech para una migración ordenada y segura”.