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Migrant caravan exceeds 4,000 people and stops in the southern municipality

German Centeno
6 min read
Migrant caravan exceeds 4,000 people and stops in the southern municipality
Migrant caravan in Mexico

The caravan of the March for Peace, the freedom of migrants and Justice has continued its way to Mexico City, but now has more than 4,000 members, who demand their rights.

It should be remembered that the migrant caravan began its journey last Saturday from Tapachula, a city in the southeastern state of Chiapas on the border with Guatemala and after having advanced about 40 km on foot, the people took a break last Tuesday in the Mexican municipality of Huixtla.

This in order that its members can hydrate and rest. The purpose of this caravan bound for Mexico City is to denounce the long wait for their asylum applications in the south of the country.

Migrants' testimonies

A migrant from Honduras and identified as Irma Romero, has indicated that she is traveling with her three daughters. Who made the decision to join the caravan because he no longer has the necessary resources to support his daughters in the border city of Tapachula.

Irma has pointed out that more than 4,000 people travel in the caravan, most of them are Central Americans, while around 1,000 children and many pregnant women.

All of these people are desperate to find jobs, who are fleeing the violence in southern Mexico and poverty.

Those who claim to have been waiting for more than a year for answers from the government for their asylum requests and others for visas that allow them to transit throughout Mexico.

This is how most of these people report having been trapped in a legal situation without their claims being processed. It is a different caravan from the previous ones, this has been made known by a French correspondent named Mario Carbonell.

"On this occasion, reaching the northern border is not the end, the mission of the migrant caravan is to reach the Chamber of Deputies, the Secretary of the Interior and the Senate of the Republic to be able to insist that, in all cases Requests that in Tapachula have been delayed for months", Carbonell said.

Migrants must remain in Tapachula until their claims are processed

Migrant caravan exceeds 4,000 people and stops in the southern municipality
More than 4,000 walkers are

According to Mexican law, all migrants in Tapachula who submit an asylum or visa application will have to remain there until their claim is processed.

However, the vast majority, like Irma Romero, no longer have the economic resources to be able to survive in the Mexican city until they get an answer.

Last Saturday the forces of the National Guard of Mexico tried to stop the caravan of migrants, but all these people managed to move on and continue their way until they reached Mexico City, before pausing in the municipality of Huixtla.

This break in Huixtla has been with the objective of asking the population of this municipality for their support with food, water and medicines. While the inhabitants take advantage of the hospitality of the Catholic churches in order to feel safer and not so vulnerable to being arrested by the police.

Hayman Vázquez, a priest of the Catholic churches in the area, has commented the following: "On the southern side of Mexico, López Labrador knows very well that there is no work and that you cannot have migrants for months without giving them any kind of documentation is very cruel. "

This is how the priest has pointed out that the migrant caravan is not the solution, but it can help to give visibility to this problem that many citizens are going through.

He also stated that this is the fifth caravan, where the previous four failed their tasks, but the migrant caravan today is heading to Mexico City, so the migrants this time are much more organized in terms of the security forces Federals are going to have a hard time stopping him.

Anthony Beltrández, who is another of the migrants from the caravan and of Cuban origin, who left his country in 2018 to reach Uruguay and who has now been waiting for a month and a half in Tapachula for the request response has commented that "We do not want any problem with no one, we want to do all of this peacefully".

A historical flow of migrants in Mexico

It has been seen that in recent months large groups of protesters who have tried to leave Tapachula, who are concerned and frustrated by the wait and the impossibility of finding work, for which most of them justify that they no longer have money to eat.

These groups are made up of Haitians, Cubans, and Hondurans. A group that has grown as the migrant caravan advances.

In the month of September, thousands of people from Haiti tried to flee the endemic and economic crisis that the Caribbean island is experiencing, thus reaching the border between Mexico and the United States, but most of them were deported back to their homeland country.

Currently, Tapachula is where the largest detention center for migrants in Mexico is located, considered the main point of entry by land to southern Mexico. But the situation in the city has been reflecting that nation's struggle to manage the number of migrants that have arrived in recent months and that is getting worse.

Since the beginning of this year and until September, the Mexican authorities have received more than 90,000 asylum applications according to official data, making it increasingly difficult to deal with all of them. Among all these requests, at least 70% are processed in Tapachula.

The strategy of the Mexican government

The Government of Mexico has had to use various strategies in order to keep migrants in the south and away from the border with the United States. But it has been an ineffective strategy that has been heavily criticized by human rights groups.

As there are so many requests, it has caused the migration system to not be able to attend to all of them, considering that in itself, it is already a system without resources and quite defective, which is demanding a number of requests that are impossible for them.

All this has led the Mexican government to convert the Tapachulas Olympic Stadium into a temporary processing center in order to cope with the large volume of asylum and visa applications, with queues of up to 7,000 people being observed daily.

The situation in southern Mexico with the unprecedented migratory wave is truly worrying, with a flow of 147,000 people registered from January to August of this year and that has tripled compared to 2020.

Towards the north side of the US-Mexico border, arrest figures last year reached a never-before-seen figure of 1.7 million migrants reported by Customs Offices and Border Protection reported by Customs Office. And Border Protection (CBP).