Around 100,000 migrants stranded on Mexico’s southern border

Juan Manuel Blanco

Tapachula, Mexico, Sept 12 (EFE) – NGOs estimate that between 90,000 and 100,000 migrants are stranded in Tapachula, Mexico’s border with Guatemala.

The region has been overwhelmed by increased migratory flows since the expiration in May of Title 42 in the United States, a public health law that allowed to curb migration during the COVID-19 emergency.

Father César Augusto Cañaveral, in charge of Human Mobility Pastoral in Tapachula, told EFE that migration has become more complex in recent weeks, and he anticipates an even larger wave arriving in Mexico through Central America.

“They are countless. The shelters are overcrowded with migrant brothers. On this border, despite being porous, the migratory phenomenon continues. Many are trapped in Tapachula, but this same migration is causing many to continue walking through the Soconusco (border region with Guatemala),” he said.


The situation at the border reflects the resurgence of migratory flows through Mexico after the decline caused by the expiration of Title 42 in the US, as recognized by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador last month.

The exodus is also visible in Central America. Last week, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned of a historic number. More than 18,300 migrants passed through the municipality of Danlí, one of Honduras’ border checkpoints with Nicaragua.

Hoteliers in Tapachula, one of the most affected sectors, pointed out that the migrants don’t only come from Central America but also from distant countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

“It varies in waves and seasons. Some people come from the former Soviet republics, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Ukraine, Africa, Asia, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka. We have even seen them coming from the United Arab Emirates,” explained Miguel Reyes del Pino, a local hotel entrepreneur.

“There are not only people from Latin America but also from distant destinations. Sometimes, you think there are Turks and Syrians because of the earthquake and their problems in the Middle East. Many people are moving with the hope of reaching the US,” he added.


The arrival of thousands of migrants in Tapachula has left people sleeping and living in the streets because hotels, rented houses, and neighborhoods cannot accommodate them.

Ana Rosa Serrato, a Honduran woman, has been sleeping in the streets for more than a month with men and children who do not have the resources to rent a house because most of the properties are in use or have increased in cost.

She fled Tegucigalpa on July 25 with her daughter because the gangs were threatening them. They came to Tapachula to save their lives. They are waiting for an appointment with the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar).

“They tell us that we have to wait until our number comes. After the appointment, we have to wait again, go back to Comar, and then go to Immigration, so who knows how much longer,” Ana Rosa explained.

“The goal is to get a visa to go to Mexico, where there is work because we have been looking here, but they tell us that Central Americans do not have permission,” she lamented.

Santos Hernández is another Honduran with a tent in the street about 100 meters from the Comar office. He has been sleeping there with his 7-year-old son for 15 days.

In desperation, he asked the Mexican government to help them speed up the process so they do not have to live in these conditions.

“The hotels are too expensive. We can’t pay for a room, let alone a house. The prices have gone up too high, possibly because of the arrival of so many migrants,” he commented. EFE

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