Asylum-seeking migrants clash with authorities at Mexico’s southern border

Tapachula (Mexico), Sept 18 (EFE).- Thousands of migrants clashed with authorities on Monday in Tapachula, on Mexico’s southern border, where they tore down metal fences at the offices of the National Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR), which is overwhelmed by a new wave of migrants.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 migrants, mostly from Cuba and Haiti, gathered in front of the COMAR offices, outwitting the National Guard and the municipal police of Tapachula, on Mexico’s border with Guatemala.

The disorganization led to an avalanche of people who stumbled and fell on each other.

Mersin Marrillo, a Cuban national, demanded more efficiency from the Mexican authorities.

“Right now (we want) organization so that the process can move along, because if it doesn’t, we can’t proceed,” he told EFE.

Faced with the chaos, Ángel Milton Ordoñez, director of Migrant Assistance at the Municipal Council of Tapachula, announced that the city’s Ecological Park would be enabled to receive migrants in a dignified manner.

“Under the circumstances, we urge the population to avoid xenophobia, discrimination and racism, because everyone has rights and they are human beings and deserve respect and dignity,” he expressed.

The event is the result of a new flow of migrants passing through Mexico after an initial decrease caused by the expiration of Title 42 of the United States in May, as recognized by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

COMAR has reported a 30% increase in asylum applications between January and August 2023 compared to the previous year, when it registered a record of almost 100,000 applications.

When asked about the arrival of thousands of migrants in Tapachula, Ordoñez pointed out that it is an international phenomenon and they do not know what is causing it.

“We need to be like-minded, to be aware, and to try to avoid confronting this population as much as possible,” he added.

Despite the intrusion, COMAR has not suspended its services, as thousands of Cuban migrants were waiting on the road to register for their appointment.

This is the third and largest influx of migrants received in September, usually the people tend to gather in front of a metal gate, where their number far exceeds the authorities in charge of analyzing their asylum cases. EFE


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