Tapachula, Mexico, Aug 30 (EFE).- A caravan with about 1,000 migrants, the seventh that has formed in southern Mexico just in August, set out on Tuesday morning from Tapachula, on the border with Guatemala, because the National Immigration Institute (INM) is refusing to issue travel permits to its members.
Seven caravans have headed north from Tapachula over the past month en route to San Pedro Tapanatepec, in the neighboring state of Oaxaca, where they hope to receive permission to traverse Mexico to the US border.
The migrants organized themselves and formed a new caravan in less than 24 hours, with most of its members being men from Venezuela, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Honduras and other Central American countries but the group also includes about 150 children and hundreds of women.
Jose Gregorio Hernandez, from Caracas, said that his aim was to travel through Mexico peacefully, in an orderly way and behaving properly, and he asked Mexican authorities to let him and his fellow migrants through.
“We’re not asking for money, food or water. We’re not people of that class, we’re educated people, workers and honorable people, not only from Venezuela but also from many parts of the world,” he told EFE.
The South American migrant said that the Mexican government is in a quandary because in San Pedro Tapanatepec the authorities issued safe conduct passes to the migrants to move through Mexico but in Tapachula they were detaining them or returning them to the border.
Edgar Acuña, a Venezuelan paramedic, said that their common goal is to get to the United States.
“The main objective will be to get to San Pedro and secure permits that allow us to continue traveling. If it isn’t feasible to get permission, we’re going to continue to Piedras Niegras or Nuevo Leon (both in northern Mexico) until we achieve the objective of getting to the United States,” he said.
The group could join with other migrant contingents that are traveling along the highway in an attempt to avoid being deported to Guatemala.
The caravans are part of a record migrant flow toward the US, where Customs and Border Protection has intercepted more then 1.7 million people so far in Fiscal Year 2022, which began last October.
The Mexican government has also been criticized for its treatment of migrants, including deploying almost 30,000 army troops along its northern and southern borders to carry out activities linked to suppressing illegal migration.