Mexico City, Dec 18 (EFE).- Hundreds of Central Americans and Haitians trying to reach the United States via Mexico took to the streets of this capital Saturday to demand respect for their rights on the occasion of International Migrants Day.
The migrants, who were part of a caravan that set out nearly two months ago from Mexico’s border with Guatemala, carried signs with slogans such as “Migrating is not a crime, the government is criminal” and “No one is illegal, down with wall and borders.”
They made their way down Reforma, Mexico City’s main boulevard, to the US Embassy, where they mounted a brief demonstration against the violence they suffered during their journey at the hands of Mexico’s National Guard and INM immigration agency.
The caravan comprised several thousand migrants when it left the border city of Tapachula on Oct. 23 after spending months waiting for the INM to issue permits allowing them to transit Mexico en route to the US.
But the numbers shrank along the more than 1,600 km (994 mi) from Tapachula to the capital as many migrants accepted government offers of residence permits and jobs.
Since arriving in Mexico City on Monday, leaders of the caravan have met with the head of Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission and secured a commitment from authorities to regularize their immigration status and allow those of them who still wish to travel to the US to continue on their way.
During the first 10 months of 2021, Mexican authorities intercepted 228,115 migrants and deported 82,627, numbers not seen in more than 15 years.
As of Nov. 30, a record 123,000 migrants have requested asylum in Mexico, up from a maximum of 40,000 or so in previous years. EFE csr/dr