Social Issues

Migrant caravan nears Mexico City

By Gabriela Garcia Guzman

Puebla, Mexico, Dec 10 (EFE).- Some 200 mainly Central American and Haitian migrants who set out six weeks ago from Mexico’s border with Guatemala after spending months trying to regularize their status could reach the Mexican capital as soon as Friday night.

Among the group making their way to Mexico City on Friday from San Martin Texmelucan in Puebla state were relatives and friends of the 55 migrants who perished the day before in a horrific highway accident in the southern city of Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Wircheld, who hails from the Dominican Republic, shared with Efe the pain he felt on learning that his sister and nephew were killed when the truck packed with migrants flipped over on a highway in Chiapas state.

The tragedy would not have happened, he said, if Mexican authorities assisted migrants instead of “treating them like animals.”

“The Mexicans aren’t bad, it’s their police and migration (authorities) because it is due to them that my family died,” Wircheld said. “We just want to reach the other country (the United States), where family of ours – my brother and my sister – are waiting.”

“Mexicans have good hearts and the others (authorities) have hearts of steel, they have hearts of animals,” he said.

The 200 migrants approaching the capital are the remnants of a contingent of thousands who departed Tapachula, Chiapas, on Oct. 23, after spending months waiting in that city near the Guatemalan border for Mexican immigration authorities to issue permits allowing them to transit Mexico en route to the US.

Irineo Mujica, a dual US-Mexican citizen who leads the Pueblos sin Fronteras (Peoples Without Borders) organization, said that all the migrants are seeking from the Mexican government are assurances of safe passage.

“We will go to Mexico City and we will go to the Guadalupe Basilica (center of devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s patron saint) and then we will go to the monument, for people to see us, for people to see that pain,” he said.

“We don’t want to hide,” Mujica said.

Yamir Romero of Honduras told Efe that she is determined to reach the US, where she has a contact ready to help her and her four children, ranging in age from 2 to 17, secure a better life for themselves.

“I’m bringing four children and I didn’t leave them because I don’t have family to leave them with. They are all that I have and I am all they have, and so I bring them. Education (in the US) is much better than in Honduras,” she said.

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 ggg/dr

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