Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Nov 27 (EFE).- Migrants and central, state and local officials clashed in northern Mexico on Sunday after the former were forcibly evicted from tents along the banks of the Rio Grande river in the northern state of Chihuahua, bordering the United States.
Early Sunday, 500 refugees were asked by municipal authorities to vacate the area and were told that they would be taken to a shelter where they would be protected from the inclement weather and their basic needs met.
“We know that being on the bank of the river implies a risk and we have significant temperature drops these days. We are going to repair the reception areas. They should know that they have health services, work in these shelters,” Luis Dirvin García, coordinator of the Center for Integral Care for Migrants, said.
A large number of firefighters, municipal and state police, National Guard and the Mexican Red Cross personnel surrounded the area and asked the occupants to vacate.
However, the migrants, mostly of Venezuelan origin, did not conform with the order and this led to clashes with the anti-riot groups that evicted them.
The migrants also torched some tents as a sign of their discontent but the conflict did not escalate.
Some migrants say that they are afraid of going to a government shelter for fear of being deported to Venezuela.
“We were in the tent and a man came to warn us to leave, the garbage truck arrived and began to remove the tents. It is inhumane that they want to throw us out, we are not enemies of the United States or Mexico, we are here because of a struggle, not for pleasure,” Miguel Moya, one of the Venezuelan migrants, told EFE.
He added that it was illegal for them to be forcibly evicted and the manner in which the Mexican government treated them during the eviction was inappropriate.
“It is inhumane. This is not done, nobody knows what we have gone through to get here,” Luz Angela, another Venezuelan refugee, said.
“We received a ruling issued by the Municipal and State Civil Protection Directorate, which established that, due to sanitary conditions, the possibility of fire and even drowning due to the presence of the Rio Bravo river, in addition to the drop in temperatures in the city, it was necessary to invite them to go to different shelters,” the city council’s secretary, Héctor Rafael Ortiz, said.
The region is experiencing a record migratory flow to the United States, whose Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency detained an unprecedented 2.76 million undocumented immigrants in the 2022 fiscal year, including a large number of Cubans and Venezuelans. EFE