New wave of migration at US-Mexico border sets off alarms in Ciudad Juárez

Martín Coronado

Ciudad Juárez, México, Sept 6 (EFE).- The Mexico-United States border is experiencing a new migratory wave, with more than 1,000 migrants living on the streets of Ciudad Juárez, vulnerable to kidnapping and organized crime, local activists and authorities warned.

An estimated 1,000 to 1,100 migrants are now living in public spaces and abandoned or condemned buildings, according to Francisco Bueno, director of the Casa del Migrante (Migrant House).

Santiago González, director of human rights for the municipality of Juárez, said that many of these people are occupying parks and ruins, where they survive without any facilities because they do not want to stay in shelters or have no place to rent.

The city government began operations over the weekend to remove migrants from risky buildings and parks, offering them refuge in official shelters.

“People on the move are in a vulnerable state that exposes them to organized crime, so we are going to invite them to safe places like the municipal shelter,” the official told EFE.


The mayor of Ciudad Juárez, Cruz Pérez, made an urgent request for help from the federal government and the state of Chihuahua to manage the arrival of migrants in the city across the border from El Paso, Texas.

In addition, the mayor warned last week of a wave of murders, with 24 homicides in 48 hours, which occurred during a fight between criminal gangs dedicated to human trafficking, with more than 400 soldiers of an elite group arriving in Ciudad Juárez to fight the violence.

González explained that in recent days there has been a massive arrival of migrants by train, mostly single men, making Juárez once again the epicenter of migration between Mexico and the United States.

“We visit the spaces where (migrants) live so that they do not face risks in walls and public spaces that do not have the necessary health and physical conditions to guarantee their safety,” the official said, adding that if the places are not habitable, officials ask migrants to go to the municipal shelter Kiki Romero, 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the nearest international bridge.

“What we have seen is that there is no sanitary infrastructure, people do what they need where they live, they accumulate garbage, in some places there are children, they make walls with blankets, which can cause a fire, and the risk is that they lose their lives,” he added.


The situation at the border reflects the resurgence of migratory flows through Mexico after the initial decline that caused the expiration of Title 42 in the United States last May, as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged last month.

In the midst of this increase, migrants like Darly from Venezuela denounce that they are prey to organized crime.

“We have been victims of robbery, many people do not go out for fear of what could happen to them, yes, there is a lot of fear in the majority of migrants,” said Darly, 35, who arrived in Juárez three weeks ago, where she now sells empanadas.

“They say people are being kidnapped for ransom, and we have no way to give a reward, or anyone to give a reward for any of us. It doesn’t make sense,” she lamented.

Authorities and activists estimate that the number of migrants in the city could be around 8,000, while those who have recently arrived point out that they come in groups of hundreds and even thousands.

“There are many migrants, just like we arrived, there are thousands and thousands who arrive daily, we arrived by train and there were more than 3,000 people, I think,” said Luis González, 24, from Venezuela. EFE


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