NGOs estimate 125K migrants moving north through southern Mexico

Tapachula, Mexico, Nov 7 (EFE).- Civil and business organizations on Monday estimated that there are more than 125,000 illegal migrants moving northward through the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, which borders on Guatemala, and en route to the neighboring state of Oaxaca.

Among the migrants are Venezuelans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans, but there are also people from India, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, China and various African nations.

The president of the Center for Human Dignity (CDH), Luis Rey Garcia Villagran, said that just in Tapachula, a Mexican town on the border with Guatemala, there are some 50,000 migrants, of whom 25,000 are pursuing their immigration paperwork, while the rest are trekking toward the United States without the proper documentation.

“It’s a lot of people who are entering (Mexico) every day. I was on the ‘Coyote Route’ (the route followed by human traffickers) on the border of Mexico and Guatemala and about 500 are coming in each day,” he told EFE.

The head of the Pro-centro business organization in Tapachula, Cesar Garcia Jimenez, told media outlets that more than 172,000 migrants have passed through the city in the past few months, given the frequency of the migrant caravans that have headed northward from there.

Meanwhile, Jose Antonio Chol, with the Izquierda Siempre organizational council, said that “There’s a large number of desperate foreigners” who are seeking to leave Tapachula, and he demanded that the National Migration Institute (ONM) take care of them.

“There are many migrants who are walking along the coastal highway, the pathways and roadways, where they are assaulted and extorted,” he said.

Those migrants are dispersed among the municipalities along the Mexico-Guatemala border at Ciudad Hidalgo and into Oaxaca, and they are moving in small groups or in caravans of about 1,000 people.

On Monday, a new group of Venezuelans departed from Tapachula in another caravan headed for San Pedro Tapanatepec, in Oaxaca, to seek temporary documents that will allow them to continue their northward journey.

Elvis Bosa, a Venezuelan who arrived a week ago in Tapachula, said that emigration from Venezuela has not stopped and he remains committed to getting to the US despite the restrictions announced a month ago by Washington, including immediate deportation of anyone arriving illegally across the US border by land.

“We’re in Tapachula, waiting for (US President) Joe Biden to overturn his Title 42, which expels Venezuelans from the United States, to see if we can get up there to be able to meet the challenge we’ve always had, getting to the US,” he said.

The region is experiencing a record flow of illegal migrants toward the US, where Customs and Border Protection (CBP) during Fiscal Year 2022 detained an unprecedented 2.76 million undocumented migrants.

EFE jmb/ppc/eat/bp

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