Northbound migrant caravan rests, recoups in southern Mexico town
Huixtla, Mexico, Oct 26 (EFE).- After several days of hard trekking, the members of a large migrant caravan took a rest on Tuesday in the southern Mexican town of Huixtla after having walked about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Tapachula, a city in the southeastern state of Chiapas on the border with Guatemala.
The caravan of some 4,000 migrants, most of them Central Americans and Haitians, made a stop in Huixtla to rest, to rehydrate themselves and to let blisters and other minor wounds heal after four arduous days of travel.
The migrants took advantage of the hospitality of the local Catholic church to feel safe and to avoid being detained anywhere else in town.
“In the south, (President Andres Manuel) Lopez Obrador knows very well that there’s no work and you can’t have migrants for so many months without giving them some documentation,” the priest of one of the local churches, Hayman Vazquez, told reporters.
In addition, he said that the federal government must understand that non-governmental organizations and civil society need to take care of the matter.
He said that the caravans are not the solution but they do make visible the problem and serve to raise public awareness.
Vazquez went on to say that this fifth caravan – formed after the previous four that failed to make headway in September – is going to head for Mexico City and then continue northwards to the US border because its members are more organized and that is going to make it difficult for federal security forces to break up.
Eleazar Gustavo Garcia, from Honduras, obtained his humanitarian visa and traveled with it for a year. However, this migration document has now expired and so he joined the caravan, he said.
Last night, along with all the other men in the caravan, he slept outside Huixtla’s San Francisco de Asis church.
Irma Romero is another Honduran migrant who is traveling with her three daughters.
She decided to leave with the caravan because she had no resources that would allow her to remain in Tapachula, and on Tuesday she said she was worried because her daughters had a cough.
She said that some 1,000 children and dozens of pregnant women are traveling with this caravan, and she called on the Mexican public for solidarity, asking them to provide medicines, water and food for the migrants to take with them on their journey.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no incidents had been registered among the caravan members, who are scattered throughout Huixtla.
The region has been experiencing an unprecedented wave of migration since the beginning of this year, with an historic flow of some 147,000 undocumented migrants moving northwards within Mexican between January and August, triple the number in 2020.
In addition, the number of detentions on the US border with Mexico during the last fiscal year reached never-before-seen levels with more than 1.7 million immigrants apprehended by the US Customs and Border Protection.
Another example of this growing migration wave is that Mexican authorities in recent hours apprehended almost 200 undocumented migrants traveling north in buses in the central states of Queretaro and Guanajuato.
This new caravan got under way after in early September Mexican authorities frustrated the journeys of four migrant caravans that had departed from Tapachula.
Then, several United Nations and NGO agencies criticized the authorities’ use of force in the Mexican operations to break up those caravans.