Southern Mexico migrant caravan reaches agreement with authorities

Tapachula, Mexico, Nov 23 (EFE).- Thousands of Haitian and Central American migrants that were stranded in Chiapas, southern Mexico, on Tuesday reached an agreement with the National Institute of Migration (NIM), while another caravan remains in the state of Veracruz.

The migrants, who were heading for Mexico City, agreed to be transferred to other states of the country to continue with their regularization process with the option of being able to work legally.

The caravan transited for five days through Chiapas, traveling 107 kilometers from Tapachula to Mapstepec.

“Now that they are in our country, we want them to have a regular stay,” Héctor Martínez Castuera, general director of the representative offices of the NIM said.

The migrants will be transferred on buses to the states of Puebla, Mexico, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Colima, Jalisco, Guerrero and Guanajuato where they will be able to access employment.

Pethuel is one of the Haitian migrants who walked more than 100 kilometers from Tapachula, on the border with Guatemala, where some 2,000 from the island left last week.

“In spite of everything, I feel good and we want to reach our destination,” said the Haitian, who said he would accept a humanitarian visa to transit through the country.

Hundreds of children and women travel in this group, which has suffered from high temperatures, lack of water and foot blisters.

At the same time, the caravan that last week arrived in Veracruz, the eastern state of the country, was advancing on foot Tuesday from the town of Cruz del Milagro to the north of this region.

They took the road that leads to Córdoba, although this destination is still more than 200 kilometers away, so they will make several stops along the way and it is expected that on Wednesday they will reach the municipality of Juan Rodríguez Clara.

The migrants walked, as in days past, under surveillance of security forces and also supported by medical bodies.This caravan, which initially brought together nearly 5,000 people in Chiapas a month ago, is now made up of an estimated 600 people who walk in weather changing between cold and rain.

Exhaustion and a walk of more than 600 kilometers have taken their toll, and this is why hundreds have accepted the NIM’s proposal to regularize their stay and leave the contingent.

The region is experiencing a record migratory flow towards the United States, whose Customs and Border Protection recorded more than 1.7 million illegal immigrants on the border with Mexico in fiscal year 2021, which ended in Sep. 30.

Mexico has recorded more than 190,000 undocumented immigrants from January to September, about three times the number of 2020, in addition to deporting almost 74,300, according to the Migration Policy Unit of the interior ministry. EFE


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