Tapachula, Mexico, Jan 2 (EFE).- Some 5,000 migrants from assorted countries protested on Monday on Mexico’s southern border, where they forced their way into the offices of the Mexican government’s Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar).
The migrants had been gathering since the weekend, forming a long line and completely closing a street outside the Comar offices in Tapachula, a city bordering on Guatemala.
The foreigners have gotten tired of waiting for Mexican authorities to attend to their requests for asylum.
The migrants are mainly Haitians, Venezuelans, Cubans, Peruvians, Panamanians and citizens of other Central American countries and have gathered at the site given the scarce presence of Mexican authorities.
Yanela, a Cuban migrant, said that the demonstrators have not gotten any response from Mexican authorities and thus will remain at the site, adding that she thought the authorities should organize the people by countries so that they can maintain better order and facilitate their asylum request procedures.
“We want papers to remain in Mexico legally and continue the journey to the northern border with the United States,” she told EFE.
The migrants gathered at the site starting on Sunday evening, sleeping there overnight to ensure themselves a place in line to speak with Mexican immigration authorities.
“We (got here) on Dec. 31. We saw a big crowd of people, and it’s becoming real chaos and disorder, and so it’s important that the authorities intervene in the matter, because this could get out of control,” Cuban migrant Jordi Armando remarked to EFE.
Given the protests, Comar officials advised the migrants that – for the moment – they will only attend to families with children, with the remaining adults having to wait their turn in line.
That fact reflects the record flood of migrants wanting to get to the US, where Customs and Border Protection during last fiscal year apprehended an unprecedented 2.76 million illegal migrants.
In addition, Comar received more than 111,000 asylum requests during the first 11 months of 2022, a fact that would make last year the second-biggest year on record in Mexico for such requests.