Tapachula, Mexico, May 26 (EFE).- Some 1,300 migrants marched Thursday in this city on the Guatemalan border to demand permits allowing them to cross Mexican territory to reach the United States.
Participants said that if Mexico turns down their request, they will begin the northbound journey without official authorization.
“We are not going to desist,” Venezuelan Darwin Antonio told Efe. “We will all press ahead and we are pursuing a dream and better quality of life. There are no criminals here, just people who want a new life opportunity.”
Another man from Venezuela, Alexander Vargas, appealed to Mexican authorities to issue transit visas.
“We are no longer able to go on paying for hotels, rooms,” he said. “The only thing we are asking is that they help us.”
The organizers of Thursday’s protest in Tapachula said they are hoping to mobilize around 3,000 migrants for additional demonstrations ahead of the June 6-10 Americas Summit in Los Angeles.
“The migration issue is the substance of what the countries of the Americas are going to discuss,” activist Luis Rey Garcia Villagran, director of the Center for Human Dignity said. “And the politicians should not decide about people lives. We are not the back yard of the United States.”
He estimates that 80 percent of the migrants who have found themselves stranded in Tapachula are from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Cuba.
The region is experiencing a record flow of migrants trying to make their way to the US, whose Customs and Border Protection agency intercepted a record 1.7 million undocumented migrants trying to enter the country illegally in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2021.
Another 1 million-plus have been detected at the border thus far in the 2022 fiscal year.
Mexico deported more than 114,000 undocumented migrants last year, according to the Government Secretariat’s Migration Policy Unit. EFE