TAPACHULA, Mexico ( Associated Press) – A new group of migrants, some 2,000 people, moved out of southern Mexico on Monday to pressure Mexican authorities into granting them temporary permits to reach the border with the United States.
In recent months, a number of similar contingents mostly Venezuelans and Central Americans left Tapachula in caravans, almost to the border with Guatemala, which broke up only days later when Mexican authorities refused them documents to transit through the country. Offered.
In this case, as in previous cases, migrants complained of lack of service in Tapachula, the city that receives the most asylum seekers in the country and whose offices are overcrowded.
The National Institute of Migration (INM) has given migrants the option of disbanding previous caravans by giving them temporary permits to move freely through the country for 30 days in a bid to somewhat relieve the migrant numbers from this southern city. chose.
Once with documents, migrants typically choose to reach the border with the United States, although, on occasions, they are blocked and turned back to the south by various authorities despite the permits they have. Hence, many organizations have complained about the lack of transparency while releasing these papers.
“It’s heavy but we’re moving to give them passes,” said Nicaraguan Moises Chinchilla in reference to the above document while walking with the group on Monday. For Chichila, as for many others, being in their hands meant being a little closer to their destination, the United States.
A part of the group that was released this Monday had set up an improvised camp a few days ago in the vicinity of the INM offices in Tapachula so that they could be given transit permits and when they received no response, they started walking.
As explained by a Venezuelan who only wanted to identify himself as Alexa, after a week of appearances there, they “decided to make a peaceful march until they reached Hueixtla.” Tapachula, 50 kilometers away, is the town where previous groups had obtained such temporary visas.
The National Guard, which last year opted to stop the mass exodus of undocumented foreigners, on Monday limited itself to escorting the group and speeding up affected vehicular traffic on a highway that borders Guatemala. Main channel of communication.
However, the head of the Mexican army, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, said last week that the deployment of federal and state forces was being strengthened to stop the irregular flow of migrants.
The caravan is a small part of the thousands of migrants who enter the United States illegally every day, as most do so using smugglers who take them in different ways.
In the first half of the year, some 58,000 people applied for asylum in Mexico, 7,000 more than in the same period last year. 70% of them did so in the Tapachula offices.
Recently, US border authorities have been stopping migrants at the border with Mexico more often than at any other time in at least two decades. There were about 240,000 interceptions in May, a third more than a year earlier.