Thousands of migrants travel on the roofs of cars Mexico what expected Filas kilometers An accident off the tracks while boarding a train bound for the United States this week led to the closure of one of the border crossings and forced Mexico’s largest railroad company to ground dozens of freight trains.
But they have also brought to light a much larger phenomenon: a nearly unbroken chain of migrants Colombia by the Darien Jungle until Panama This could be possible on an industrial scale 500,000 people this year.
These migrants move through without interruption Central America until Mexico and from there to the border USA.
“Thousands more are coming behind us. It’s continuous,” he said. Juan Carlos Leal a Venezuelan migrant waiting next to the tracks with his 5-year-old son on Wednesday, approx 55 kilometers north of it Mexico City.
He and other migrants wait in the city to board passing trains, some of which are actually moving Huehuetoca They pointed out that 3,500 people leave the jungle camps organized by smugglers on the Colombian side of the border every day. Darien Jungle because that is the capacity of each settlement.
The perilous journey through the jungle has been shortened from more than a week to just two days for the strongest, thanks to a network of guides, permanent camps and rudimentary hiking trails that begin in Necocli on the Colombian side.
Venezuelan migrants in Huehuetoca They stated that the operation of Darien appears to be controlled by Colombian paramilitary groups, who direct some of their benefits to the autonomous indigenous groups Panama.
He Panamanian government He said last week that he would increase deportations to address record numbers of migrants arriving through the jungle.
The human trafficking network can now pick up migrants Venezuela until Central Mexico in just over two weeks, an odyssey that could have lasted months at the time. The arrests at the border between Mexico j USA were increased by 33 percent from June to July according to the US government, after the decline caused by new asylum restrictions taking effect in May.
“Frankly, what is happening is that (…) it is in their best interest for people to arrive and leave,” he explained. José Javier Fereira, another Venezuelan migrant, about the gangs that control human trafficking. “This won’t stop. To stop it, you have to stop the Necoclí mafia“.
Ferreira, who was a taxi driver in his country, said he could not make a living there because gas was too expensive for those without political connections. At the same time, he decided to leave his family behind because the journey was too dangerous.
But that is not always the case. In Huehuetoca Whole families were waiting to get into the cars.
Mayerlin Bracamontes He hugged and played with his daughter five months while we wait for the train. “Yes, it is dangerous,” she admitted, but noted that she was traveling in the company of other Venezuelans who helped her pass the baby to those already on board.
Migrants continue to fall victim to corrupt officials, gangs, thieves and sexual predators at almost every step. At least half a dozen of them Huehuetoca They reported seeing bodies – a woman and her newborn baby, a young couple, a portly old man – decomposing on a path in the Darien.
Their versions also agree on the details of the human smuggling industry Colombia: Human Traffickers Square two bracelets similar to those distributed at concerts, to those who pay a minimum fee of $350. A bracelet means that The band fee has been paid and the other A portion was given to indigenous groups in Panama whose areas they have to pass through.
Beyond the jungle, migrants have fewer complaints Panama, Costa Rica j Nicaragua and they say most officials seem to want them to act quickly to get them out of their countries soon.
In Guatemala However, almost all reported repeated sexual abuse and blackmail by the police.
But it’s there Mexico There, once they have overcome the jungle, perhaps the deadliest part of their journey awaits them: boarding the freight trains. Migrants have been crossing the country in so-called wagons for years “The beast” at levels that fluctuate depending on efforts to prevent it.
They usually rise when the convoy stops to change lanes. They prefer to climb on freight wagons, which have a flat top and have stairs and railings to hold on to. But in desperation, some crowd into the narrow roofs of gas stations, where falling asleep or bumping into something can lead to a fatal fall.
Ferromex the country’s largest railway company, announced on Tuesday the temporary suspension of 60 freight trains given the “significant risk” that the use of this means of transport for migrants poses. In recent days, “about half a dozen unfortunate cases of injury or death have been recorded,” he said in a statement.
The company that is part of the group Mexico group stated that some jumped onto moving freight cars “despite the great danger this poses.”
The avalanche of arrivals Eagle Pass Texas, led to Customs and Border Protection from USA to close one of the two bridges that connect the city with the Mexican city Black stones. According to the agency, the temporary infrastructure closure was intended to “redirect personnel to assist the Border Patrol in detaining migrants.”
For those who had already traveled thousands of miles, the idea of riding on the train was overwhelming.
“If I had known how dangerous it was, I would stay with my family and die in Venezuela,” he said. Felix Rodríguez a native of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, who was traveling with his wife and 13- and 14-year-old children.
Rodriguez refused to take the risk of boarding a passing train Huehuetoca Tuesday evening because it was considered too dangerous.
Instead, he stayed away from the tracks, saying they would sell food on the street or clean car windows until they had enough money to buy bus tickets to the border.
“It is dangerous to drive with children. “People die, all just to fulfill their dream,” he explained. Rodriguez.
This alternative comes with its own risks. Migrants prefer the train not only because the journey is free, but also because the police and Mexican immigration officials They usually get them off the buses on the grounds that the humanitarian visa or asylum application documents they have do not allow them to travel to the north of the country.
This wave of migration cannot be compared with the caravans of 10 million O 15,000 people mostly Central Americans who crossed the country on foot or hitchhiking in organized groups 2018 j 2019.
Those crossing Mexican territory on trains this week didn’t know which border town they were going to and were traveling with only a few family members or a small group of friends.
“We Venezuelans take care of each other, that’s one thing,” said one migrant, offering to help carry the baby. Bracamontes to a train