Facing Fear of Violence on Roads, Migrants in Tuxtla Choose To Stay

Migrants have spent more than 15 days in an improvised encampment in Tuxtla. Photo: Isaí López/Heraldo de Chiapas
Violent events on roads generate concern among Central American and Venezuelan migrants

Ángel Canesco

Tuxtla Gutiérrez.- After the recent violent events reported on the Ocozocoautla-Tuxtla Gutiérrez highway, the confidence of migrants crossing Chiapas has been affected, leading them to reconsider their decision to continue their journey along the roads.

Yeison, a 24-year-old Guatemalan migrant, along with his wife and their baby, has decided to stay in the capital city at least temporarily. He tells us that during their journey through Chiapas they have been victims of multiple crimes, including kidnapping and robbery in the Tapachula-Huixtla stretch, where they lost all their money.

The vulnerable situation in which they find themselves every day terrifies them, so they prefer to look for work in Tuxtla Gutiérrez to be able to afford a safer trip in the future.

On the other hand, Rafael, a 44-year-old Venezuelan, has also chosen to stay in the city, just a few meters before La Pochota, waiting for a larger group of people to decide to leave before continuing his route. According to him, in the last 48 hours, few migrants have sought to leave the city, and those who have preferred alternative routes to avoid the authorities.

Meanwhile, in Plaza Sol, a place frequented by migrants, the influx remains high. In a survey, several of them expressed their decision not to leave now, fearing exposure to violence and being victims of extortion by criminals or the authorities.

Fear of the insecurity situation on the roads of Chiapas has led many migrants to choose to stay in the city until they find a safer route to continue their trip.

Original article published in Heraldo de Chiapas on March 28th, 2024.
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.

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