The contingent of migrants began their journey to Huixtla along the coastal highway of Chiapas. Photo Edgar H. Clemente
Tapachula, Chiapas. A new caravan of migrants left Tapachula, Chiapas this morning, seeking to advance through national territory towards the border with the United States.
The group of about 500 foreigners, mainly from Central American countries, intends to join the Caravan of about five thousand people that has been in Huixtla since Wednesday, about 45 kilometers away, awaiting a response from the authorities to their demand for transit papers.
The new contingent took the coastal highway of Chiapas protected by patrols of the State Police and the National Guard to expedite vehicular traffic.
“We decided to walk because we have no money, we have no choice, we no longer want to be here, there is no work, and the papers tell us one date and then they change us to another,” said Guatemalan Juana Pérez.
The 43-year-old woman fled her country with her husband and an eight-year-old girl due to gang extortion.
Ernesto Pineda, from Honduras, said that the salary he earned as a factory guard was not enough to support his home and that is why he decided to migrate.
It was a difficult decision to leave his wife and two children in the country, but he trusted that the effort would be worth it and arriving in the United States could give them a better life.
“I want to support my family, we don’t come to steal, we come to work, we only ask for that, that they let us pass to have a job, there is not enough to live there,” said the 27-year-old.
Irineo Mújica, from the organization Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said that migrants are running out of options on the border with Guatemala and that is why they have decided to leave on foot.
The new group, he explained, will join the Caravan stationed in Huixtla – which also left Tapachula last Monday – to form a single contingent.
He considered that the southern border continues to be a large open-air prison because migrants do not want to return to their countries and are not allowed to go to other areas of Mexico where they can continue their immigration procedures and look for work.
“The south continues to be the ordeal of migrants and at the same time the ordeal of the Tapachula community where they have been forced to have all these people,” said the activist.
For this reason, he insisted that the National Immigration Institute give the members of the Caravan a document that allows them to travel through Mexico to avoid the suffering of walking, exposing themselves to accidents or falling prey to crime.
And according to PSF estimates, half of the people traveling in the Caravan are women and children, some of whom already suffer from malnutrition and illness.
Mújica announced that this Monday there will be a dialogue with INM officials, after mediation by the National Human Rights Commission, to respond to his requests, otherwise he warned that they will toughen their protests.
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.