Home World A Caravan of Migrants Is Heading Toward the U.S. Border

A Caravan of Migrants Is Heading Toward the U.S. Border

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Thousands of immigrants departed from southern Mexico last week to one of the largest caravans trying to reach the United States in recent years. The mass movement was in line with a recent meeting of Western Hemisphere leaders in Los Angeles, where migration was an important focus.

Immigrant caravans have become a common phenomenon and are usually dismantled by authorities long before arriving at the southern border of the United States, but the recent march of about 6,000 people walking on the Mexican highway has received a great deal of international attention. Is collecting.

Many of the immigrants came from Venezuela and had already traversed the jungle and trekked hundreds of miles across multiple borders before arriving in Mexico. Upon arrival in Mexico, immigrants usually need to stay in the southern city of Tapachula until Mexican authorities allow further travel on a humanitarian visa. This process can take several months.

“Tapachula has become a huge immigrant prison,” said Caravan spokesman Luis Garcia Villagran. “Mexican authorities have knots, bureaucratic fences, and bureaucratic walls, apparently under pressure from the United States.”

In a telephone interview, Garcia either paid traffickers instead of suffering from tapachula, many were involved in organized crime, or bribed immigration authorities to speed up the process. He said it was a bribe.

Yet others are trying to bypass Mexico’s visa process and join a group heading north, he said, believing that a large number of them would make it more difficult for Mexican authorities to stop their progress. ing.

A spokesman for the National Institute of Immigration in Mexico said efforts are being made to provide legal paperwork to migrants in Tapachula.

“Most of the people who make up the caravan already have the documentation,” said spokeswoman Natalia Gomez Kintero.

Nevertheless, as shown in the photo below, Mexican National Guard are often dispatched to stop the flow of immigrants to the north.

The story of immigrant abuse is widespread. A Report by Human Rights Watch “Immigrants and asylum seekers entering Mexico across the southern border are facing abuse and struggling to gain protection and legal status,” it was announced last week.

Last year, Mexico arrested more than 300,000 migrants. This is a record high, according to Human Rights Watch, with more than 130,000 people applying for asylum in the country. Such numbers “overwhelmed” Mexico’s asylum system, the report said.

The large number of Venezuelans in the caravan follows the changes in Mexico’s policy towards immigrants from South America that have been consumed by the political and economic crisis. Since January, Venezuelans have required a visa to enter Mexico. This is a rule that many people try to avoid by crossing large groups at the border rather than by plane.

Below, Rusbeli Martínez pushed the shopping cart with his son and other family members. After leaving Venezuela a few years ago, the family lived in Colombia, home to about 1.7 million Venezuelan immigrants. But in Colombia, she said, they found a tough reception and few jobs.

“We lived in a crime-prone area. They threatened us to leave,” Martínez said. “Otherwise they will burn the house.”

Many Venezuelans seeking a better presence follow difficult routes across land, such as walking across the dangerous, roadless jungle of Darien Gap in eastern Panama and northwestern Colombia. In the first five months of this year, more than 32,000 migrants, including more than 16,000 Venezuelans, have crossed the crossroads, according to the National Immigration Department of Panama.

Eduardo Colmenares Perez, a Venezuelan immigrant who crossed the gap between his son and his pregnant wife, said the bandits had stolen all their belongings. “They left us with no money, no food, no clothes.”

There are many young men in the caravan, but there are also many families with children. About 3,000 minors were traveling in groups. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund.. In the park in the town of Alvaro Obregon below, other young people were singing while the children were playing.

Most of the people in the caravan are poor and want better opportunities in the United States. However, some have escaped violence and persecution, such as Venezuela and a group of LGBTQ migrants who explained the discrimination they faced on the road.

Below, Michael Tehada, Jaeder Rodriguez, and Yes Langer gathered during a break on the caravan journey. “We are unacceptable in the vicinity of Venezuela and Caracas,” said Rodriguez of the Center. “We must oppress ourselves in order to pretend to be something that is not ourselves.”

Others said they faced persecution because they were outsiders. Yuriet Mora and her family left Venezuela and moved to Colombia and later Peru. But she said they were forced to leave because of the exclusion of aliens. In the first photo below, Mora sits under an improvised tent in Alvaro Obregon.

Roselys Guetiérrez and María Gómez in the second photo below, Venezuelans who lived in Colombia, left hand in hand on the streets of Bogotá.

“We decided to go through the jungle — it was pretty hard,” Gutiérrez said. “I’m pretty traumatized for everything I’ve lived in the jungle, everything we’ve lived in. But thanks to God, I want something better here. . “

According to caravan spokesman Garcia, some migrants have been given temporary permission to cross the country for 30 days at their borders after Mexican immigrant officials in the town of Huixtla, Chiapas. I decided to leave the caravan. Other immigrants were exhausted by trekking, which usually means walking miles every day, and decided to completely unload the caravan.

Mexico is full of danger, especially from organized crime groups known to abduct immigrants and detain them for ransom, and is often paid by relatives in the United States. Caravans provide some security, but Mexican authorities are known to force the caravans to dissolve.

Below, Venezuelan migrants stood on the roof of Tapachula’s Immigration Detention Center. Immigrants said it was due to poor hygiene, food shortages, overcrowding, and delays in immigration and asylum processing.

“We are not criminals,” said one immigrant, Valentina Alfonso, to the left in the second photo below. She said her uncle had been detained by Mexican authorities for several days. “We are professionals and have a career and research,” Alfonso said. “This is inhumane.”

Caravans usually depart long before dawn, as temperatures can reach as high as 100 degrees Celsius. Below, a Venezuelan immigrant pushed another immigrant in a wheelchair while the caravan was traveling at night.

Having stayed in Mexico for five days after crossing the Darien Gap, Colmenares was often forced to rely on the generous diet of fellow immigrants.

“I feel furious and helpless because I had to abandon my country,” he said.

Despite the difficulties, Mr. Colmares said he was only thinking about the way ahead. “The motivation to keep walking is to look for the American dream,” he said. “To give my son a better future.”

Brian Averer Report that contributed.

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