Thousands of Central American migrants moving towards the Mexican border in different routes to avoid arrests
The paradigm shift has been noticed in the behavior of the last migrant caravan, formed Tuesday in San Pedro Sula, the second city of Honduras. Hundreds of Honduran citizens, over 1,000, then gathered at the city’s bus terminal. On Wednesday they started dating. In 2018, the southern route, which passes through Esquipulas, Guatemala City and reaches Tapachula, already in Mexico, attracted the majority. This time a part has gone there, but many have crossed from Honduras to Guatemala through the passage of Corinth, near the Caribbean Sea.
“We take it for granted that a good part of the people are going to get where they always go, Tapachula,” says Salva Lacruz, of the Fray Matías de Córdova Human Rights Center, based in the border city. “But we know that there are people who will go through Tabasco”, that is, by the steps of El Ceibo and Frontera Corozal, near Tenosique. “And even,” he adds, “there are people who will arrive by La Mesilla,” a step closer to Tapachula, although somewhat further north, aimed at Comitan and San Cristobal de las Casas. For Lacruz, “these innovations are to have more options to cross. And of course, in the end, the bulk of immigration control is through Tapachula. ”
The effects of the agreements have also been noted in the behavior of the police . In Honduras, at the Corinth pass, the police fired tear gas at citizens trying to cross the border without doing the immigration process. In Guatemala, workers of the US ICE, the agency that controls migration and customs, advise the police from the field, which did not happen on previous occasions. According to reports from local agencies and media, Guatemalan police on this occasion shows a different, more strict attitude towards migrants and document control. In Mexico, the authorities have sent a clear message: they will not give safe conduct. The Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sánchez Cordero, insisted on Wednesday that “Mexico is not a transit country.”
This Thursday, the different groups of the caravan advance through Guatemala. Migrants are less organized, go in groups of approximately 20 people and move on foot or by truck, depending on the mood of the drivers. It seems that some groups have already arrived in Guatemala City and others are close to the El Ceibo pass.
Although police control has increased, migrants move towards Guatemala and will reach the Mexican border, controlled by the National Guard. The presence of the National Guard in southern Mexico since the June tariff affair is constant. Then, Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican exports if the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador did not redouble his efforts against migrants. For Ramón Márquez, responsible for La 72 hostel in Tenosique, the situation is now conducive to control the caravan. “The government has everything in favor to make a wall with the National Guard,” anywhere on the border, he says. “But go,” he adds, “if they cross through El Ceibo or Corozal, I don’t think they’ll let them get to Tenosique, they’ll stop them before.”
Lacruz believes that the National Guard will do what it has done on other occasions. “The containment strategies are very clear: they allow migrants to enter, walk and walk and when they are tired, they stop them without using violence.”
Eunice Rendón points out that the agreements reached these months do not point to the causes of migration, but to pure containment. “It’s not just a matter of poverty, it’s also a matter of violence, people fleeing death threats,” he defends.
The Mazatlan Post