Oaxaca (Mexico).- The National Institute of Migration (INM) of Mexico has intensified operations in recent days to contain the transit of migrants on the Pan-American highway, in a section of more than 150 kilometers of the road that runs from Arriaga, state of Chiapas to Tehuantepec, state of Oaxaca, south of the country.
This hardening has occurred due to the saturation that has formed in the municipality of San Pedro Tapanatepec, Oaxaca, due to the exodus of thousands of migrants from Central and South America, who seek to reach the northern border of Mexico and then cross into the United States.
In the vicinity of Tapanatepec, the state border between Oaxaca and Chiapas, since August the INM has provisionally installed a migration control post with two checkpoints.
Both points are avoided by migrants who travel on foot to Tapanatepec, where the immigration authorities told them that they would be offered a visa with which they can circulate in Mexican territory for seven days.
These days, EFE confirmed several arrests made by immigration agents at the Corazones checkpoint, a fishing community still located in the Oaxaca area, due to “national security” issues.
“The operations cannot be recorded because they are a matter of national security,” said an INM agent while his partner, assisted by two National Guard agents, detained a woman who was walking without documentation along with her husband and a minor in this stretch of road.
Due to the siege, hundreds of migrants have become merchandise for the local public transport drivers of Tapanatepec and Chahuites, who charge them up to triple the fare indicated in the fare.
“Although we know that this is tolerated, we also know that it is not allowed, so it can affect us. Now we have made two sites (…) legally speaking, we are not in a regulatory manner here,” a taxi driver from the Tapanatepec site told EFE.
But as the migrants eagerly seek to get to Tapanatepec, where they will sign up on a list to wait their turn, they accept the fees imposed by these unscrupulous taxi drivers.
“It is a greater income than they would normally have and obviously they are altering the prices of collective public transport, but we do not care, the little money we have we give it because what we want is to get there and the little we have we give it to transport us,” said Enríquez, a Nicaraguan migrant who arrived at the INM post in this municipality on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, using the taxi service.
Meanwhile, the municipal president of San Pedro Tapanatepec, Humberto López, assured the media that since Friday the regularization procedures were streamlined by the INM.
And therefore the concentration of migrants that came to be more than 16,000 migrants, decreased to 10,000, a figure that exceeds the population of the municipality that does not reach that number of inhabitants.
The migration crisis is the result of the agreement reached by the governments of Mexico and the United States two weeks ago, under which the US government will offer 24,000 visas for Venezuelans and will return to Mexican territory all those who cross the border irregularly.
The US announcement comes amid an increase in the arrival of Venezuelans at the border with Mexico. Between October 2021 and August of this year, more than 150,000 Venezuelans have been arrested on the US southern border, compared to 50,499 in the same period last year.