“Pressure cooker” of migrants in southern Mexico drives caravans


The agglomeration of migrants in the city of Tapachula, on the border with Guatemala, where thousands are stranded without access to resources, prompts the formation of caravans due to the lack of solutions to continue transiting to the United States.

The spontaneity and desperation with which these groups of migrants are organized from the southern border of Mexico is one of the main differences with the caravans that emerged in 2018, the year in which the world turned to see this migratory phenomenon, explained experts consulted by EFE.

So far this year, at least three caravans have been reported that have left Tapachula, in the southern state of Chiapas, the most numerous with close to 1,000 people, responding to a context in which there are hardly any job opportunities and when paperwork to transit legally through the country take forever.

“They are caravans that arise out of desperation and the situation of conflict with the authorities,” said Eduardo Torre, a researcher at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) in Tijuana who specializes in migratory phenomena.

For his part, Enrique Coraza, an academic at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) in Tapachula, agreed on this aspect and added that migrants are involved in the “contradictory logic” of Mexican institutions: on the one hand they impede progress of the caravans and on the other hand they do not offer them options to continue their way.

“This became more complex during the pandemic, caused a huge amount of the population stranded in Tapachula without conditions and without help to get out. It is like a pressure cooker and the caravans represent the escape valve,” he explained.

This sum of factors will cause more migrant caravans to form this year, predicted Torre, who explained that although the size of the groups varies between a few hundred and tens of thousands, each time they manage to cover less territory.

“There has been a lot of dismantling of caravans by the authorities, through repression, containment, deportation or taking them back to Tapachula,” he stressed.

Source: Expancion Politica