Mexico dismantles the second migrant march

Photo credit: Al-Jazeera

By Nathan Otaba,

According to Mexican officials, a group of hundreds of migrants, mostly from Haiti and Central America, who began marching north have accepted to be separated and transported by bus to other towns to apply for humanitarian visas.

The migrant march began on November 18 with approximately 2,000 migrants from the southern city of Tapachula.

Migrants in Tapachula, near the Guatemala border, are fed up with the long delays in obtaining visas. Many claim they are unable to find work.

The migrants agreed to end their march Tuesday in Mapastepec, near Tapachula, according to Mexico’s National Immigration Institute. Many of them were seen boarding buses to other towns in central and western Mexico, according to video supplied by the institute.

An earlier migrant march, which began in October is now in southern Veracruz state, but it has shrunk to a few hundred migrants, down from a peak of 4,000.

Mexican officials had claimed that the migrants’ health and safety, many of whom were accompanied by children, were jeopardized by their attempts to traverse through southern Mexico.

To relieve strain at the US border, the Mexican government relied on a strategy of limiting migrants in the country’s southernmost regions.

However, those are the poorest states, with significantly greater opportunities for employment in Mexico’s northern and western states.

Activists report that even migrants who have gotten humanitarian visas that allow them to travel in Mexico have been stopped and deported back to Tapachula by immigration officers.

Migrant caravans started a few years ago as a method for migrants who couldn’t afford to pay smugglers to take advantage of the safety in numbers as they approached the US border. Guatemala and Mexico, on the other hand, have recently become more aggressive in breaking up caravans with security troops.

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