News ID: 212796
Published: 0546 GMT April 07, 2018

Migrant caravan in Mexico resumes journey toward US

Migrant caravan in Mexico resumes journey toward US
Central American migrants taking part in a caravan heading toward the United States pack their belongings as they prepare to leave a sport complex where they were camping in Matias Romero, Oaxaca State, Mexico, on April 5, 2018. (AFP)

A ‘caravan’ of hundreds of Central American migrants that had been traveling through Mexico toward the United States but had been halted by the Mexican government along the way has resumed its journey, although it has diminished in size.

Reports by the US-based advocacy group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which seeks to draw attention to the rights of refugees and provide them with aid, said on Friday that about 800 of the nearly 1,500 migrants resumed their journey after the caravan was stalled by immigration authorities in the southern Mexican town of Matias Romero apparently under pressure from the US administration, reported.

Many of the migrants, fleeing poverty and gang violence in the Central American countries, reportedly plan to remain in Mexico, but some of them are determined to continue their journey all the way to the US border to apply for asylum there.

Irineo Mujica, the director of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said that he was with about 150 migrants from the caravan who were waiting to board a train in the eastern state of Veracruz, and that another 600 migrants, mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, had already made it to the central city of Puebla for a meeting with US and Mexican immigration lawyers who were due to give instructions on how to seek asylum.

The organizers of the yearly caravan said the migrants are scheduled to rally in Mexico City on April 9, calling attention to their plight.


Central American migrants in a caravan heading toward the US arrive in Puebla, Puebla State, Mexico, on April 6, 2018. (AFP)

US President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Thursday that the migrant caravan had disbanded under pressure from his administration and the Mexican government.

Trump had earlier threatened to abolish the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — a three-party trade deal that includes Mexico and also Canada — and dispatch military forces to the US-Mexico border to stop the migrants from crossing the border.

Each year, migrants from Central America travel toward the US-Mexico border to seek asylum in the US Last year, the US granted asylum to about 38 percent of those who had applied.

Trump has promised to build a wall on the US’s border with Mexico to stop illegal migrants and make Mexico City pay for its construction. He has previously called Mexican migrants ‘rapists’ and ‘murderers.’

The total length of the border is 1,954 miles (3,145 km) and is one of the most frequently crossed borders in the world.

Taking offense, Mexicans have protested Trump’s rhetoric and threats.

On Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who had until then been largely deemed passive toward the US, sharply rebuked Trump over his plan to send troops to the border.


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