A caravan of 3,000 migrants is set to descend on a southern Mexico city today as they slowly make their way up to the United States border, with leaders rejecting humanitarian visas for women and children – some of whom are ill with dengue fever – which would give them access to healthcare during their trek.
The caravan started its journey toward the United States border last Saturday when it departed from the southern Chiapas city of Tapachula, which borders with Guatemala. It had spent the last 30 hours in Mapastepec due to heavy rains.
The migrants in the caravan, who before dawn set off on a 29-mile walk from Mapastepec to Pijijiapan later today, rejected an offer from Mexico for humanitarian visas for women and children.
Mexico’s National Institute of Migration announced last Thursday that it would be providing humanitarian visas to women and children, but in recent days slammed organizers of the caravan – billed as ‘Madre Caravana’ or ‘Caravan of all Mothers’ – for rejecting the offer.
Under the visas, the migrant women and children would have their legal status temporarily legalized, granting them permission to freely move across the country as well as access to healthcare and work permits.
A migrant girl is carried by her father on Monday as a caravan of about 3,000 asylum seekers from Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and South America walked through Ernestina de Montes, a town located in Mapastepec, a municipality in the southern state of Chiapas, on Monday
A migrant with an American flag draped around his neck treks along with a caravan in Chiapas, Mexico, on Monday. The group, about 3,000 people, including 1,200 children, spent the last 30 hours in the Chiapas city of Mapastepec and on Monday morning took off on a 29-mile walk to the municipality of Pijijiapan
A migrant woman with fever rests from walking as she takes part in a caravan in Chiapas, Mexico
Caravan leaders in recent dismissed humanitarian visa offer, claiming the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had failed to keep promises to help them in the past.
The National Institute of Migration said in a statement Monday that it ‘reiterates the call to the members of the caravan to accept the issuance of visitor cards for humanitarian reasons, especially for the most vulnerable, such as girls, boys, adolescents and pregnant women.’
The caravan intends on stopping in Mexico City to request humanitarian visas for each of the 3,000 migrants – not just women and children.
A migrant carries a child on his back as the caravan of about 3,000 people in southern Mexico resumed its journey to the United States border on Monday. The group started trekking by foot October 23 when it departed from the Chiapas city of Tapachula, which borders with Guatemala, and had spent the last 30 hours in Mapastepec due to heavy rains
Migrants were crammed on a pickup truck as they traveled Monday from the Chiapas city of Mapastepec to Pijijiapan on Monday
Migrants heading in a caravan to the United States walk through Mapastepec, a city in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas on Monday. The group insists on arriving in Mexico City to request asylum and refugee status before continuing on to the U.S.-Mexico border
Migrants from Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and South America walk through the Chiapas town of Nueva Milenio Valdivia on Monday after resuming their journey by foot to the United States. Mexico’s National Institute of Migration revealed on Monday that at least six people, including five children, have developed dengue fever
The announcement came as the agency revealed at least six people, including five children, who were traveling in the caravan had been diagnosed with dengue. T
Two of the minors, an eight-year-old from El Salvador and a nine-year-old from Honduras, along with an and a 19-year-old individual were hospitalized at Mapastepec Rural Hospital in Mapastepec while the parents of the three other children declined to have them admitted because they said they needed to continue on with the caravan.
The Mexican government has yet to say whether there will be any further attempts to break up the caravan.
At least three other caravans were unsuccessful in advancing from southern Mexico in August and September, as National Institute of Migration agents and security forces were criticized for employing tough tactics to stop the flow of migrants, many of whom are escaping violence and poverty in their home countries and petitioning for asylum protections.
Nearly 3,000 migrants were back on the roads of southern Mexico on Monday morning making their way to the United States border
A migrant family rests in Mapastepec, Mexico, on Monday, where most of the 3,000 people who form part of the latest caravan resumed its journey to the U.S. border
Mexico’s National Institute of Migration said in a statement Monday that it ‘reiterates the call to the members of the caravan to accept the issuance of visitor cards for humanitarian reasons, especially for the most vulnerable, such as girls, boys, adolescents and pregnant women’
Luis Villagran, one of the leaders of the caravan that is largely composed by migrants from Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and South America, told Reuters on Sunday that many of the children and women were fatigued from the long distance travel.
‘There are more than 150 boys and girls who can’t walk any more,’ Villagran said. ‘There are pregnant women with sores on their feet who can’t continue walking. We estimate there are 90 women in a critical state.’
Mexican government data published last week showed that detentions of foreign migrants during September leapt to more than 41,000 from around 32,000 a month earlier. That compared with just over 82,000 in all of 2020.
A migrant child rests with an adult companion while camping out in Nuevo Milenio Valdivia, a town in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas on Monday
The resumption of the caravans foot trek to the U.S. border comes on the heels of the death of Cuban migrant dead, who was shot dead when the pickup truck that he was being smuggled on was fired on by the National Guard at a checkpoint in Pijijiapan on Sunday.
At least two other migrants, whose nationalities have not been disclosed, were injured.
It’s unknown if the group, which consisted if eight Cubans, three Ghanians and a Brazilian, was part of the caravan.
Migrants traveling together in a caravan of 3,000 people headed towards the Chiapas city of Pijijiapan take time to rest in the Mapastepec town of Nuevo Milenio Valdivia on Monday
The incident unfolded after the guardsmen instructed the driver to pull over at a checkpoint on a road connecting the towns of Echegaray and Margaritas in the municipality of Pijijiapan on Sunday approximately at 6:14pm local time, local media outlets reported.
The motorist, identified as Manuel Guillermo ‘N’, refused to stop and collided with a National Guard vehicle and accelerated, which forced the guardsmen to fire at the motorist’s pickup truck.
The Chiapas State Attorney General’s Office identified the fatal victim as Cristóbal ‘N’ and revealed that his body, which was found lying on the vehicle’s flatbed, showed signs that he had been struck by multiple bullets.
No arrests had been announced as of Monday afternoon.