Tapachula, Mexico, Thurs. Sept. 2, 2021 (EFE): Mexican authorities have broken up two northbound caravans of migrants, but a third with Haitian, Africans, Venezuelans and Central American migrants set out Wednesday from Tapachula near the border with Guatemala.
Several hundred men, women and children decided to take their chances on the road after spending days – in some cases, months – awaiting the processing of their applications to remain in Mexico or or transit the Aztec nation to reach the United States.
Neither the fate of the two previous caravans nor the heavy rain falling on the southern state of Chiapas were enough to outweigh the desperation of the Haitians, Venezuelans and Central Americans, many of them out of money after a lengthy stay in Tapachula.
The first group of migrants started out last weekend and traveled a few dozen kilometers before being intercepted by Mexican immigration officers and units of the National Guard.
The INM migration agency fired two of its officers for beating one of the migrants.
That violence prompted the United Nations to issue a statement Tuesday calling on Mexican authorities to respect the human rights of the migrants.
The second caravan was turned back without overt use of force.
On taking office in January, US President Joe Biden suspended predecessor Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, under which third-country nationals applying for asylum were required to await processing south of the border.
Though US courts have subsequently ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the program, news of the suspension spurred record numbers of migrants to make the dangerous journey across Mexico in pursuit of the “American Dream.”
In July, US authorities detained 212,672 undocumented migrants at the southern border, the highest one-month total in 20 years.