Among the 15,000 walkers there would be entire families, pregnant women, mothers with children and adolescents, as well as men alone or with their children. According to the media, the number of South Americans, Caribbeans and Africans stands out.
A massive caravan with thousands of migrants from different countries started this Monday from Tapachulas, in the state of Chiapas, in southern Mexico, with the purpose of reaching the northern border, which borders the United States. Meanwhile, the latter country is hosting this week the IX Summit of the Americas, an event that has migration among its priority issues.
According to various media reports, it is estimated that the number of members of the caravan, which came out with banners with messages such as “we are migrants, not criminals” , there would be between 10,000 and 15,000 people, which would make it the largest recorded to date.
Luis García Villagrán, activist of the Center for Human Dignification and one of the defenders of the massive initiative, He said in a public speech that the departure occurred this Monday because the National Institute of Migration (INM) of Mexico would have executed police operations in hotels and houses to detain migrants.
“We are going to leave Tapachula peacefully, until God tells us how far we are going to go,” said Garcia, who added that by last Wednesday they had 11,000 registered participants, all of whom they were waiting for several months and in a street situation to be granted the documentation they require to travel within Mexico.
The activist criticized the government because, according to what he said, the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (Comar) maintains “a plug” on the southern border, where they would be trying to block the thousands of people trying to reach the United States. He also warned that if There is an immediate response from the authorities, the number of migrants stranded in Tapachula could reach 200,000. in a few months.
“In Tapachula there are some 50,000 stranded migrants“, assured García, and indicated that this high concentration of people generates problems there, since the city does not have job offers for migrants, nor does it have enough places to give them a “dignified stay”. .
“Humanitarian visa immediately”
For that reason, Garcia asked to the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on behalf of the thousands of migrants, to attend to these people and grant them an “immediate humanitarian visa, valid for one year“, because they can no longer wait until they die of hunger or victims of the hatred unleashed by xenophobia in Tapachula.
The non-governmental organization Save The Children reported Monday that it is “monitoring the situation”, especially to prevent “the safety of children and adolescents.” Meanwhile, the local media TV Azteca reported that those who participate in this march come from Central American, South American, Caribbean and African countries
In early June, Comar detailed that until May 2022 it had received 48,981 applications from migrants who declared themselves in “refugee status”, a figure that according to Andrés Ramírez, head of the entity, “represents 20.24% more” than that registered in the same period of 2021.
According to data disclosed by Comar, the The majority of those requesting refugee status come from Honduras, Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Brazil, Senegal and Colombia, among other countries. Slightly more than 73% of these requests were made in the state of Chiapas.