Monday, June 24, 2024
32 C
Brunei Town

3,000 migrants block highway in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) – About 3,000 migrants from Central America, Venezuela, Cuba and Haiti on Wednesday blocked traffic on one of Mexico’s main southern highways to demand transit or exit visas to reach the United States (US) border.

The caravan of migrants set out on foot from the city of Tapachula, near the Guatemalan border, on October 30, walking north toward the US.

The contingent, including many women and children, later stopped walking at Huixtla, another town in the southern state of Chiapas, where they tried to get temporary travel documents to cross Mexico.

On Wednesday, the migrants blocked highway inspection booths just outside Huixtla.

Activist Irineo Mújica, one of the organisers of the march, said the blockade would continue, because migrants are afraid of criminals, smugglers and extortionists who could prey on them if they continue walking.

Many migrants would also prefer to take buses, but are often prevented from doing so if they don’t have papers. “We know we are causing discomfort for Mexicans, and we apologise,” Mújica said. “But the drug cartels are kidnapping us, killing us.”

Migrants on the highway in Huixtla, Mexico. PHOTO: AP

Honduran migrant Herson Fernández was traveling with his wife and three children; sobbing, he said they had run out of money.

“They (authorities) won’t give us an answer, they won’t give us documents,” Fernández said.

“The idea is to get to the US because there is a better future for the children, the truth is that we are doing it for them.”

But the Mexican government’s Refugee Aid Commission issued a statement late Tuesday pointing out that it does not issue transit visas.

The current caravan was among the largest since June 2022. Migrant caravans in 2018 and 2019 drew far greater attention.

But with as many as 10,000 migrants showing up at the US border in recent weeks, the October 30 march is now just a drop in the bucket.