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Migrants clash with security forces in southern Mexico

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, MEXICO (AFP) – Migrants travelling by foot in a caravan clashed with security forces on a highway in southern Mexico on Friday.

Several hundred foreigners, mostly from Central America, left the city of Tapachula near the border with Guatemala at dawn heading north towards the United States (US).

The caravan, bearing a large wooden cross at its head, managed to force its way through a first roadblock set up by security personnel in riot gear, television images showed.

Further scuffles broke out as migrants tried to ram their way through several rows of National Guard agents blocking their path with riot shields.

A number of migrants were detained while others handed themselves over to immigration authorities or fled.

US President Joe Biden’s arrival in the White House in January 2021 with a promise of a more humane approach towards migrants led to an increase in flows of undocumented foreigners fleeing poverty and violence.

While some pay traffickers to smuggle them in trucks, others prefer to join caravans undertaking the long journey on foot, enduring hunger, exhaustion and the cold.

Mexican security forces have dispersed a number of such caravans in the past.

National Guard members prevent migrants taking part in a caravan heading to Mexico City from going through on a highway in Tapachula, state of Chiapas, Mexico. PHOTO: AFP
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