JESÚS CARRANZA, Mexico (AP) – As North American leaders prepare to meet in Washington with migration as one of their central themes, migrants continue to move through Mexico through various avenues.
Some choose to do it in a visible way and in a group, like the caravan that continues to advance through the south, already with less than a thousand people. Others choose the clandestine routes controlled by the traffickers, as the nearly 200 people who authorities found crammed into a hotel in the north of the country on Wednesday apparently did.
The National Migration Institute (INM) indicated in a statement that 195 migrants, most of them Central American and including minors, were detected in Apodaca, a town on the outskirts of the city of Monterrey, overcrowded, “without food or water, in hotel rooms ”.
Eighty were from Honduras; 38 from El Salvador; 36 from Guatemala; 36 from Nicaragua; one from Cuba; one from Peru and three from the Dominican Republic.
The migrants, who were detected by the state prosecutor’s office, were placed under the guardianship of the INM, which in this type of situation usually keeps them in immigration stations or returns them to their countries of origin.
On the same Wednesday, also in the north of the country, the federal prosecutor’s office reported in a statement the location of 54 migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua who were apparently in captivity in three different homes in the city of Nogales, on the border between the states of Sonora and Arizona.
In recent weeks, the actions of detention of migrants who transit through Mexico irregularly have been accompanied by offers of regularization proposed by the INM to the members of the caravan, which has been walking through southern Mexico for almost a month. At one point it drew around 4,000 people.
After traveling almost 500 kilometers since they left the city of Tapachula on October 23, almost on the border with Guatemala, barely a thousand people remain, who on Wednesday spent the night in a community in the municipality of Jesús Carranza, in the state from Veracruz. The rest have been separating from the group or have accepted the government’s proposal.
“I’m going to trust them, I don’t want to keep walking anymore, I can’t. What I want is to work and, if it’s true, I’m going to take advantage of it, ”said Honduran José Luis Rodríguez, who hoped to obtain the regularization papers and find a job in Monterrey, where friends of his told him they needed labor .
Throughout Wednesday, while some groups got on truck platforms to move faster and others continued walking, approximately fifty migrants did the same as Rodríguez. According to the INM, more than 1,500 had accepted the proposal that members of the institute reiterate to them at each stop along the way.
“We are not going to return them to Tapachula,” Hector Martínez Castuera, the INM official who has been negotiating with the members of the caravan, guaranteed on Tuesday from the neighboring state of Oaxaca. “On behalf of the federal government, we reiterate what the National Migration Institute has been stating: One, regularize all pregnant women with their family nucleus; minors with their family nucleus; people in a vulnerable state and their family nucleus; the disabled and the elderly with their family nucleus ”.
The distrust, however, persists because the INM said that, in order to benefit from this proposal, the migrants had to be transferred to other states of the country.
Honduran Ingrid Linares, a trans woman, denounced that when she had come to accept the official offer, she had been mocked for belonging to the LGBT community, something that a migration agent acknowledged before the press cameras while apologizing and saying that she was he had been wrong to act like that.
The caravan, which was moving very slowly and under the watchful eye of the security forces, plans to continue walking north. Only on a couple of occasions have there been clashes with the agents.
Meanwhile, in Tapachula some migrants were preparing for the rumor that a new group could start walking on Thursday, just when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is scheduled to meet with his counterpart Joe Biden at the White House to talk, among other topics. , migration. At the Washington meeting will also be the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.
The Mexican government has been committed to containing migratory flows since the previous US government headed by Donald Trump, when López Obrador deployed thousands of members of the National Guard. Now the president hopes to make concrete proposals to invest in the development of the migrants’ countries of origin, although the contention continues. From January to October this year, the authorities detained more than 190,000 migrants, more than in all of 2019.