SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico – Some 2,000 migrants who have spent weeks in the Mexican city of Tapachula near the border with Guatemala set out before dawn Saturday on their way north to the United States.
The caravan, estimated to have set out on foot around 5:00 am, is made up of Salvadorans, Cubans, Haitians and some Africans, who were given no trouble by the authorities about undertaking the journey.
The foreigners passed in review before Federal Police, migration authorities and the National Guard at a station on the highway north.
The exact route they will follow is unknown but they could spend tonight in Huixtla, some 40 km (25 miles) north of Tapachula.
As has been mentioned previously, the plan of some of these migrants is to stop at Mexico City to ask President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to provide them with some kind of transport to reach the US border, their final destination.
This Monday the National Migration Institute (INM) announced the opening in Tapachula of an office for the awarding of migration documents that, once approved, will allow foreigners to remain in the country in an attempt to ease the pressure caused by the entry of migrants from Guatemala.
The purpose is to relieve some of the tension in the area.
For almost two months foreign migrants stranded in Tapachula have staged a number of protests demanding that the process of getting approval to migrate through the country to reach the United States be made easier.
The pressure has been particularly intense on African migrants, mostly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and Cameroon, who have clashed with Mexican security forces.
Last Oct. 2, migrants and members of Mexico’s National Guard got into scuffles in Tapachula after a cop supposedly assaulted and robbed an African.
Since October 2018 there has been a strong increase in the flood of migrants, mostly Central Americans, who come to Mexico from Guatemala for the sole purpose of reaching the United States.
Early last June, the United States and Mexico reached an accord on migration that avoided the first country imposing tariffs on every product imported from the second.
Based on that, Mexico deployed its National Guard to its northern and southern borders, which in recent months has led to a 58.7 percent reduction in the stream of migrants.