Mexican security forces have stopped a caravan of close to 2,000 migrants after they crossed through Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. The group had hoped to eventually reach the United States.
This is just the latest action taken by Mexican authorities to crack down on flows of mainly Central American migrants hoping to pass through Mexico to reach the U.S.
The caravan, composed mainly of Central American, Caribbean, and African migrants, had made it about 20 miles north of the southern Mexican city of Tapachula when they were greeted by hundreds of armed federal police and National Guardsmen who blocked both sides of the highway, the Associated Press reports.
The migrants were then collected and placed onto buses which headed south back to Tapachula. About 150 migrants are said to have walked back on foot.
The event is a clear indication that U.S. President Donald Trump has succeeded – at least somewhat – in pressuring Mexican authorities to take action to control the immigration crisis.
“Mexico’s enhanced border security efforts along their southern border continue to have a dramatic impact on this regional crisis. I just returned from Mexico where we had collaborative discussions on stemming the flow of illegal migration throughout the region,” Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, announced on Sunday.
For years now, Tapachula has acted as a transit hub for migrants coming from Central America who are hoping to make the United States their new home.
Amado Ramirez, a Honduran migrant who’s been living in Tapachula waiting for transit papers to make his way to the United States, told AP: “I want to pass through Mexico, I don’t want to live here”.
Despite being free to leave Mexico and return to where they originally came from, most migrants remain hellbent on reaching the United States. This is led to clashes between Mexican authorities and groups of frustrated migrants.
In 2019, alone, more than 500,000 Central American migrants entered Mexico with hopes to make it to the United States.