Thousands of migrants, mostly Venezuelans “trapped” in southern Mexico after the authorities of their country suspended the reception of flights to be returned to the South American nation, began a new caravan to the United States on Friday.
The migrants and their families, many of whom have waited for months for a permit from the Mexican government to transit without being detained, began the mobilization from the city of Tapachula, in the southern state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala.
“We feel trapped here, that’s why we have taken this measure (going in a caravan); I don’t know how we are going to do it, but we are going to find a way to get to the border, to the United States,” said Henry Cáceres, a Venezuelan migrant. while walking alongside thousands of others.
The arrival of Venezuelan migrants, who say they are fleeing violence and poverty in their country, has increased in recent months. At the end of January, Mexico began requesting visas from visitors from that nation, trying to stop undocumented migration by land to the United States.
“It has not been possible to return them because their government does not have the political will to admit assisted return flights,” Francisco Garduño, head of Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM), told Reuters on Wednesday.
The Venezuelan government did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for the status of returnee flights from Mexico.
The Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (Comar) published in its most recent report that the South American country became the fourth with the most asylum applications this year, with a total of 5,516 in the period from January to May.
“We feel trapped in Tapachula, they don’t want to give us any permission,” said Edwin Salazar, as he advanced carrying his little daughter on his shoulders. “I want to get to the United States,” he added.