Central American migrants, part of the caravan hoping to reach the U.S. border, dress with donated trousers due to the cold temperature while traveling during the night on a truck in Orizaba, Veracruz state, Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Central American migrants, part of the caravan hoping to reach the U.S. border, dress with donated trousers due to the cold temperature while traveling during the night on a truck in Orizaba, Veracruz state, Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Tired and angry, migrant caravan splinters in Mexican state

President Donald Trump has ordered U.S. troops to the Mexican border in response to the caravans

A 4,000-strong caravan of Central American migrants travelling through Mexico split up into several groups with one spending the night in a town in the coastal state of Veracruz and other migrants continuing toward the country’s capital.

The divisions came during a tense day in which tempers flared and some migrants argued with caravan organizers and criticized Mexican officials. They were upset that Veracruz Gov. Miguel Angel Yunes had reneged on an offer late Friday to provide buses on Saturday to leapfrog the migrants to Mexico City.

The migrants trekked to the town of Isla, about 700 miles (1,126 kilometres) south of the U.S. border, where several thousand stopped to rest, eat and receive medical attention. They planned to spend the night there before departing at 5 a.m. Sunday en route to the town of Cordoba.

But other migrants, mainly men and the younger members of the group, kept on walking or hitching rides toward Puebla and Mexico City. They hunkered down for the night in Juan Rodriguez Clara or Tierra Blanca farther along the route.

“We think that it is better to continue together with the caravan. We are going to stay with it and respect the organizers,” Luis Euseda, a 32-year-old from Tegucigalpa, Honduras who is travelling with his wife Jessica Fugon, said in Isla. “Others went ahead, maybe they have no goal, but we do have a goal and it is to arrive.”

READ MORE: 12 charged after protest of debate featuring ex-Trump aide Steve Bannon

Caravan organizers have pleaded for buses in recent days after three weeks on the road, hitching rides and walking. With the group scattered, some have raised questions about whether the caravan would stick together.

In a statement, the migrants lambasted Mexican officials for directing them northward through the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, calling it the “route of death.” A trek via the sugar fields and fruit groves of Veracruz takes them through a state where hundreds of migrants have disappeared in recent years, falling prey to kidnappers looking for ransom payments.

Authorities in Veracruz said in September they had discovered remains from at least 174 people buried in clandestine graves. Some security experts have questioned whether those bodies belonged to migrants.

Gerardo Perez, a 20-year-old migrant, said he was tired. “They’re playing with our dignity. If you could have only seen the people’s happiness last night when they told us that we were going by bus and today we’re not,” he said.

The caravan’s “strength in numbers” strategy has enabled them to mobilize support as they move through Mexico and has inspired subsequent migrants to try their luck via caravan.

Mexico faces the unprecedented situation of having three caravans stretched over 300 miles (500 kilometres) of highway in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Veracruz, with a total of more than 6,000 migrants.

On Friday, a caravan from El Salvador waded over the Suchiate River into Mexico, bringing 1,000 to 1,500 people who want to reach the U.S. border.

That caravan initially tried to cross the bridge between Guatemala and Mexico, but Mexican authorities told them they would have to show passports and visas and enter in groups of 50 for processing.

Another caravan, also of about 1,000 to 1,500 people, entered Mexico earlier this week and is now in Chiapas. That group includes Hondurans, Salvadorans and some Guatemalans.

The first, largest group of mainly Honduran migrants entered Mexico on Oct.

Mexican officials appear conflicted over whether to help or hinder their journeys.

Immigration agents and police have at times detained migrants in the smaller caravans. But several mayors have rolled out the welcome mat for migrants who reached their towns – arranging for food and camp sites.

Mexico’s Interior Department says nearly 3,000 of the migrants in the first caravan have applied for refuge in Mexico and hundreds more have returned home.

With or without the government’s help, uncertainty awaits.

President Donald Trump has ordered U.S. troops to the Mexican border in response to the caravans. More than 7,000 active duty troops have been told to deploy to Texas, Arizona and California ahead of the midterm elections.

He plans to sign an order next week that could lead to the large-scale detention of migrants crossing the southern border and bar anyone caught crossing illegally from claiming asylum.

__

Associated Press writer Amy Guthrie in Mexico City contributed to this report.

Sonia Perez D., The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Kelowna Toyota is located at 1200 Leathead Road. (BLack Press Media file)
Kelowna Toyota’s auto service department closed due to COVID-19 exposure

The dealership’s sales department is still open and is operating under regular business hours

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kelowna OK Tire closed due to COVID-19 exposure

The business will remain closed until May 11

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick summary of the stories that made an impact from May 3 to 5

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Most Read