Mexico. A new migrant caravan of about 2,500 people is making its way through southern Mexico, headed for the US border, facing greater heat – and a much cooler welcome – than last year’s caravans.
The caravan walked past the city of Huixtla in the southern state of Chiapas on Monday, but police were lined up to keep them moving along a highway outside the town, and did not let them enter – a contrast to last year, when caravans were allowed to stay in the city center.
The city said in a statement that it offered water and medical help to the caravan of 2,466 people, mainly from Nicaragua, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. It said the caravan included many children, and some were suffering in the area’s near-100F (39C) heat.
Such caravans aren’t getting as a warm a welcome as they did last fall, when local governments and church groups handed out food, water and clothing, and police sometimes helped the migrants get rides.
Activists said that the Mexican government was trying to wear the caravans out, or stop them from trying to reach the United States.
This year, the Mexican government abruptly stopped issuing “humanitarian” visas at the border with Guatemala. The visas had given migrants legal status while they made their way to the US border.