Mexican federal forces have deployed along the dangerous migratory routes between the state of Tabasco (southeast Mexico) and the border with Guatemala, today closed to all non-essential activity, which forces migrants to seek new paths for fear of being caught.
“From here I send a message to my panas (friends): Don’t come, it’s very hard!” Evelio Aguilar told Efe today, while traveling with three more Hondurans with the plan to settle in the northern Mexican state of Monterrey, where he has his wife.
Amanda Quip has been helping migrants for 25 years in Las Palmas, another border municipality, and thinks that the deployment of hundreds of troops from the National Migration Institute (INM) and the National Guard – among other institutions – forced migrants to search new ways.
“Now we treated six people and a few days ago eight. (The volume) dropped considerably and it could be that they have changed their route, ”said the woman.
At this point, in 2020, thousands were still arriving in boats from Naranjo, Guatemala via the San Pedro River.
In La Esperanza, another town on the border, it is still possible to spot small groups of migrants, but not as often.
Raúl, a farmer from the area, tells Efe that he has recently seen groups of at most ten people crossing the border. Often they come to your house to ask for water.
The region has experienced a powerful wave of immigration to the United States since Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House in late January with his promise to carry out a more lax immigration policy.
US authorities detained 100,441 illegal immigrants in February, up from 78,442 in January.
Additionally, for the first time and after a year of pandemic, Mexico announced last week ground control for non-essential activities on its southern border, claiming that the spread of the coronavirus should be controlled.
And thousands of troops from different institutions have been deployed to control the arrival of migrants, after the arrest of 31,492 “irregular persons” so far this year.
In small cells, the migrants now take shortcuts and create their own routes through the jungle, pushed by the traffickers who are known there as “the bosses.”
The ranches in the area are invaded by groups of Central Americans in a desperate attempt to evade the National Guard, the Army and the National Migration Institute (INM), who are waiting for them on the roads below.
Men, women and minors hide during the day when the heat reaches or exceeds 38 degrees Celsius.
Later, they resume their journey in the afternoon and at night, when the federal forces pause their operations, which have intensified especially since last Wednesday.
On their trip to Tenosique, for three days, the undocumented rest under trees and drink water from wells.
Those migrants who want to avoid three days of hard travel can try to travel by bus, if they pay 1,500 pesos (about $ 71) for a trip of about 60 kilometers from El Ceibo to Tenosique, which for a Mexican costs 45 pesos (about $ 2.15). ), and also with the uncertainty of being able to be arrested at any time.
After a week on the road, at nightfall, the migrants take a shortcut on the new migratory route from the town of Chancala, an area that leads to Palenque, in the neighboring state of Chiapas, apparently free of operations.
The ultimate goal of most migrants is to reach the United States, and thousands of them have managed to arrive in recent weeks at border points in northern Mexico such as Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, Matamoros or Reynosa.
Many today sleep in shelters on the brink of collapse or in the streets and towns of these cities, often with high rates of violence.
In fact, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) of Mexico asked the authorities yesterday, Wednesday, to grant “urgent” humanitarian assistance to some 240 migrants who remain stranded in the city of Reynosa, in the border state of Tamaulipas.
On the 23rd, Mexico and the United States agreed to seek “orderly, safe and regular migration” amid a growing flow of Central Americans, political pressure in the United States and the Mexican claim for the vaccine against covid-19.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.