Friday, 18 Jan 2019

1 migrant dies while 2nd group tries to force entry into Mexico

TAPANATEPEC, Mexico – Several thousand Central American migrants planned to resume their journey in southern Mexico before dawn, as the authorities of that country and Guatemala tried to stop the killing of a migrant in New Mexico. a border post.

On Sunday, as the gang of migrants was resting and reorganizing themselves in Tepanatepec, several hundred other people crossed the border fence in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, as did members of the caravan. Had done more than a week before. These migrants in conflict with the Mexican authorities have decided not to let the caravan grow or repeat itself.

The new group, whose members were called a second caravan, met on the international bridge leading from Tecun Uman to Mexico City. Guatemalan firefighters confirmed that a 26-year-old Honduran had been killed by a rubber bullet hitting his head.

Last Sunday at a press conference, Mexican Secretary of the Interior, Alfonso Navarrete Prida, denied that his country's forces were responsible.

He said the Mexican federal police and immigration agents had been attacked with stones, glass bottles and fireworks when migrants had crossed a door on the Mexican side, but that 39, none of the officers were armed with firearms or any object that could fire rubber bullets. Navarrete said some of the attackers carried firearms and incendiary bombs.

"Mexico does not criminalize undocumented immigration," he said.

Also on Sunday, about 300 Salvadorans left San Salvador in the hope of traveling to the United States as a group.

At the same time, some of the original caravan's migrants, estimated at 4,000 people, sat Sunday in the shade of tarpaulins stretched out on the town square or picked up garbage in Tapanatepec, which has 7,500 inhabitants. Others got soaked in the nearby Novillero River.

Tensions caused by a long hike by overwhelming heat, as well as by fragile supplies of food and other goods, spread throughout the night from Saturday to Friday, when a dispute over a food product line escalated into disrepair. fight. Many in the caravan have been on the road for more than two weeks since the formation of the group in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Raul Medina Melendez, security officer for the tiny municipality of the state of Oaxaca, said the city was distributing sandwiches and water to migrants camped on the central square on Saturday night when A man with a megaphone asked people to wait their turn.

Some launched insults at the man with the megaphone and then attacked him, said Medina. The police rescued the man while he was beaten and took him to the hospital for treatment, although his condition was not immediately clear.

On Sunday, several in the caravan took pickups to denounce the attack.

"Is this the way we will always behave?" Asked a woman from Honduras.

Others have complained that hikers smoke marijuana or have warned that images of garbage and uneaten food made them look disrespectful.

The group planned to travel Monday morning to Niltepec, 54 km northwest of the state of Oaxaca.

The caravan has yet to travel 1,600 kilometers to reach the nearest US border crossing point in McAllen, Texas. The trip could be twice as long if the migrants were heading to the border between Tijuana and San Diego, as had another caravan earlier this year. Only about 200 people from this small group managed to get to the border.

Most of the migrants in the caravan appeared determined to reach the United States, despite offering refuge in Mexico.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday launched a program called "You're at Home", which promises shelter, medical care, education and jobs for Central Americans who agree to stay in Chiapas or Oaxaca in southern Mexico far from the US border.

Mexico's Interior Minister said Sunday that temporary ID numbers had been assigned to more than 300 migrants, which would allow them to stay and work in Mexico. The ministry said that pregnant women, children and the elderly were among those who had joined the program and were now being cared for in shelters.

He said 1,895 had applied for refugee status in Mexico.


Sonia Perez D., Associated Press writer in Guatemala City contributed to this report.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, disseminated, rewritten or redistributed.


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