A refugee caravan with nearly 1,350 migrants from across the Central American region, has started Sunday a long, arduous journey from the city of Tapachula in the state of Chiapas on the Mexico-Guatemala border, to the United States to demand an end to the political corruption in their cities, and dignity and the right to asylum from Mexico and the United States.
Under the banner, "We are all Native Americans," migrant women, men and children from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras started the "Viacrucis Migrante 2018" to make their ordeals seen and heard.
The caravan "Migrantes en la Lucha" (Migrants in the struggle), which primarily includes people from Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, began their trip on Palm Sunday, and will be marching on foot in the state of Oaxaca where they are expected to meet with activists and other nationals who may join them on their trip.
The contingent comprises of children, newborns with their mothers, men, and women. The daunting journey takes a toll on mothers with their children who have to arrange for water, food, and shelter for the vulnerable section of the caravan.
"I do everything for my daughter, I know I will arrive with good, I am not afraid because I travel with many people. If something happens they will not let something happen to me," Blanca, a Salvadorean woman traveling with her two-year-old daughter, her brother and her mother, to flee gang violence from Mara Salvatrucha XIII and Barrio XVIII, said, according to El Sol De Hidalgo, a Mexican newspaper.
Through the mass mobilization, the group organizing the journey, 'Pueblo Sin Fronteras,' is demanding an end to gang violence, corruption between the police and governments, violence against women and the LGBTQI community, justice for the victims of domestic violence, and to the violence in the form of extortion and threats in the Central American countries the migrants hail from.
The group is planning to organize workshops between April 5 and 9 in the city of Puebla, Mexico, to help address legal issues or queries of the migrants as they embark on the journey.
"We will hope for the blessing of solidarity from the Mexican people and human rights organizations, who we hope will join our struggle and assist us with the supplies and resources that they have available."
We appreciate the support and collaboration of the people of Mexico and the United States. We hope to be an example of solidarity and struggle to the world," the group said in a statement.
From Mexico and the United States, the migrants are demanding open borders and asylum access, an end to deportations which destroy families, not terminate vital migrant programs such as the Temporary Protected Status, TPS, which has given access to people fleeing violence in Central American countries to the United States.