Migrants heads to the state of Sonora, which borders the U.S. state of Arizona, a move that coincides with the bilateral decision to resume non-essential travel between Mexico and the United States.
A migrant caravan making its way through south Mexico for the past 17 days resumed its journey on Tuesday in the state of Oaxaca, deciding to forgo Mexico City and head straight to the U.S. border.
Irineo Mujica, director of immigrant rights group “People Without Borders” and a leader of the caravan, said in a video posted on social media that the caravan will no longer go first to Mexico's capital, as initially planned.
“We have tried everything legal to make the Mexican government really respect human rights, but they continue to treat us like animals. And for that reason we go to the northern border, to the state of Sonora, to a shelter where I am and everyone is welcome," he said.
The Central American migrants will head to the northern state of Sonora, which borders the U.S. state of Arizona, a move that coincides with the bilateral decision to resume non-essential travel between the two countries this week, though that decision applies to documented travelers. Mujica expects to be joined by another caravan in 10 days, and urged migrants in other parts of south Mexico to join the journey toward the U.S. border.
We are at @ACHSWashDC this morning speaking to young people about root causes of migration. “Our government makes us think that our Central American, African, and Haitian siblings leave for a dream. But that’s not true. They come because our governments keep us in poverty.” pic.twitter.com/wHlSIlY8fu— Migrant Roots Media (@MigrantRoots) October 18, 2021
The caravan, composed of some 4,000 migrants, mostly from Central America and Haiti, first departed on Oct. 23 from Tapachula City, which borders Guatemala, aiming to reach Mexico City to regularize migrants' immigration status before setting off for the U.S. border.
The Central American region is seeing an unprecedented exodus this year. Between January and August, Mexico reported over 147,000 undocumented migrants, triple the number in 2020, according to figures from the Mexican government.
Over the last years, due to poverty, unemployment, and insecurity, thousands of Central Americans have been trying to reach the U.S. The Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) registered a cumulative flow of 1.5 million undocumented migrants at the border until the end of the FY2021.