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  • Central American migrants near the Belen shelter, Tapachula City, Mexico, May 27, 2020.

    Central American migrants near the Belen shelter, Tapachula City, Mexico, May 27, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 28 May 2020
Opinion

Shelters decided to avoid overcrowding and suspended the admission of new guests.

Hundreds of Central American migrants are going through situations of poverty and high risk of contracting COVID-19 while wandering the streets of Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico.

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In this municipality, humanitarian shelters decided to avoid overcrowding and suspended the admission of new guests from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala

This decision left migrants stranded in Tapachula homeless as they hope to resolve their immigration procedures or continue to the United States.

"We are having a hard time, we have nowhere to sleep, we have nothing to eat," Alberto Garcia, a migrant from El Salvador, said.

The Belen shelter, which is one of the resting places near the Mexico-Guatemala border, closed its doors a month ago because it cannot house so many people. Neither has it received public support to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.

In the surroundings of this lodge, however, migrants use a mango tree's shade as a refuge. Eduardo Mendez, a migrant from Honduras who travels with his family, related that the coronavirus pandemic has left them without job opportunities.

"Without a legal document, we cannot do anything... we cannot move anywhere else, either, " he regretted.

The inhabitants of San Antonio Cahoacan neighborhood denounced that the migrants do not have minimal sanitary conditions and sleep on the street.

"This situation is inhumane. No one should be treated that way when allowed to enter the country," Anaya Interiano said and asked the National Institute of Migration (INM) to help Central Americans.

In order to survive, the migrants are fishing for small fish or crabs in a nearby stream and preparing them on a makeshift grill made of stones and rods.

In Mexico, migration increased since October 2018 when caravans with thousands of Central American migrants entered the country to reach the United States.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began in Mexico, riots have occurred in some migratory centers due to a lack of conditions.​​​​​​​

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