Central America Migrant Caravan

COMING THROUGH

Members of a US-bound migrant caravan stand on a road Saturday after federal police briefly blocked their way outside the town of Arriaga.

TAPANATEPEC, Mexico — The Mexican gov­ernment seems torn between stopping several thous­and Central American mi­grants from traveling toward the U.S. border in a caravan or burnishing its inter­national human rights image.

On Saturday, more than a hundred federal po­lice dressed in riot gear blocked a rural highway in southern Mexico shortly be­fore dawn to encourage the migrants to apply for refugee status in Mexico rather than continuing the long, arduous journey north. U.S. President Don­ald Trump has urged Mex­ico to prevent the caravan from reaching the border.   

Police let the caravan proceed after representatives from Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission convinced them that a rural stretch of highway without shade, toilets or water was no place for migrants to entertain an offer of asylum. Many members of the caravan have been traveling for more than two weeks, since a group first formed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Not long after the caravan resumed the trek north Saturday, gov­ernment officials were seen for the first time directly helping the migrants by giving rides in trucks and providing water along the scorching highway.

Martin Rojas, an agent from Mexico’s migrant pro­tec­tion agency Grupo Beta, said he and his fel­low agents planned to use agen­cy pickup trucks to help stragglers catch up with the caravan.

“There are people faint­ing, there are wounded,” said Rojas, who spoke to The Associated Press after dropping off a group of women and children in Tapanatepec, where the caravan planned to spend the night. Rojas trans­ported the group to their destination after spotting them on a high­way trudging through temp­er­atures approaching 104 degrees.

Most of the migrants in the caravan appeared determined to reach the U.S., despite an offer of refuge in Mexico.

Mexican President En­rique Pena Nieto launched a program on Friday dubbed “You are home,” which prom­ises shelter, medical at­ten­tion, schooling and jobs to Central Americans who agree to stay in the southern Mexico states of Chiapas or Oaxaca.

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(1) comment

Jimzan

Torn.....OK lets cut funding for Mexico..maybe then they can chose a side.

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