© Reuters. After being offered humanitarian visas by the Mexican government, migrants queue up to board buses at Tapachula in Mexico, November 25th, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
Jose Torres and Jose Luis Gonzalez
TAPACHULA (Reuters), Several hundred migrants gathered at Tapachula in southern Mexico have been bused to other countries by Mexican officials. This will reduce the likelihood of a caravan moving north.
Many migrants from Haiti and other parts of Latin America were held in Tapachula, Chiapas, while they waited for their asylum or visa applications to be processed.
Luis Carcia Villagran, an activist for migrants rights has called the city “prison” as it prevented people from leaving without documentation. Recent weeks saw two large groups of migrants leave Mexico in mass caravans that headed north. This was partly done to highlight their dire situation and get a reply from the Mexican government.
Tapachula was evacuated Wednesday night. 120 Haitian migrants were ferried from Haiti to Aguascalientes and Campeche on Thursday, according to an official of Mexico’s national immigration institute (INM).
According to the source, more migrants will be transported to Puebla, Guanajuato and other states. They can continue to file for their visas or asylum status, according to this person, who spoke under anonymity.
Tapachula official of INM Hector Martinez told migrants that there would be 20 buses leaving the city.
Officials had begun similar transfers of migrants in the town of Mapastepec in Chiapas on Tuesday https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/caravan-migrants-accept-mexico-visa-deal-disperse-2021-11-24, dissolving a caravan that had left Tapachula several days before. They agreed to be moved elsewhere by the migrants in return for Mexican visas.
Tapachula, Haitian Migrant Wilguenss Antoine claimed that although he was not sure where Mexican officials would be taking him, he felt relieved to have to leave Tapachula because he couldn’t pay his lodging costs or care for his family.
He said “I am happy because I’m going in another city to work for my family,” shortly before getting on a bus that was provided by officials from migration.
Villagran indicated that approximately 600 people will be moving out of Tapachula.
He said, “This is an option to prevent mass movements of Haitians and Cubans as well as all those who are ready to go tomorrow (in a caravan)”.
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