In search of strength, migrants to the United States congregate in southern Mexico


TAPACHULA, Mexico, Nov. 18 (Reuters) – Groups of migrants from Haiti and Central America joined forces on Thursday as they left the southern Mexican town of Tapachula for the US border .

About 3,000 migrants had arrived in small groups near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala in recent weeks to rest, then continue their way north as part of a larger caravan.

About 150 people, mostly from Haiti, gathered in a park between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning to travel north, a Reuters reporter said.

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Members of another migrant caravan, meanwhile, also started moving forward Thursday from Tapachula where they had been waiting for months. They were bound for Veracruz after agreeing on meeting points through messaging apps and social media.

Ana Gomez, a 32-year-old Salvadoran, who was traveling with her three children, sister and niece, said she spent a month in Tapachula.

Although her destination is the United States, Gomez said she was not ruling out the possibility of staying in Mexico.

“I had to flee my country,” Gomez said, citing threats from criminals as the reason. “A month ago they came to our house and said if I didn’t deliver my daughter they would kill her.”

US authorities arrested more than 1.7 million migrants at the US-Mexico border during the fiscal year, the most on record.

Families put blankets on the floor to put the children to sleep, surrounded by backpacks, water bottles and food as the adults chatted.

The colorful perforated paper, a traditional decoration from the Day of the Dead festival earlier this month, was still in place; a street vendor with a yellow bicycle tried to sell snacks to migrants with little money to resell.

Haitians Adrian, 26, and his girlfriend Catiana, 24, who both declined to give their last names, said they spent two months in Tapachula.

“I went in search of a better life,” he said. “I’m almost out of money. I’m looking for work, but they tell me I must be Mexican or have a visa.”

His destination, he said, was Mexico City, where he hoped to find work.

The new caravan comes as leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada held talks on issues that also included measures to contain migration.

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Reporting by Jose Torres in Tapachula, Mexico, written by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Angus MacSwan

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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