Mexican authorities find more than 400 migrants in trailers

Mexican authorities on Friday discovered more than 400 migrants passing through the country in the back of two semi-trailers, not far from where two caravans of migrants were more visibly, and slowly, en route north.

The migrants were held by authorities in a walled yard until federal immigration officials could retrieve them.

“There were more than 400,” said Tonatiuh Hernández Sarmiento, of the Veracruz Human Rights Commission, after visiting the migrants.

“Some were very dirty, covered in mud, I imagine because of the conditions of the containers… the overcrowding. I imagine that because of the heat, they were really wet. There were children, pregnant women and the sick among them, he said.

As caravans of hundreds of migrants marching together by day on highways attract more attention, the clandestine flow of migrants paying smugglers for direct trips to the US border continues.

Leaders from Mexico, the United States and Canada discussed immigration at meetings in Washington on Thursday at the North American Leaders’ Summit. Their statements after the meetings were positive and upbeat, but light on the details.

The three countries have agreed to increase avenues for legal migration, for example with more visas for temporary workers. They also pledged to expand access to protection status for migrants and tackle the causes that push them to migrate, but did not offer specific numbers or time frames.

“It was not something substantial, I see it as stagnant, there is no progress,” said Alejandra Macías, director of the non-governmental organization Asylum Access Mexico. Maureen Meyer, vice president for Latin American affairs at the Washington Office for Latin America, a human rights organization, said their reaffirmation of the rights of migrants and asylum seekers is positive, “but Actions on the ground, particularly in Mexico and the US-Mexico border, continue to violate migrants’ rights, deny them access to protection, and allow crimes and human rights violations to occur with impunity. The migrant caravan currently in Veracruz is the first to have made progress so far in the past two years, as since 2019 security forces have stopped and disbanded the caravans.

This time, the Mexican government used the offer of humanitarian visas to decrease the number of the caravan as it slowly made its way north, but some remained suspicious and continued to march. Some migrants who received the documents said they were swept away by northern authorities and returned to Tapachula near the Guatemalan border.

This is why Abel Louigens from Haiti decided to join the caravan that left Tapachula on Thursday with some 2,000 other migrants. “They give you a paper, but only for Tapachula,” he said. “You can’t travel all over Mexico, you can’t take a bus to look for work, but in Chiapas there is no work.” He said he would settle wherever he could find work in Mexico and only enter the United States legally. “I can’t risk them sending me back to my country.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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