For months, thousands of African migrants have been gathering in the city of Tapachula in southern Mexico, where their trip north to the United States has been so far stymied by the Mexican government. Organized politically into the so-called “Assembly of African Migrants in Tapachula,” the more than 3000 men, women (many pregnant), and children are from Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, and others.
Judicial Watch reported last month that the Africans have become increasingly restive in southern Mexico and more demanding of their Mexican hosts. They blame the West for the impoverishment of their native countries, yet each has as his goal settlement in the dominant Western nation, the United States. They blame Mexico for “constant acts of racism and hostility” they claim to have endured, and they demand the “right” to travel north and enter the U.S. at will. They have staged periodic violent protests, in which they have fought hand to hand and hurled rocks at police, and they further demand that they suffer no “reprisals” for their violent behavior.
Tapachula, a city of 320,000, plays a reluctant host to many thousands more migrants in addition to the Africans, most of whom are from Central America. The Africans, however, are said to be by far the more violent and demanding. This morning, October 13, a caravan of 2,000 migrants, containing many Africans, set out from Tapachula in an illegal attempt to leave southern Mexico and eventually reach America. They made it 24 miles to Huixtla, Chiapas, where police and national guardsmen blocked their path and began rounding them up.
Central American migrants are typically repatriated back to their homelands, but Africans, who often come from countries without suitable infrastructure, are more difficult to deport.
Some African migrants, thwarted in reaching America over land, are attempting to reach it by sea. On Friday, a small boat carrying 11 Cameroonians capsized off the Pacific coast of southern Mexico. Two people drowned, one other was missing, and the remaining eight were taken into custody.
Tapachula and southern Mexico risk becoming a powder keg if the exodus of Africans continues.