Caravan Interdicted in Southern Mexico

This posting is a follow-up to yesterday’s post “African Migrants Growing More Demanding in Southern Mexico,” which described a growing powder keg in southern Mexico of angry, demanding migrants, many of them “extra-continentals” from Africa.

Migrants from Intercepted Caravan Returning to Detention Center in Tapachula

We mentioned in that post the caravan of 2,000 that on Saturday illegally left the city of Tapachula where they were being hosted and headed north, with the U.S. as their ultimate destination. Aiming on the first day to reach the town of Huixtla, 25 miles north of Tapachula, they were intercepted at about the 20-mile point by hundreds of Mexican national guardsmen. The national guard blocked the highway while other guardsmen, federal police, and immigration agents began rounding up the caravan members.

Most caravanners boarded buses to return to Tapachula. Some scattered onto back roads and fields, with officials in pursuit. Exact numbers of either group are unavailable.

The fate of those apprehended is uncertain. On Sunday, they were taken back to Tapachula and placed in a migrant detention facility to await processing. The federal National Migration Institute said each case would be treated in a “personalized” manner, but at least some would be returned to their country of origin.

Responses from the left in Mexico were predictably hysterical. Although most accounts show officials handling the runaway migrants gently, a representative of the Fray Matías de Córdova Human Rights Center in Tapachula described the round-up as a “human hunt” and complained that the migrants had been allowed to tire before begin intercepted. He said taking the migrants back south was an “exercise in cruelty.”

A large percentage of the caravan were black, from Haiti and various African countries. A Haitian-born activist predictably suggested that the entire operation was racist. The Mexican government’s treatment of black migrants he called “shameful,” declaring, “Today the Afro-descendants are alone.”

For more, see Al Jazeera and KDWN.

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