On Monday, Mexican federal agents conducted a surprise raid on the rear-guard elements of a 3000-member migrant caravan in Pijijiapan, in the southern Mexico state of Chiapas. Approximately 500 of the group were detained and driven away in buses and will presumably be deported. The remainder, many of whom soon armed themselves with stones and sticks, fled and watched warily as the raid continued.
This reaction on the part of the Mexican federal government was quite different from the official posture earlier shown to Central American caravans, which had received support along with the offer of humanitarian visas.
The government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been feeling pressure to stem migration through its territory from the south, not only from President Trump but also from Mexican citizens, who have tired of the disruption caused by the migrants. On March 29, we reported here that federal officials were planning to secure their country at its narrowest point, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The town of Pijijiapan is near that point.
As usual, immigrant-friendly social organizations voiced opposition to any efforts to stop the migrant flow. Officials from Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission watched the raid but did not interfere.
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