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Caravan Migrants Persist Despite Rain, Cold in Mexico

Mexico, Nov 15 (Prensa Latina) Central American migrants who travel through Mexico in search of the border with the United States persist on Thursday despite intense rains and low temperatures that hit a large part of this country.

As soon as it stops raining, the second caravan of Central American migrants, housed at a stadium in Mexico City, will continue their journey north, according to the organizers' decision.

Those who remain ill will be supported by civil groups to get a bus ticket to Guadalajara, Jalisco, a state that will serve as a meeting point for those who can disperse.

Once the weather stabilizes, the Honduran delegation will leave the Jesus Martinez Palillo stadium in Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City, in Iztacalco, where a third caravan made up of Salvadorans also stays overnight.

Irineo Mujica, director of Pueblos Sin Fronteras, an organization that accompanies the Central American exodus, reported that the agreed route includes reaching Queretaro and then heading to Guadalajara.

He warned that, due to the high risk, they will avoid going through Guanajuato and Tamaulipas, with high rates of violence and kidnappings by organized crime.

In the meantime, Hundreds of Central American migrants travelling through Mexico to seek asylum in the US have reached the Mexican border city of Tijuana.

The group of 400, which includes LGBTQ migrants, broke away from the larger caravan of 5,000 people in Mexico City.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis said he would go to the US-Mexico border on Wednesday, his first visit since thousands of troops were deployed.

Larger groups are expected to arrive at the border in the coming days.

The 5,000 migrants, who say they are fleeing persecution, poverty and violence in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, have largely been making their journey on foot.

The splinter group, which reached Tijuana on Tuesday, did so aboard a fleet of buses.

They joined a smaller group of about 80 migrants who reached the border city on Sunday.

Many of the smaller group are LGBTQ, media reported, who say they parted ways with the main caravan after weeks of what they call discriminatory treatment by local residents and fellow travellers.

Undeterred by a harder US stance against them, the migrants have said they will continue the journey so that they can claim asylum.

The journey began from the city of San Pedro Sula in Honduras on 13 October - about 4,350km (2,700 miles) away from Tijuana.

Because the route poses a host of dangers, such as attack by criminal gangs, many of the migrants say they feel safer travelling in numbers.

Most previous migrant caravans have numbered a few hundred people, but after a former politician shared news of the planned caravan on Facebook, news of it quickly spread.

More than 1,000 Hondurans were the first to leave, and thousands more people have joined them from neighbouring Guatemala and then Mexico.

Under an executive order Trump issued last week, migrants who do not cross at official border posts will no longer be allowed to request asylum, and face automatic deportation.

However, official border crossings will probably only let them through in a trickle.

The United States says its asylum system is saturated, after requests increased by 2,000 percent in the past five years. There are currently 700,000 cases pending.

The European Commission urged the US not to send the migrants back to countries where they would be in danger.

“Every country in the world has every right to protect its borders and every country in the world has the obligation to do so in full respect of human rights,” said European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova.

  • Countries: Latin America

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