Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Migrant caravan reaches central Mexico

Central American immigrants receive food at the Church Our Lady of the Assumption, in Puebla, Mexico, 6 April 2018. Around 1,100 immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, make up this caravan that will travel to Mexico City and then head north through the country. EFE

Puebla, Mexico, Apr 6 (EFE).- Dozens of Central Americans, primarily from Honduras, started arriving in this central Mexican city as part of a migrant caravan that will end its journey in Mexico City on April 9.

“They aren’t criminals, they are undocumented migrants who are looking for better opportunities,” Rev. Gustavo Rodriguez Zarate, the parish priest of Our Lady of the Assumption Church, told EFE, which is where the migrants will be staying during their three-day stopover in Puebla.

The caravan, made up of close to 1,100 migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, is headed to Mexico City, where many will end their journey while some will keep traveling north in search of the “American dream.”

The original plan had called for the whole group to travel all the way to the US border, but organizers abandoned that idea amid President Donald Trump’s heated rhetoric about the caravan.

The priest said that the migrants’ goal is to request asylum in Mexico or in the United States, as is their right according to international law.

With this in mind, Mexican and US lawyers were set to meet with the migrants to answer any questions and to explain how to apply for asylum in these two countries, Gina Garibo, director of the Pueblos sin Fronteras (Peoples Without Borders) association, said.

Rodriguez Zarate explained that the most important issue at the moment was to help the migrants feel comfortable and to give them food, shelter and information during their stay in Puebla.

“The main thing is to welcome them, to make them feel human after being mistreated and abused, and for them to have a space where they are recognized as fellow human beings and where food and workshops can be provided,” he said.