Central American caravan reaches Mexico chanting “We are international workers!”
22 October 2018
The caravan of more than 7,200 refugees escaping desperate poverty and rampant violence in Central America has successfully crossed into Mexico on its way to the United States. The caravan, which has taken on the character of a mass political demonstration, is mostly composed of Hondurans and includes about 2,300 children and 2,200 women.
With hundreds of miles behind them and hundreds of miles ahead, the migrants marched on Sunday toward the Mexican city of Tapachula in the state of Chiapas.
In spite of the scorching sun and military helicopters hovering overhead, the spirited caravan chanted, “Migrants are not criminals, we are international workers!” and “Why kill us? We are the hope!”
The 3.5-mile-long caravan, which departed as a group of about two thousand Hondurans from San Pedro Sula ten days ago, reached the Guatemala-Mexico border Friday. After they easily overran a fence set up by the Guatemalan authorities, they made their way across the Rodolfo Robles bridge and the port of entry into Mexico. However, they were tackled and attacked with tear gas by 400 Mexican riot police.
After the violent assault and as only a miniscule stream of migrants were being allowed in to begin applying for asylum, the caravan held discussions Friday night about the days or weeks they would have to wait and the high likelihood of being deported. Thus, the decision was taken to join the hundreds of others who had already risked crossing the Suchiate river into Mexico and to re-group at the central plaza in Ciudad Hidalgo, state of Chiapas.
Throughout Saturday, they crossed en masse….