World 09-11-2018

Migrant Caravan agrees to leave Mexico City for the US

The giant caravan of Central American migrants seeking to reach the United States agreed on Thursday night to resume its march on foot to the north after spending almost a week in Mexico City and after failing to get buses.

In an assembly held at a sports center in the Mexican capital, where the mayor's office set up a shelter, the participants, mostly men, voted to travel to the central state of Querétaro on the border with the United States.

"We left at 0500 (1100 GMT) to Queretaro," shouted Honduran journalist Milton Benitez, who travels in the caravan that began arriving in parts of the Mexican capital since last weekend.

The shelter, according to a count of the mayor's office, has reached more than 5,500 migrants, mostly Hondurans, who left their country on October 13 and have already traveled more than 1,500 km, much on foot.

Some 200 migrants demonstrated Thursday at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Mexico City to demand that they provide 150 buses, but their demand was not answered.

The migrants have climbed into vehicles, mainly cargo, in some sections of their journey, but after a Honduran died when falling in the state of Chiapas, the federal police that follows the journey of the caravan prevents them from hanging on trucks.

The route was also discussed in the assembly. The one that goes to the Tijuana border, 2,800 km from Mexico City, in the extreme northwest of the country, is the longest but also the safest.

While the one that goes to the border state of Tamaulipas, bordering the Gulf of Mexico, is shorter but also the most dangerous due to the presence of drug cartels. In 2010, 72 migrants were killed in this state.

"We mothers, we have children, we tell them that the safest route is Tijuana, there are many who want to go the other way because they do not have children," said one woman in the assembly.

The migrants who travel in this caravan, which is followed by two more with about 2,000 people each, are determined to reach the United States despite President Donald Trump's warnings that they will be prevented from entering, and the deployment of some 4,800 military personnel. Americans on the border with Mexico.


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