Friday, April 17, 2015

Mexico warns migrant marchers that all undocumented persons will be deported to their home country-Latin American Herald Tribune

4/16/15, "Migrants March toward Mexican Capital amid Heavy Security Presence," EFE, Latin American Herald Tribune, Mexico City

"A caravan of 290 migrants led by Rev. Alejandro Solalinde left the southeastern Mexican town of Ixtepec on a journey to Mexico City, a march being closely monitored by police, the activist priest told Efe.

After departing on Wednesday morning, the group covered a distance of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) to El Espinal, a hamlet just outside Juchitan de Zaragoza. Numerous security forces were deployed between those latter two towns in Oaxaca state.

On April 10, the Mexican government notified Solalinde that any undocumented foreigners marching in the caravan will be deported.

Authorities also established checkpoints on the roads leading out of Ixtepec and have sought to impede the protest march since last week.

Solalinde told Efe last Saturday that President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration was trying to “neutralize” his work as an advocate for migrants’ rights, while representatives of the London-based human rights group Amnesty International expressed concern for the safety of the march participants and met with them on Tuesday.

The caravan was able to depart Ixtepec by taking an alternative route to Juchitan, avoiding roads that would have taken them to the Gulf coast state of Veracruz or the city of Oaxaca.

Even so, police relocated to the caravan’s new destination and positioned themselves at the entrance to Juchitan, according to Solalinde, who said the migrants are tired but in good spirits.

The priest said those walking in the caravan – known as the Via Crucis, or Stations of the Cross, march because it draws a parallel between the suffering Jesus endured and the ordeal experienced by migrants – still plan to make their way to Mexico City.

Meanwhile, the National Migration Institute, or INM, said in a statement that it has offered to get foreign participants in the caravan in contact with consular representatives who can assist them in returning to their home countries.

An estimated 300,000 Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.

The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.

Gangs kidnap, rob and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican officials say." via Lucianne


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