Hundreds of migrants in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula on Thursday protested against the slow pace of government visa approvals and threatened to form a fresh caravan that would head to the U.S. border.
The migrants, mostly from Haiti and parts of Latin America, have been stuck in Tapachula, in Chiapas state, while enduring lengthy waits for asylum and visa requests to be resolved.
The migrants protested outside the offices of Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) in Tapachula, near the Guatemala border, to demand documents that would regularize their stay in Mexico or let them cross without being detained.
“The disorder is being caused by (the authorities)….They are playing with us,” William, a young Salvadoran who identified himself as an organizer of the protest, told Reuters.
William, who declined to give his last name, said if there was no response the migrants would move out this week.
Amid pressure from Washington, Mexico has tried to stem large waves of migrants traveling in U.S.-bound caravans.
“It’s criminal they have us like this. There are many children. We are in the sun, without food, without a place to sleep. This is inhumane,” said a Venezuelan woman in the crowd.
Many migrants fleeing their homelands want to reach the United States. Others seek refuge and protection in Mexico.
Responding to the protest, the INM said in a statement that “there is no need for marches or demonstrations” in Tapachula for migrants to complete their paperwork.
Mexico was also considering stiffer laws for smugglers, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said on Thursday, after Guatemala’s Congress this week toughened prison sentences for human traffickers to up to 30 years.
“Yesterday there was communication with the Mexican Foreign Ministry, who asked us for the law so that they could try to toughen their penalties,” Giammattei said.
Mexico’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Subscribe here for just .08 cents per day to read subscriber content, join the PVDN newsletter, and browse with site ad-free. Support local news.
Trending news on PVDN
- International Space Station captures mesmerizing video of Puerto Vallarta from space Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – People in Puerto Vallarta got a chance to see the Bay of Banderas from space, thanks to the International Space Station’s external cameras that share video as it orbits the earth. Through their Twitter account, @ISSAboveYou, they shared a video of the space station orbiting above Puerto Vallarta and then passing…
- Government stops construction on four condominium developments in Puerto Vallarta for violations The Secretary of Environment (Semarnat) in Jalisco, Raúl Rodgríguez Rosales, reported that the government agency stopped the construction of four condominium developments in Puerto Vallarta for not complying with regulations.
- The age-old question: Is it safe to travel to Mexico? Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – A series of incidents, including taxi driver protests in Cancun while pulling Uber drivers and their passengers out of cars and beating them, and a stray bullet at the Culiacán Airport, have led foreign tourists to question whether it is safe to travel to Mexico, according to The New York Times.…
- 1st phase of Mexican solar project to be operating in April PUERTO PEÑASCO, Mexico (AP) — In April, Mexico plans to power up the first phase of a huge solar energy project near a beach town popular with tourists making the short drive from the United States. Once completed, the full $1.6 billion project will have a generating capacity of 1,000 megawatts — enough to power…
- At least 4,000 spring breakers expected in Puerto Vallarta this year Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – At least 4,000 spring breakers will arrive in Puerto Vallarta this year, bringing with them a significant economic benefit for the destination. This was confirmed by the manager of the office of the Municipal Tourism Directorate, Christian Preciado. “We bring around 4,000 confirmed spring breakers with the holiday period, they are…