Despite increasing fatigue, Honduran migrants continued on Thursday in southern Mexico, heading for the United States, which is preparing to deploy 800 troops to the border to stop them.
Thousands of Hondurans, fleeing violence and misery in their country, left at the dawn from Mapastepec towards Pijijiapan, in the state of Chiapas, which they reached in the afternoon after seven hours of walking.
“Yes, we got there! “shouted one man after arriving in town of 5000 inhabitants.
Others, who had been able to get on trucks for the stage, had preceded them and relaxed playing football or washing in the river.
The “caravan” must still travel more than 3000 km to reach the US border, which should take him about a month and a half, according to their calculations.
“The only thing I’m afraid of is that they send us back to Honduras,” Angel Josué Flores, a 20-year-old bricklayer, told AFP, while a federal police helicopter flew over the migrants at low speed. altitude.
Alejandra Lopez, 28, was working at a textile company in San Pedro Usula, when her husband was killed six months ago by the criminal Mara gang.
“They wanted our house,” says the young woman, who travels with her four children, including a two-year-old.
The majority of migrants walk on a path along the Mexican Pacific coast, some carrying children on their shoulders, some even in wheelchairs.
“I need surgery, I want to do it in the United States because in my country nobody helps me,” says Sergio Caceres, 40, in a wheelchair that pushes a friend met in the caravan. He hopes to find on the other side of the border two sisters who regularly send him money to subsist.
The UN estimates that about 7,000 people are part of the caravan that left Honduras on Oct. 13. Migrants progress en masse for security reasons on a journey they know to be dangerous.
“We want to arrive safe and sound. We know that this country is dangerous, but in Honduras, it’s even worse, they kill for nothing, “says 27-year-old José Anibal Mejia, while advancing on the road with her eight-year-old daughter.
“All Hondurans who are here want to live the American dream,” he says.
800 US military
In the middle of the campaign for the mid-term legislative elections, US President Donald Trump has been storming these migrants for several days, denouncing an “assault”.
“The laws adopted by the Democrats make it difficult for us to stop people at the border,” tweeted Mr. Trump on Thursday.
“I send the army for this national emergency. They will be stopped! “, he added.
The Pentagon has to deploy 800 troops to the border with Mexico, to provide logistical support, said Thursday to AFP two US officials.
These regular army troops, which could be sent from several military bases in the country, will strengthen the more than 2,000 National Guard reservists already there since the spring.
Reinforcements will include doctors and engineers and will mainly provide logistical and material support, including tents and vehicles.
US Defense Minister Jim Mattis will formalize Thursday or Friday the new deployment, said a Pentagon official.
Bill Speaks, the Navy spokesman, said the Department of Defense was currently working with the Department of Homeland Security “to determine the details of our support” at the border authorities.
The US president had earlier threatened to cut aid to Central American countries that did not block these migrants and criticized the Mexican authorities for their passivity.
After trying to stop the caravan on the border with riot police, Mexico is now moving the “caravan” on its floor, sometimes escorted by federal police and watched from helicopters.
“Mexico does not have to do the dirty work for the United States,” said former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda on Tuesday night.
According to the Mexican government, 1743 people in the caravan have lodged an asylum claim in recent days.
More than 1,500 children are in the column, according to humanitarian associations.
Theo Smith graduated from New Mexico State University with a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior & Health Care Management. Theo grew up in Los Angeles, but moved to Las Cruces for college. Theo has written for several major publications including the Albuquerque Journal and NPR. Theo is a community reporter and also covers stories important important to all Americans.