It’s a milestone achievement for members of the Central American migrant caravan, making their way north.
CGTN’s Alasdair Baverstock filed this report on the reception of migrants in Mexico City, the uncertain journey that remains ahead.
According to Mexican authorities, at least 2,000 of them have made it to Mexico City, where they are being housed in one of the capital’s stadiums. Many began the trek more than three weeks ago in Honduras.
For El Salvador native Brandon Garcia and his family, it has been an exhausting journey.
“We have been walking, paying for cars, hitchhiking, but mainly walking. But it has been hard. For example my son injured both his arms, my daughter got sick, very difficult,” Garcia said.
They are being housed in the Jesus Martinez ‘Palillo’ Stadium, where Mexican officials and charity workers are offering them a much needed chance to rest and recuperate.
“The vast majority of the migrants are arriving sick, tired and with blisters on their feet,” Ruben Rodriguez of the Mexican Red Cross said. “It has been a long road, and although some aid organizations have been here, it has been very difficult. A lot of people are presenting with respiratory and intestinal problems.”
But the caravan has not remained united. More members are expected to arrive here in the coming days. Still smaller groups trail hundreds of kilometers behind.
Although there is strength in numbers, some charitable organizations see that when it comes to crossing Mexico, it’s every man for himself.
“If groups fracture to the point that there is not enough people, there’s no safety, they do run the risk of kidnapping, of extortion, of control by the cartels,” Atenas Burrola, Legal Volunteer for Pueblo Sin Fronteras said. “However, the U.S. government is likely to come down very hard on anyone that they believe is a caravan member, and make it even harder for them to present their asylum claims. So, you just can’t win.”
While many of the migrants have applied for asylum in Mexico, the U.S. border remains the ultimate goal for most. They come despite clear warnings from the Trump administration that they’re not welcome in the United States.
The migrant caravan is expected to remain in Mexico City for at least a few days more, regaining their strength in what they see as the relative safety of the capital.
Soon the time will come to move on, and with more than a thousand kilometers to go to the nearest U.S. border, they’ll require every last bit of strength to get there.