Migrant camps overflow as Mexico cracks down

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 17, 2019 - Duration: 02:29s

Migrant camps overflow as Mexico cracks down

Amid pressure from Washington, Mexico is backpedaling on promises of better treatment for Central American migrants, leaving hundreds stranded in unsanitary camps near its southern border and allegations of irregular detentions.

Havovi Cooper reports.

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Migrant camps overflow as Mexico cracks down

When Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December - he handed out thousands of humanitarian visas to Central American migrants and promised them jobs.

But months later - Mexico's government appears to be backpedaling with many migrants telling Reuters they are stranded in legal limbo in Mexico... And fear unlawful detentions at deportation centers.

No where is the bureaucratic chaos more apparent than in the town of Mapastepec in Chiapas state- where hundreds of migrants from Honduras to Cuba are waiting for word on their Mexican visa.

Reuters Correspondent Delphine Schrank was there... SOUNDBITE: REUTERS CORRESPONDENT DELPHINE SCHRANK SAYING: "Several hundred migrants have been waiting under the searing sun, without food, without water, reliant on very scant handouts from locals and with no attention whatsoever from the migration officials.// I saw dozens of children, hungry, unwashed, people there told me there were more than 400 children.

Migrant and aid groups have collected together and also visited Mapastapec and reported on what they say is a critical humanitarian situation.

And they likewise express surprise that the MX govt.- for apparently neglecting the hundreds of migrants there and offering what they say is disinformation, not being very clear, whether they will offer visas." SOUNDBITE (SPANISH) MIGUEL SANCHEZ, HONDURAN MIGRANT WHO WORKED AS A DRIVER IN HIS COUNTRY, SAYING: "We come in peace and they should accept us.

There are many sick children, chidren with dengue, many starving children, people who are here without money to buy food" Mexico has been under intense pressure from the United States to stop the steady flow of migrants on its southern border..

And Mexico seems to be buckling under the pressure and cracking down… A Reuters review of data from Mexico's National Migration Institute or INM shows Mexico detained nearly 13,000 undocumented migrants for registration in March, up drastically from earlier in the year.

Despite the uncertainty, many migrants told Reuters- they preferred to wait to request legal status in Mexico- before continuing their journey in caravans.

Migrants who travel alone and without papers in Mexico are frequent prey for kidnappers and smugglers, in addition to risking detention or extortion by police.

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