Midterm elections: Mexico City receives first wave of 1,000 from migrant caravans

Monday, November 5, 2018
By Paul Martin

MORE than 1,000 Central American migrants hoping to seek asylum in the US have arrived in Mexico City and taken up temporary shelter at a sports stadium.

Mon, Nov 5, 2018

The first of the so-called migrant caravans reached the Mexican capital four weeks after setting out from the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula just as Donald Trump ordered thousands of troops to the Texas border where army units erected barbed wire fences.

The migrants, many fleeing gang violence and financial hardship in their home countries, bedded down at the stadium where local authorities provided medical aid and food.

Mauricio Mancilla, travelling with his six-year old son from San Pedro Sula, said: “We have faith in God that we will do this, whatever the circumstances.”

Thousands more Central Americans are heading north in groups in the Gulf state of Veracruz, the central state of Puebla and in the southern state of Chiapas.

Alejandro Solalinde, a Catholic priest and migrant rights activist, said: “This is an exodus. It’s without precedent.”

Mr Trump is putting pressure on Mexico to block the migrants and President Enrique Pena Nieto has offered temporary identification papers and jobs to those registering for asylum in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.

Mexico’s government said it was processing nearly 2,800 asylum requests and claims around 1,100 Central Americans had been deported.

At the capital’s famed shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe, a group of Mexican volunteers called out on bullhorns, offering migrants bus rides to the stadium.

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