Hundreds of migrants begin to ‘self-deport’ back to Central America as TB, chicken pox and lice become endemic at squalid Tijuana sports complex with only 35 portable toilets and nine showers – sheltering 6,000 people

Thursday, November 29, 2018
By Paul Martin

Hundreds of Central American migrants are beginning to turn back home rather than continue to stay in the filth-strewn Benito Juarez sports complex in Tijuana, Mexico
Tijuana’s Health Department revealed on Thursday that some migrants are suffering from tuberculosis, chickenpox, skin infections, and there have been four confirmed cases of HIV/AIDS
Mexican officials revealed that around 200 migrants volunteered this week for repatriation, with more than a hundred having already flown home from Tijuana’s airport Monday
Salvadoran Clara Daniela, 17, told DailyMail.com: ‘The smell is so bad. There is no privacy for women when you take a shower,’ adding, ‘We will try to stay for now but it’s becoming more and more tempting to go’
She revealed organizations have been facilitating trips back home for those who have ‘had enough’ by sending them on buses to get a flight
DailyMail.com counted 35 porta potties for the thousands of residents, many overflowing with excrement and with no means for the migrants to wash their hands
There were nine open air showers divided into three blocks, with one designated for female migrants who use blankets as a makeshift screen for a degree of privacy

By BEN ASHFORD
DAILYMAIL.COM
29 November 2018

These are the hellish conditions that are driving members of the Central American migrant caravan to finally turn their backs on their US dream – by ‘self-deporting’.

Despite traveling as much as 4,500 miles – much of it on foot – hundreds of migrants have already accepted free flights home rather than stay longer in the filth-strewn sports complex that has become their temporary home in Tijuana, Mexico.

Lice and respiratory infections are becoming endemic inside the Benito Juarez sports complex and health workers warn that it’s a matter of ‘when, not if’ an outbreak of serious disease sweeps the scruffy labyrinth of tents and tarps sheltering an estimated 6,000 people.

Tijuana’s Health Department revealed on Thursday that there are cases of migrants suffering from tuberculosis, chickenpox, skin infections, and there is now a risk of an hepatitis outbreak due to the squalid conditions.

So far, there have been three confirmed cases of tuberculosis, four of chickenpox, and four cases of HIV/AIDS.

The tumbledown facility a hundred feet from the Mexico-US border has become the last refuge for members of the snaking human convoy who fled gang-plagued Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador around six weeks ago, igniting a political storm and prompting President Donald Trump to send US troops to the border.

But with Trump’s continuing tough rhetoric and US immigration ‘metering’ the number of asylum applications to between 40 and 80 cases per day, the reality of having to spend weeks or even months camped out on blankets and rags in a fetid limbo is hitting home.

Mexican officials revealed that around 200 migrants volunteered this week for repatriation, with more than a hundred having already flown home from Tijuana’s airport Monday.

A further 98 were forcibly removed after Sunday’s violent clashes at the border when US agents were accused of firing tears gas on a crowd of migrants, including kids.

Clara Daniela, 17, fled El Salvador when her cousin was killed for refusing to join a gang, traveling for 45 days with her partner Jose Hernandez, 25, and one-year-old Fernando, to reach Tijuana.

‘We sleep in the open. It’s very cold at night. We can’t even make a tent as there is nothing to attach it to,’ she told DailyMail.com.

‘The smell is so bad. There is no privacy for women when you take a shower.

‘There are organizations here helping people who have had enough to go home, they take you on a bus and put you on a plane – it’s easy.

‘We will try to stay for now but it’s becoming more and more tempting to go.’

Honduran national Fanny Roxana Pavon, 25, has been on the road five months but her priority is the health of five-year-old daughter Elizabeth Munoz.

‘The bathrooms are terrible. The camp is a bad environment for children and there is so much dust. And if it’s bad now, wait until it rains,’ she told DailyMail.com.

The Rest…HERE

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