Mexico closes border shelter for migrant caravan sparking protests

Saturday, January 5, 2019
By Paul Martin

MEXICO closed a migrant shelter in Tijuana, near the border with the US, sparking protests from caravan trying to enter America.

Sat, Jan 5, 2019

A two-story warehouse in a zone known for crime and prostitution near the US border was closed on Friday, with Tijuana officials citing sanitation as the reason why. Isain Venegas, a supervisor in Mexico’s public health system, said the shelter was overcrowded, poorly lit and lacked proper facilities for food preparation.

Officials told migrants, many fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras, they could move to a bigger shelter, run by the federal government, about seven miles from the border.

But dozens protested about the closure, saying they did not expect other sites to be any better.

Honduran migrant Reinerio Laine said: “Not one of the shelters in Tijuana has the conditions for them to keep us in.

“The authorities are tricking us.”

The migrants were joined by US activists, forcing federal and local police in riot uniforms to take formation at the entrance.

Others migrants walked to nearby shelters, while some waited for a bus to take them to the larger government-run facility.

Mexico’s president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has failed to talk about how he will improve the “deplorable conditions” for the migrants travelling thousands of miles across Mexico to the US border.

Maria Claros, 28, from Honduras said: “We had hoped that now with President Lopez Obrador he could see the conditions we’re in.

“They said he was going to help, but they’ve treated us worse than animals.”

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