VIDEO: African migrants raft cross Mexico border — with no National Guard in sight

Thursday, June 27, 2019
By Paul Martin

JUNE 27, 2019

It’s business as usual at the busiest border crossing between Mexico and Guatemala, where rafts of African and Central American migrants continue north unabated across the Suchiate River.

“Just watched 2 groups of Africans from Congo and Angola cross illegally into Mexico from Guatemala across the Suchiate River on tube rafts,” The Epoch Times’ Charlotte Cuthbertson posted along with a video on Twitter. “8 men, 4 women, 6 kids.”

The video captured a typical morning along the river, with smugglers using push poles and inner tubes fastened together with rope and plywood to escort groups of migrants across. The makeshift ferry service continues to run “all day long between the two countries,” Cuthbertson reports, with goods like coffee and black market Corona crossing back into Guatemala.

For years the mass migration involved mostly Central Americans in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, but the demographic has shifted sharply in recent months with migrants from across the world, and Africa in particular, now exploiting the illegal route through Mexico.

Officials at the Mexican immigration center in Tapachula, the first north of border, are getting up to 500 new illegal immigrants per day, on average.

“Normally, the majority of the people are from Central America,” Eduardo Gallardo Gonzalez, secretary of the municipal department in Suchiate, told Cuthbertson. “But, now we are also seeing Haitians and Cubans. The majority of them cross the river on a tube raft or wade across, then they walk 40km to Tapachula.”

Through the first four calendar months of 2019, Mexican immigration officials apprehended 1,800 from Africa, 554 from India, 393 from Bangladesh, 1,000 from Haiti, and nearly 2,000 from Cuba – a trend locals contend is undoubtedly spawned by the large, high-profile migrant caravans.

“Eight months ago, because of the caravan, the migrant flow went up steeply,” Herbert Ivan Alayn Ortega, a municipal council member in Guatemala. “We as a border city here in Tecun Uman, we have always lived with the migrant situation. We have seen people from India, Asia, of many nationalities – besides the Central American people we see all the time.”

What’s not visible on the border is the 6,000 National Guard troops Mexican officials promised to deploy to stop the flow north, a key to an agreement with President Donald Trump to avert threatened tariffs.

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