A new caravan was started up, this time from the city of Tapachula in the state of Chiapas in eastern Mexico. But it didn't get far.
Mexico’s military police on Saturday [October 12] halted and turned back a caravan of up to 2,000 migrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America, hours after they embarked toward the United States, according to Reuters witnesses.
Mexico military police halt migrant caravan on its way to U.S., by Jose Torres, Jacob Garcia, Reuters, October 12, 2019
Good job. Looks like this deal Trump made with Mexico was a good one. Imagine that, using our foreign policy, with the threat of a tariff, to get Mexico to reduce the quantity of non-Mexicans arriving to our southern border.
Immigration-wise, the Deal with Mexico has turned out to be one of Trump's greatest successes in the field of immigration.
The migrants had departed before dawn from Tapachula in the southern state of Chiapas near Guatemala despite an ongoing crackdown on migration on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The group, including people pushing children in strollers, proceeded on foot about 19 miles (30 km) before being apprehended on the road in Huehuetan in the afternoon.
Around 500 members of Mexico’s National Guard military police in helmets and tactical vests blocked the highway on both sides, according to a Reuters witness, and some pursued migrants who fled into neighboring fields. Officials from Mexico’s national immigration institute detained most of the group, putting them on buses back to Tapachula. About 150 migrants decided to return on foot.
Activist Irineo Mujica of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, who accompanied the migrants, said only a small group opted to walk back on their own. “The vast majority were taken to Tapachula, the caravan was dismantled,” he said in a video documenting the incident.
Irineo Mujica is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Mexico, and Pueblo Sin Fronteras means People without Borders.
A Spanish-language article in Mexico's Milenio sported an almost comical title: Sólo 14 horas duró caravana migrante en Chiapas, which means "Migrant Caravan in Chiapas Only Lasts 14 Hours." [By Julio Navarro, Milenio, October 13, 2019.]
The article's lead photo shows the migrants in the vanguard (mostly black Haitians it turns out) stopped in their tracks by a phalanx of Mexican military police with shields.
Milenio reports that
The migrant caravan that departed in the early morning of yesterday [Oct. 12] from Tapachula, Chiapas, towards the United States only lasted 14 hours. Elements of the National Guard and the INM [Mexican immigration agency] stopped its advance and returned it to the Siglo XXI station [back in Tapachula].
Reuters reported that there were 2,000 in the caravan, "from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America". But Milenio says there were about 3,000 in the caravan, that they were Haitians and Cubans (and Central Americans, mentioned later in the article). It reports that the operation was carried out by the National Guard and Federal Police.
Some 3,000 Haitians and Cubans set out from the central plaza [in Tapachula] and at mid-day arrived to the municipio [administrative entity consisting of a city and the land adjoining it] of Huehuetan. Nevertheless, a few of them were straggling behind and migratory agents "rescued" them. Those who continued arrived later to Tuzantan, where other migrants stayed behind and surrendered to authorities.
In this municipio, 300 National Guard troops put up a barrier on the federal highway.
For 20 minutes, the Haitians remained in front of the police barrier and demanded that they be allowed through. But finally they turned around and went back to be detained...The caravan was dissolved without confrontations and injuries reported.
My congratulations to those who planned and carried out this operation. Good work. Good planning and good discipline.
Notice too that they let them walk about 20 miles before arresting them, maybe they were getting tired!
And remember those Africans I've written about in some recent articles? (See here and here). Where were they? Milenio reports that
Africans stuck for more than 56 days in Tapachula planned to join, nevertheless they preferred to stay outside the migratory station in hope of documents to travel through Mexico [to arrive to the U.S.].