Two Migrants From Cameroon Drowned Off The Coast Of Chiapas As Mexico Continues To Crackdown On Caravans
Mexico and U.S. relations is a tricky and complicated mess — as history shows, it’s always been that way. These days, however, the concerns of these neighboring countries lie mainly on migration and border security. The surge of Central Americans migrants has put a strain on the U.S. and Mexico. And, it’s not just Central Americans that are making their way to the Mexican border with hope of reaching the U.S. There are also migrants coming from Cuba, Haiti, and Africa. So, what was once an issue between Mexico and the United States, is now concerning migrants from various parts of the world who are fleeing their native countries.
Last week as Mexico’s national guard continues to block migration into their country, at least two people from Cameroon drowned off the coast of Puerto Arista in Chiapas, Mexico.
The dead bodies washed up to shore after a small boat capsized on Oct. 11 that left two dead and two others missing. The rest of the migrants (six men and one woman) were rescued, AZcentral.com reports. All migrants were from “a country that has seen a growing exodus of refugees amid an increasingly violent conflict between its French- and English-speaking communities,” Voa News reports.
Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a migrant advocacy organization, said that hostile Mexican forces broke up the caravan, but resulted in many fleeing toward the mountains.
“Yesterday morning, a caravan of migrants of many different nationalities left from Tapachula on foot, Pueblo Sin Fronteras stated on Facebook. “In the afternoon, the Mexican government, with a very large number of the national guard and the national institute of migration, blocked their passage, arrested many of its members, and dismantled it, sending many migrant families to hide in the mountain. The deployment of the military was like a full-fledged operation, but in reality it was to hunt migrants, women, girls, boys and men migrants, migrants who do not want to stay in Mexico, who do not take anything away from Mexico, who only want to pass, and flee violence and hunger in their places of origin.”
The crackdown of migrant caravans comes after President Donald Trump urged President Andres Manuel López Obrador to curb migration into Mexico.
As a result, President López Obrador sent thousands of National Guard troops to defend Mexico’s southern border that neighbors Guatemala. Last month, President Trump publicly thanked President López Obrador for securing Mexico’s border during the United Nations General Assembly.
“I would like to thank President López Obrador of Mexico for the great cooperation we are receiving, and for right now putting 27,000 troops on our southern border,” President Trump said. “Mexico is showing us great respect, and I respect them in return.”
While that appreciation may have seemed sincere, a few days later, Trump said that he was “using Mexico to protect our border.” President López Obrador didn’t think President Trump’s words disrespectful because he said, according to the New York Times, “There’s nothing we should be ashamed of. We protect Mexico’s sovereignty. At the same time, we try to avoid confrontation.”
Now, critics of President Trump are saying that Mexico is actually paying for Trump’s border wall by creating a human fence with the Mexican national guard.
Mexico foreign ministry spokesman Roberto Velasco told CNN that since the deployment of the Mexican national guard, migrant caravans had decreased significantly. “The number of migrants presented before Mexican authorities has decreased by 70 percent from June to September,” Velasco said to CNN.
In an op-ed in the New York Times, Jorge Ramos wrote that at least one Mexican official went on the record to state that Mexico is basically the wall that President Trump wants. “Armando Santacruz, president of Mexico United Against Crime, told me in an interview. ‘Yes, we are the wall. And [Mexico’s] National Guard is now spending a lot of its resources keeping immigrants away,” Ramos wrote.
Pueblo Sin Fronteras stated that the Mexican government is doing the “dirty work of the United States.” They also said that President López Obrador is wrong when with his claims that migrants are criminals. Pueblo Sin Fronteras say these are displaced people who fled their home due to violence, discrimination, and bureaucracy.