Migrants clash with Mexican authorities as they try to flee amid a backlog of asylum claims.
According to the Associated Press, migrants have regularly battled with Mexican officials as they attempted to leave the city of Tapachula to continue their journey north due to a massive backlog of asylum claims.
This year, more than 77,000 people in Mexico petitioned for protected status, with 55,000 of them in Tapachula. Hundreds of migrants attempted to flee the city this month, frustrated with a system that was already behind schedule and was further slowed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Every time the migrants sought to flee, Mexican authorities stopped them, sometimes forcefully. Mexico deployed its National Guard and extra immigration officials in an attempt to restrict migrants in the south after being threatened with tariffs by former US President Donald Trump if they did not limit the flow of migrants to the US border.
Because many of the migrants clashing with authorities are traveling in groups, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has expressed his displeasure with the containment approach, claiming that it is unsustainable.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Caribe Dorvil gets up at 3 a.m. every day to prepare meals for sale in a modest street market in this southern Mexican city with dozens of other Haitian migrants.
Dorvil and Haitian migrants sell meals, soft drinks, apparel, and provide services like as haircuts, manicures, and tailoring beneath umbrellas in the street market because they are unable to find other work due to their lack of legal status.
Dorvil has applied for refuge in Mexico, but the agency in charge of processing such requests is overburdened and lacks the resources to deal with the current surge in asylum claims.
Migrants like Dorvil might have gone through Tapachula a few years ago, a historically important halt on one of the primary migratory routes north. However, it has now devolved into a Kafkaesque morass of bureaucracy with no way out for tens of thousands of people.
Dorvil made pasta with chicken and a little side salad on a recent morning, which she sold for roughly $2 at the market. Her average pay for a 10-hour shift is $5 to $10.
That pays for her rent in a Tapachula apartment she lives with nine other migrants, as well as just enough food to get by.
“You can’t work [here]because there are no papers, no nothing,” Dorvil explained. “You’ve got it. This is a condensed version of the information.