- Getty Images/John Moore
- A caravan of an estimated 4,000 migrants from Central America is continuing its journey through southern Mexico bound for the US border.
- After setting out from Honduras over a week earlier, the group had swelled to thousands of migrants who were fleeing rampant violence and crippling poverty in the Northern Triangle countries.
- After President Donald Trump raged against the caravan for weeks, the Pentagon announced it’s sending 5,200 troops to the border, though the migrants are potentially weeks away from reaching the US.
A caravan of an estimated 4,000 migrants from Central America continued their journey through southern Mexico, the fourth country in many of the migrants’ path to the US border.
After setting out from Honduras two weeks earlier, the number of migrants in the group swelled to thousands walking on foot to flee crippling poverty and widespread violence.
Traveling tens of miles each day in sweltering heat, the caravan had reached Niltepec, Mexico, by Tuesday, October 30 – still at least 1,000 miles from the US border:
- Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Their journey so far
Mexico’s southern border provided a significant roadblock to the caravan, as officials tried to prevent the migrants from crossing illegally and ordered them to request asylum, only several hundred did, according to NPR. Roughly 1,500 caravan members remained on the Guatemalan side of the border.
In its second week, the caravan reportedly inspired another group of 300 Salvadorans to set out for the US border.
Once they reached Mexico, the majority of the first group voted by a show of hands to continue heading north, The New York Times reported. After stopping over the weekend in the southern Mexican city Tapachula, the migrants set out for a 25-mile journey to Huixtla on October 22, facing 90-degree temperatures.
Migrants told multiple media outlets that once they had heard about the caravan, they had jumped at the chance to flee poverty, rampant gang violence, and corruption in Latin America’s Northern Triangle.
- REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Twenty-eight-year-old Carlos Leonidas Garcia Urbina, from Tocoa, Honduras, told the Associated Press he was cutting the grass in his father’s yard when he heard about the caravan.
He says he dropped the shears right there and ran to join it with just 500 lempiras ($20) in his pocket.
Motioning to his fellow travelers in the caravan, he said, “We are going to the promised land.”
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto offered the migrants the opportunity to receive benefits and apply for refugee status if they stayed in Mexico, and more than 1,700 took him up on the offer.
Though Mexico softened in dealing with the migrants, their fate at the US border is unclear.
US President Donald Trump and other administration officials have ramped up their rhetoric against the migrants as they grow in numbers and move north.