Cen­tral Amer­i­can car­a­van con­tin­ues to­ward US af­ter rest

Times of Oman - - WORLD -

MEX­ICO CITY: Around 5,000 Cen­tral Amer­i­cans left Mex­ico City at dawn Satur­day, brush­ing ex­haus­tion and ill­ness aside to get back on the road to­wards the United States as part of a mi­grant car­a­van that has drawn fury from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Be­tween coughs and sneezes, the mi­grants packed up their makeshift camp in a sports park, where they had rested for six nights, and headed to the city’s metro -- which opened an hour early to trans­port them to­ward neigh­bor­ing Mex­ico State.

“We got cold sleep­ing out in the open, so that’s why we’re sick now. The kids have got lice, there’s not al­ways enough wa­ter to bathe them,” Adamari Cor­rea, a Gu­atemalan trav­el­ing with her sis­ter and her sis­ter’s chil­dren, said.

From there, the plan was to set off once again on foot to­ward Quere­taro in cen­tral Mex­ico, still hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres (miles) from the US bor­der.

“I don’t want to walk, Mommy!” cried one lit­tle girl wrapped in a blan­ket, as her mother -- a sleep­ing mat on her back and two large bun­dles in each hand -- stood in an end­less line wait­ing to board the five des­ig­nated train, each car­ry­ing around 1,000 peo­ple, metro au­thor­i­ties es­ti­mated.

Some 1,000 po­lice of­fi­cers keep watch over the op­er­a­tion.

The car­a­van left San Pe­dro Sula, Hon­duras, on Oc­to­ber 13 and has cov­ered more than 1,500 kilo­me­tres (930 miles) so far.

At least two other car­a­vans have since been es­tab­lished, de­fy­ing threats from Trump -- who has de­cried what he de­scribes as an “in­va­sion” and or­dered thou­sands of sol­diers to the US-Mex­ico bor­der.

On Fri­day, his ad­min­is­tra­tion un­veiled a con­tro­ver­sial new crack­down, an­nounc­ing it would no longer al­low peo­ple who en­ter the US il­le­gally to claim asy­lum. In­stead, those seek­ing po­lit­i­cal or other kinds of asy­lum will be heard ex­clu­sively at the bor­der cross­ings.

Also on Fri­day, an­other group of 1,300 Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grants em­barked on the same path from Mex­ico City -- quickly amass­ing on the sides of the wide high­speed road that snakes around the cap­i­tal, lead­ing to the exit to­ward Quere­taro.

“We’re sick from the tem­per­a­ture changes,” said Wil­son Alexan­der Mejia, a 27-year-old labourer trav­el­ling alone.

“But we’re de­ter­mined to reach the bor­der and be­yond.”

- Reuters

DE­TER­MINED: Mi­grants, part of a car­a­van trav­el­ling from Cen­tral Amer­ica en route to the United States, walk on the road that links Ta­pachula with Huixtla, Mex­ico.

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