Patience wearing thin as migrant caravan continues north
ISLA, Mexico — Patience among 4,000 Central American migrants appeared to be wearing thin Saturday, as exhausted members of the caravan journeying toward the United States openly disagreed with organizers who are shepherding the group through southern Mexico.
Several thousand migrants opted to rest in the towns of Juan Rodriguez Clara, Veracruz and Isla, Veracruz. Another contingent splintered off by hitchhiking rides and walking to Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, which lies about 80 extra miles to the north.
Many said they no longer had faith in those organizing the large group after confusion broke out regarding buses that would have taken migrants on a route to Mexico City.
On Friday, Veracruz Gov. Miguel Angel Yunes reneged on a brief offer to provide transportation.
In the lapse between his decisions, organizers told members of the caravan that buses would indeed be available.
“People are mad and confused,” said Saira Cabrera, a 36-year-old traveling with her husband and two children aged 7 and 13.
Gerardo Perez, a 20-year-old migrant, said he was tired.
“They’re playing with our dignity. If you could have only seen the people’s happiness last night when they told us that we were going by bus and today we’re not,” he said.
On Friday, another caravan — this time from El Salvador — waded over the Suchiate River into Mexico, bringing 1,000 to 1,500 people who want to reach the U.S. border.
Mexico is now faced with three caravans stretched out over 300 miles in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Veracruz, with a total of more than 6,000 migrants.
President Donald Trump has ordered U.S. troops to the Mexican border in response to the caravans. More than 7,000 active duty troops have been told to deploy to Texas, Arizona and California. Trump also plans to sign an order next week that could lead to the large-scale detention of migrants crossing the southern border and bar anyone caught crossing illegally from claiming asylum.
Though some migrants clashed with Mexican police, they have repeatedly denied coming with any ill intentions, saying they’re fleeing poverty and violence.
“We aren’t killers,” said Stephany Lopez, a 21-year-old Salvadoran with the first caravan.