Sunday, December 3, 2023

Crime is up in Tapachula, but migrants are not necessarily to blame

I caught up with Jesús Aguilar, or Polo to his friends, over a delicious breakfast buffet in Tapachula, Chiapas. Polo had been my driver in 2018 when I was reporting on the migrant caravan, so I was keen to catch up with him to hear how Tapachula had changed since then.

“Tapachula isn’t the same town that it was. The main difference.” he explained, “is the level of crime.” In his view, the issue isn’t that migrants are committing crime, it could just as likely be Mexicans. The problem, he said, “is the growing perception that migrants are the culprits.”

Polo had recently taken on some Cuban migrants to work in his business. He couldn’t speak highly enough of their work ethic. They consistently go beyond what is expected. They bring with them “an attitude of wanting to work hard to lift themselves out of poverty.” 

Polo had shown that same work ethic with me years before when we worked together.  His role quickly went beyond driver to become my bodyguard, fixer and ultimately friend.  He would turn up each day with some new item, such as a sun hat, a snack or an energy drink, that might help to get us through that day. 

Our conversation moved to Chiapas and Polo is so proud of his beautiful part of Mexico. He leans in and tells me the best kept secret in Chiapas is the town of Comitán. It has everything you could want: waterfalls, ruins and perfect weather from day to night. Don’t worry, Polo, your secret is safe with Mexico News Daily.

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