Monday, June 17, 2024

For migrant caravan, Day of the Dead brings new life

The migrant caravan in Chiapas continued advancing north through the state on Tuesday, rested on Wednesday and welcomed a new member to its ranks.

The 2,500-odd migrants left the village of Hermenegildo Galeana at 4 a.m. Tuesday and hiked 28 kilometers to the town of Pijijiapan.  

Tensions were high as the convoy approached the town where, just two days earlier, a Cuban migrant was killed and four others wounded — one critically — after National Guard troops opened fire on the pickup truck transporting them. It is not clear if those migrants had been traveling in the caravan. 

But there was happier news to come: a Haitian woman gave birth to a baby in a Pijijiapan hospital. The infant was reported in good health.

Migrants rest outside the church in Pijijiapan.
Migrants rest outside the church in Pijijiapan. Ben Wein

The convoy initially set up in the Pijijiapan sports facility, where a candlelit vigil was held to commemorate Day of the Dead and the killing of the Cuban migrant. The group moved to a park in the evening due to concerns that the National Guard would enter the facility.

In the park, migrants were reminded of the time during the night: Westminster-like chimes issued from a clock in the park which, as in London, England, chimed every 15 minutes.

On Wednesday the caravan rested for the sake of young children, who are suffering from exhaustion and dehydration. However, organizer Irineo Mújica confirmed none was seriously ill.

The road beckoned for the migrants at 6 a.m. on Thursday, when they resumed their northward trek to Mexico City and the U.S. border.

Meanwhile, President Lopez Obrador expressed sympathy for the victims of the shooting at his morning news conference on Wednesday: “Some migrants were shot by the National Guard … there are other ways to detain those that are violating laws … They could have stopped them farther on, blocking their path without shooting,” he said. 

Mexico News Daily

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