Migrants on the road in Chiapas. Migrants on the road in Chiapas.

Migrants routed around Chiapas city to avoid Mara Salvatrucha gang

Authorities said situation in Tapachula was dangerous after two police murdered

A new caravan of migrants was forced to take a detour in Chiapas after encountering dangers similar to those from which they were escaping.

Nearly 1,000 migrants from Central America who crossed the border into Mexico yesterday were told to avoid the city of Tapachula, Chiapas, in light of a recent wave of violence provoked by the Mara Salvatrucha gang, which is also active in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Representatives from the national Civil Protection agency assisted and led migrants to the small town of Viva México, bypassing the city.

A Honduran refugee told the newspaper Reforma that authorities had told the migrants they could not be allowed to enter Tapachula on account of the murder of two local police officers the day before.

“They told us that the situation is heated there right now, that we should avoid [Tapachula], and that’s why they led us this way.”

The caravan crossed into Mexico yesterday via the Rodolfo Robles bridge after overwhelming immigration authorities who attempted to contain them.

In mid-January the federal government created a humanitarian visa program. The new visas were issued to more than 12,000 migrants who entered the country at the southern border but it has since been discontinued.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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