Portions of the migrant caravan consisting of nearly 900 Central Americans in 22 buses arrived in the northern border state of Sonora, escorted by state and federal police on Wednesday.
A video posted online captures the caravan traveling along Mexican federal highway 15, through Esperanza, just north of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora. A smaller caravan reportedly passed through Tuesday night with an additional 400 in transit.
The 22-bus caravan is expected to continue north on Mexican Federal Highway 15–temporarily stopping or passing through Hermosillo and north through Santa Ana, then west onto Mexican Federal Highway 2 past Caborca, San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexicali, Tecate and then to Tijuana.
This segment of the migrant caravan is part of the 7,000 to 10,000 Central Americans who crossed into Mexico approximately one month ago. Roughly 6,531 migrants crossed the state of Queretaro over the weekend, according to the local government. The figure is greater than the count made by authorities when the group spent several days in Mexico City, which suggests the possibility that other migrants joined the caravan. The group eventually stopped in Guadalajara after passing through Guanajuato. Authorities provided federal police escorts since they are traveling through some of the most dangerous territories of Mexico. Guanajuato experienced a 400% increase in murders since 2015 as organized crime gangs fight over lucrative drug trafficking routes and illegal fuel pipeline taps.
Breitbart News reported extensively on the cartel violence in Tijuana, with a total of 2,152 homicides in 2018. Some in the caravan are aiming for the California-Mexico border area to avoid Tamaulipas and Coahuila. There, cartels tend to direct their violence against the migrant community via extortion schemes.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org