On Saturday, for the fourth time in a week, migrants attempted to leave the southern Mexican border state of Chiapas as a caravan. The group, estimated to be 400 to 500 strong, was bound for the United States. Mexican Immigration and National Guard troops broke up the three previous groups and were successful with the fourth iteration by early Sunday morning.
Portal Fronterizo, a local media outlet in Tapachula, Chiapas, reported the fourth caravan attempt of the past week.
The migrants, many of whom have been in Mexico for months, are required to remain in Tapachula while their refugee claims are adjudicated by Mexico’s Commission on Refugees (COMAR). Once COMAR adjudicates the petition, only then will the National Institute of Migration (INM) issue travel documents allowing the migrants to depart Chiapas. Migrants are complaining about excessive wait times and are forming caravans to escape the protocols.
According to COMAR, more than 74,000 migrants submitted petitions for refugee status and are mostly from Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. For several weeks, the migrants have protested COMAR for right to leave Chiapas and sometimes became violent.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.