More than half a thousand migrants from Africa, Haiti, and Asia handed themselves over to the National Migration Institute (INM) in late February and early March to request for exit permits that will allow them to continue their journey to the United States or Canada, where they plan to seek asylum.

The foreigners entered the Mexican territory through the Guatemala border. Most of the migrants are coming from Congo, Cameroon, Angola, Senegal, Sierra Leona, Nepal, Uganda, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Haiti , among other nations.

The migrants complained that they were subject to discrimination and violence due to their skin color inside the government facilities, where they remained for six days while their documents were processed.

“There is a lot of discrimination in Mexico, a lot,” they insisted as they showed their skin color. They claimed that they were woken up with water hoses one morning and they slept on the floor in bathroom areas.

“White people are fed first and then they leave us some leftovers once a day,” they told in Spanish.

They also claimed that Central Americans were using drugs such as marijuana inside the migration post. “Many of them smoke cigarettes and marijuana. They treat us very badly, there is a lot of discrimination in Mexico,” they insisted.

During an inspection, EL UNIVERSAL reporters saw a group of around 200 migrants outside the Tapachula migration post, some of them were pregnant women and minors who were sleeping in the gardens and on the pavement, under temperatures of up to 40°C .

The migrants from Africa and Haiti complained that they have not been able to access the migration post in a week to obtain their exit permits.

Migration authorities have argued that the Migrant Holding Center is now at full capacity and unofficial sources claim that there are more than a thousand people waiting at the post.

Some migrants were captured as they traveled through the Mexican territory and now await repatriation to their home countries, while others are working to obtain their exit permits, explained an INM worker.

Though they refused to give out their names, for fear of reprisals, explained that they did not have enough resources to pay for a place to stay or to provide food for their families since they have already spent more than USD$4,000 on the trip, which lasted between one and three months.

The foreigners explained that they had suffered many hardships at the hands of organized crime and policemen in Central and South America . Plus, they have spent large amounts of money on fares to cross the jungle of Venezuela and Colombia , as well as transport, food, and accommodations.

The foreigners of restricted nationalities are forced to present their applications and undergo processing while deprived of their liberty at the Siglo 21 migration post .


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