Tausende Migrant*innen aus Honduras, Guatemala und El Salvador haben sich zu Fuß auf den Weg in die USA gemacht. Sie fliehen vor Armut und Gewalt in ihren Ländern. Die Bilder erinnern an den March of Hope von Budapest nach Österreich im September 2015. Mexiko verlegt inzwischen Polizei an die südliche Grenze, Trump droht mit dem Einsatz von Militär, wenn Mexiko die Karawane nicht aufhält.
LabourNet Germany hat eine Reihe von lesenswerten Texte zur Karawane aus Honduras über Guatemala nach Mexiko zusammengestellt.
[…] Am Freitag hatten mexikanische Sicherheitskräfte die Flüchtlinge aus Mittelamerika zunächst gestoppt, als sie versuchten, den offiziellen Grenzposten gewaltsam zu überwinden. Daraufhin schwammen viele über den Grenzfluss Suchiate oder ließen sich in Booten aus Lkw-Reifen auf die mexikanische Seite bringen.
Dieses Fähr-Geschäft läuft hier seit Jahrzehnten tagtäglich so ab: Oben der offizielle Grenzposten, unten, auf dem Fluss unter den Augen der Beamten, die hoch frequentierte grüne Grenze zwischen Mittel- und Nordamerika. […]
Die massive Auswanderung aus diesen Ländern ist schon viele Jahre alt. Die Zahl der Flüchtlinge ist nicht wesentlich gestiegen. Gestiegen ist die Zahl der Abschiebungen: Mexiko hat zwischen 2015 und 2018 mehr als 436.000 Migranten aus Mittelamerika abgeschoben und damit 140.000 mehr als die USA im selben Zeitraum.
Neu ist auch, dass sich die Menschen immer wieder in größeren Gruppen zusammenschließen. Im Transitland Mexiko bietet das Schutz: Vor Kriminellen und vor korrupten Migrationsbeamten und Polizisten. In der Karawane werden die Flüchtlinge wieder sichtbar, zur Kenntnis genommen. Und sie hat politische Sprengkraft. […]
Carovana migranti, in 7mila entrano in Messico nel cammino verso gli Usa. Trump allerta l’esercito alla frontiera
[…] Nonostante gli anatemi di Trump e le centinaia di militari schierati dal Messico, la carovana di honduregni in fuga da violenza e disperazione non si è fermata. La gran parte dei migranti – ormai sono circa 7mila – partiti oltre una settimana fa da San Pedro Sula, nel nord dell’Honduras, è riuscita a varcare il confine tra Guatemala e Messico, presidiato da mille agenti di polizia in assetto antisommossa e grate d’acciaio alte tre metri. Hanno attraversato il rio Suchiate, che divide le città di Hidalgo e Tecùn Umàn segnando la frontiera tra i due stati, pagando 10 quetzal (poco più di un dollaro) ai traghettatori abusivi o guadando direttamente l’acqua nei punti in cui è più bassa. Alcuni, poi, hanno sfondato le recinzioni, provocando la reazione della polizia messicana che ha attaccato la carovana con lacrimogeni e manganelli. E Donald Trump è sempre più nervoso: oggi ha fatto sapere di aver allertato la guardia di frontiera e l’esercito in previsione di un eventuale arrivo al confine Usa dei profughi, definito “un’emergenza nazionale“. […]
Il Fatto Quotodiano | 22.10.2018
Trapped at the border: the forlorn Hondurans hoping to reach the US
[…] Migration is not a crime, and a regional agreement allows free movement for citizens of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua travelling with national ID cards.
The director of the Americas for Amnesty International, Erika Guevara Rosas, tweeted: “Honduran migrant caravan is not a security threat, but an act of survival by 100s of people escaping extreme violence, poverty, exclusion, and the inability of their government to protect their rights. The response to this human drama should be one of solidarity and compassion.”
The migrants and refugees are mostly fleeing a toxic mix of violence, poverty and corruption. On Friday night at least eight people were killed during shooting in a bar in Tegucigalpa, Honduras’s capital, one of dozens of similar incidents so far this year. Fewer than one in 10 crimes are prosecuted. Honduras is the most unequal country in the region: two-thirds of people live in poverty.
The bridge connecting Guatemala and Mexico over the Suchiate river has become a makeshift refugee camp, with thousands of people, including entire families, forced to sleep, eat, and play outside, just metres from growing piles of rubbish.
Despite the risks, most are determined to continue. “This uncertainty is part of the trip,” said Fresbindo Carvajal, 24, from Tegucigalpa, who walks with a cane due to a congenital defect in one leg. “I’m still on my way up. No doubt. It’s better to suffer for a moment than a whole lifetime. And if we go back to Honduras we’ll suffer until the day we die. Even if we have to survive on beans and coffee, I’m going.”
What Is the Migrant Caravan and Why Does Trump Care?
[…] The migrant caravan was formed late last week in San Pedro Sula, a city in northern Honduras known for high levels of violence. It originally numbered fewer than 200 people — in line with most past caravans. But as word spread, the mobilization quickly grew. By the time the group had crossed the border into Guatemala, its members traveling by foot and vehicle, it had ballooned to more than 1,000.
More migrants have joined this week — by some estimates it now numbers an extraordinary 4,000 people — though it has fractured into smaller groups that were making their way at varying speeds through Guatemala on Thursday.
Like the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have fled Central America in recent years, most of the caravan’s participants have in mind a new life in the United States, though some say they intend to stop in Mexico. Many say they have been ground down by low wages, unemployment and poor public services in Honduras and are looking for better opportunities elsewhere. Others say they fear for their lives and intend to apply for asylum either in Mexico or the United States. […]
The New York Times | 18.10.2018
Voices From the Caravan: Why These Honduran Migrants Are Heading North
For days they have traveled north from their homes in Honduras, walking, taking buses and hitching rides in cars and trucks. They have carried only the essentials in small bags and knapsacks.
As the large caravan of migrants entered Guatemala on its way toward the United States, more people had joined the march, which has fractured into smaller units. By Wednesday night, some had stopped to rest and sleep in Guatemala City. There were many families and pregnant women among the ranks.
The caravan — as many as 4,000 people by some estimates — has prompted a flurry of tweets from President Trump, who on Thursday threatened military action at the southwestern border of the United States if Mexico failed to halt the group.
The caravan’s participants are making the journey for several reasons. Some say they are fleeing gangs that terrorize their neighborhoods and are seeking sanctuary in Mexico or the United States. Others are in search of work and more stability for their families.
On Wednesday night, hundreds crammed into a migrant shelter in Guatemala City and bedded down on the floor of a nearby school. Scores more slept on the streets. We asked several why they had chosen to make the journey north and what they had left behind. […]
One step at a time: desperate families join migrant caravan
Thousands are walking to US border, away from the hunger and violence of Central America, seemingly unaware of the threats voiced by Donald Trump
[…] The caravan began last Friday when former congressman Bartolo Fuentes announced on local media that he would join a group of 200 people from San Pedro Sula on their way to the US.
The group quickly snowballed as people calculated that a large group would protect them during the dangerous passage through Mexico, where migrants are often targeted for rape, robbery and kidnapping.
Guatemala originally said the migrants would not be allowed to enter from Honduras, but after a standoff with police, the group simply kept on walking – although Fuentes was arrested by Guatemalan authorities and has been the subject of online smear campaigns in Honduras.
On Wednesday, Trump’s ambassador to Guatemala posted a video on Facebook warning migrants against trying to enter the US illegally. “If you try to enter the United States, you will be detained and deported,” he wrote in Spanish. “Return to your country. Your attempt to migrate will fail.”
But Mexico said that any Honduran migrant with a valid passport and visa will be allowed in, and that those seeking refuge would be able to begin their process if they meet the requirements placed by the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance and the UN high commissioner for refugees.
Most of the migrants spent Wednesday night in Guatemala City, where humanitarian groups organised food, clothing, shelter and medical assistance, while firefighters and the Red Cross gave out medicine and treated blistered feet.
Coordinators said they were planning to reach the Mexican border by Thursday night.
“We are well aware of the countries’ policies and recent statements, but people won’t stop. We can’t stop,” said José Luis Carmera, the coordinator of migrants from the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.
“The Guatemalan border was closed, but we opened it peacefully, and by doing so we cleared the first obstacle. Now we must open the Mexican border. We’re taking it one step at a time.”
Migrant caravan: Mexico sends police to southern border
Strange time for Mexico
Mexico’s main reaction has been to step up security on its southern border with Guatemala. Hundreds of federal police officers and immigration officers have been sent to the porous border region along the Suchiate River which divides the two neighbours.
In part, the response is intended to both dissuade the migrants from even attempting to enter Mexico and potentially to show the Trump administration that Mexico is willing to, as the government put it, „maintain order“.
Beyond that, this situation catches Mexico at a strange time. One administration, that of President Enrique Peña Nieto, is leaving office and the new one, of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, isn’t yet through the door.
Migrant caravans of this type are nothing new, they quite often take place. However, this one, coming as it does so close to the US mid-term elections in November, has taken on a highly political dimension, to that point that President Trump has threatened to use the military and close the US southern border. […]
What will happen to the people?
The Associated Press reports that many migrants do not have passports and have been using national ID cards, which allow them to travel within Central America. Mexico, however, requires a passport at entry.
Human rights groups have criticised the US and Mexican response to the caravan.
Erika Guevara-Rosas of Amnesty International said in a statement: „Mexican authorities should not take a Trump approach treating people like a security threat.“
„These families deserve dignity and respect to ensure that no one is illegally returned to situations where they could risk serious harm due to violence.“
Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to offer work visas to Central Americans when he takes office in December.
„It is a plan that we have, that anyone who wants to work in Mexico will have a work visa,“ he said.
However, his incoming Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said those without a visa would have to apply for refugee status.
Why are they leaving?
An estimated 10% of the population of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have fled danger, forced gang recruitment and dismal economic opportunities.
The region has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The UN reported murder rates in 2015 in Honduras standing at 63.75 deaths per 100,000 and El Salvador at 108.64 deaths.
Jari Dixon, an opposition politician in Honduras, tweeted on Monday that the caravan was not „seeking the American dream“ but „fleeing the Honduras nightmare“.
Am 22.20. berichtet Al Jazeera über den hohen Anteil von Frauen und Mädchen in der Karawane:
Women and girls make up nearly half of the first wave of the northbound exodus, according to statistics released on Saturday by officials from a shelter in southern Mexico.
Of the 5,109 people accounted for, 1,565 are women and 952 are girls.
Honduran women such Vasquez, her daughter and her niece say they find safety in numbers. The route into and through Mexico can be dangerous for undocumented Central Americans.
Tens of thousands of migrants and refugees have gone missing along the way over the years, according to estimates by migrant rights groups, and many women and girls have been sexually assaulted.
Nachden tahlreiche Menschen den Grenzfluss zwischen Guatemala nach Mexiko am 21.10. überwunden hatten verlegte die mexikanische Regierung bewaffnete Einheiten an die Grenze, die aber nicht eingegriffen haben. Reuters berichtet:
Hunderte mexikanische Polizisten in Kampfausrüstung säumten den Weg in die Grenzstadt Tapachula. Einer der Polizisten sagte Reuters, es gebe keine Befehle, die Karawane aufzuhalten. Die Migranten sollten sicher in ein Flüchtlingslager vor den Toren der Stadt geleitet werden.
. Die NZZ berichtet:
Die mexikanischen Behörden stoppten die riesige Karawane zwar an der Grenze zwischen Mexiko und Guatemala, viele Migranten durchquerten jedoch auf notdürftigen Flössen den Grenzfluss Río Suchiate und marschierten am Sonntag stundenlang nach Norden.
Nach einer Schätzung der mexikanischen Bundespolizei waren rund 3000 Menschen in Mexiko unterwegs. Die Zahl könnte jedoch noch weit höher liegen. Nach einem sieben Stunden langen Marsch über 38 Kilometer ohne Pause erreichte die Gruppe die mexikanische Stadt Tapachula. Dabei machten Hitze und hohe Luftfeuchtigkeit den Menschen zu schaffen. Am Montag sollte es ins gut 40 Kilometer entfernte Huixtla weitergehen.
Mexiko will sich, dem NZZ-Bericht zufolge, um individuelle Asylanträge kümmern. Derweil ist eine weitere Gruppe in Honduras aufgebrochen:
Eine separate Gruppe von rund tausend Honduranern brach unterdessen zu einem weiteren Marsch durch Guatemala auf, um durch Mexiko ebenfalls in die USA zu gelangen. Die Gruppe von Männern, Frauen und Kindern sammelte sich in Esquipulas in Guatemala und machte sich zu Fuss auf den Weg.
Die noch grössere Karawane, die inzwischen teilweise Mexiko erreicht hat, hatte sich vor mehr als einer Woche von San Pedro Sula im Norden von Honduras in Gang gesetzt. Sie folgte einem Aufruf in sozialen Netzwerken zu einem «Migranten-Marsch». «Wir gehen nicht, weil wir wollen, sondern weil wir von Gewalt und Armut vertrieben werden», hiess es in dem Aufruf.