Migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador gathered at the Mexican-U.S. border, demanding asylum, insisting that migration is not a crime.
“This caravan has three very specific purposes: it is for the right to migration, the right to transit and the right to asylum. We have seen how in Mexico this right is systematically violated by Comar (Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid),” Leo Olsen, coordinator of the action, told El Universal.
Some 44 Central Americans, including 14 minors, stood at the border, the final count of 150 asylum seekers who set out for Mexico to demand their immigration rights on Oct. 9. The caravan was protected by civil rights organizations and activist groups such as the Refugio Juventud 2000 and Al Otra Lado, a binational organization for migration services.
"Migrating is not a crime, we demand the right to asylum, many of us have fled from our countries," Maria Leticia Rubio, a Honduran traveling with her three children, told the press.
Edwin Alexander, a Salvadoran member of the group, explained that his goal is "to defend the rights of migrants" and also pointed to the rebound of violence in the region due to the rise of gangs, which have almost 70,000 members in El Salvador.
According to El Sol, on arriving at the border Sunday, the asylum seekers turned themselves into United States authorities to demonstrate against their pending migration status.
Each year, some 200,000 undocumented migrants, mostly from Central America, cross Mexico in an attempt to reach the United States.
On the way, many are victims of robberies, kidnappings and murders at the hands of criminal gangs. Many die or are killed throughout the more than 3,000-kilometer common border.
At the end of July, five Guatemalans drowned in the Rio Grande, according to official reports.