Wave of undocumented Africans arrive in Mexico


Migrants ask for political asylum in the United States of America.

06 January 2019, Piedras Negras, Coahuila.- A wave of undocumented immigrants coming from the other side of the world; Africa, surprised Piedras Negras, Coahuila.

This border town, accustomed to a steady stream of Mexican and Central American migrants, was surprised by the wave of migrants who ask for political asylum in the United States.

Hundreds of citizens of Congo, Cameroon, and Angola, among other countries, arrived in the last months of 2018 to this and other border cities of Coahuila and Tamaulipas.

Only in Piedras Negras there were about 200 of them, including several entire families.

They joined other hundreds of undocumented immigrants, saturating the available shelters, so there were those who had to live in squares or next to the international crossings waiting to be able to cross to ask for asylum.

According to the Africans, they chose that border because they were told by their acquaintances in the United States.

“My country has war,” said Serge Lukau Kimbuabua, who left the Democratic Republic of the Congo with his eight-year-old son.

“Thank God that, after three months (of travel), we are already here,” added the African, who took shelter in a shelter provided in the Fire Station.

In the face of this wave, the US authorities on this border doubled their ability to process asylum requests, going from four to eight people a day.

Is Mexico facing a repeat of 2016 African invasion when 12,000 arrived in one month?

This wave, mostly coming from the Congo, flees from wars and poverty; He enters Chiapas and heads to the United States in search of political asylum.

A wave of 11,900 African migrants, mostly from the Congo, fleeing wars and poverty and heading to the United States in search of political asylum, has entered Mexico through Tapachula, Chiapas , in a lapse of only five weeks, informed Jordán de Jesús Alegría Orantes, federal delegate of the National Migration Institute (INM) in that entity. “We have a migratory flow that we have seen in the last three years on a regular basis; but last August, starting on the 22nd, we started to have very considerable extracontinental increases and until September 25 we have a total of 11,900 foreign registrations, “Alegría said in an interview with MILENIO.

The official explained that in 2013 the Siglo XXI migration station in Tapachula registered the arrival of 668 migrants from Africa and to a lesser extent from Asia; for the following year, one thousand 279 entered and in 2015 the figure was increased to 3 thousand 200 income.

According to the INM, migrants come mainly from the Republic of the Congo, in Africa; Secondly, from Nepal, in Asia, and later Ghana, Senegal and Somalia, African countries.

They start a journey of three to four months from Africa to the southern border of Mexico. They cross the Atlantic Ocean by sea or air to reach Sao Paulo, Brazil.

From there, they move through the jungle to continue through Peru; in buses, vans, and stretches on foot or by boat, they travel through Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala, until they reach Chiapas.

“So far we have no refugee applications, they tell us that they intend to arrive in the United States and only using Mexican territory as transit,” said Jordán Alegría.

To an express question on whether we are facing a problem of a humanitarian crisis, the official said that it is “an atypical issue.”

He stressed that this migratory flow is expected to continue for some time, although he indicated that it is necessary to review the records in Central and South America, “if there are more people still,” he added.

On average, migrants are between 26 and 35 years old; However, Jordán Alegría points out that in the last few days there has been an increase in the number of children traveling with their parents and pregnant women, representing between 10 and 15 percent of the total number of migrants who apply for exit services on a daily basis, “which it gives them a validity of 20 days so that they can travel with full respect for their human rights. ”

However, migrants with family complain that the issuance of the procedure is not a priority for children, or pregnant, so they should wait stranded in Tapachula for up to a month and make the daily rows with the hope that they advance the date.

“I received the file for October 3, that’s a mess; I have 15 days here and the single people who arrive today receive the shift for tomorrow. I have four girls, I’m paying for the hotel, they should also eat, buy diapers, “said one of the concerned migrants.

According to the migration authority, so far the presence of Africans in Tapachula has not generated outbreaks of violence; on the contrary, it has reactivated the economy of the central zone, since they rent cheap hotels, from 100 pesos a night, they consume food and when the time comes to continue the trip, they saturate the bus agencies destined to Tijuana and Mexicali, paying the ticket in one thousand 500 pesos per person.

Source: ReformaMilenioEl Debate,

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