Mexico closes border shelter for migrant caravan sparking protests


MEXICO closed a migrant shelter in Tijuana, near the border with the US, sparking protests from caravan trying to enter America.

A two-story warehouse in a zone known for crime and prostitution near the US border was closed on Friday, with Tijuana officials citing sanitation as the reason why. Isain Venegas, a supervisor in Mexico’s public health system, said the shelter was overcrowded, poorly lit and lacked proper facilities for food preparation.

Officials told migrants, many fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras, they could move to a bigger shelter, run by the federal government, about seven miles from the border.

But dozens protested about the closure, saying they did not expect other sites to be any better.

Honduran migrant Reinerio Laine said: “Not one of the shelters in Tijuana has the conditions for them to keep us in.

“The authorities are tricking us.”

A migrant carries belongings in plastic bags as a group of migrants resisted leaving the warehouse

A boy travelling to the US carries his belongings while police officers look on

The migrants were joined by US activists, forcing federal and local police in riot uniforms to take formation at the entrance.

Others migrants walked to nearby shelters, while some waited for a bus to take them to the larger government-run facility.

Mexico’s president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has failed to talk about how he will improve the “deplorable conditions” for the migrants traveling thousands of miles across Mexico to the US border.

Maria Claros, 28, from Honduras said: “We had hoped that now with President Lopez Obrador he could see the conditions we’re in.

“They said he was going to help, but they’ve treated us worse than animals.”

Central American migrants travelling to the United States staying at a shelter in downtown Tijuana

Dozens of migrants have protested about the closure of the temporary shelter

Mr Claros added: “We don’t have anywhere to wash or do our business.

“I bathe with cold water when I have 20 pesos to pay for it.”

Thousands of migrants have been trying to illegally enter the US in recent months.

Officials in mid-December said nearly 6,000 migrants have arrived in Tijuana.

They said around half are staying at a former concert venue, while thousands more are believed to be staying at other shelters across the city.

Migrants rest inside a temporary migrant shelter next to the US Mexico border

Migrants walk through a flooded area near portable toilets at a temporary shelter

Central American migrants line up for food outside a temporary shelter

Source: Notimex

The Mazatlan Post