More than 18,000 migrants apply as refugees in Mexico

Central Americans, for the most part, wait two months to obtain status and receive support from UNHCR

Ciudad Ixtepec, Oaxaca.- Omar Quintero waits at the headquarters of the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) for personnel from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to follow up on his request so that he and his family take refuge in Mexico.

Originally from Honduras, Omar travels with 12 family members. He comes with his wife, his four-year-old son, his brothers-in-law and three children under five, eight and 11 years old.

“We came 13. We turned ourselves into immigration a month and a half ago, we fled the gangs. We left our country because they killed my brother and my father, that’s why we want Mexico to grant us refuge, “he explains.

Like Omar, so far this year, in Oaxaca, 250 Central American migrants have requested refuge, according to figures from UNHCR and the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (Comar). The majority are Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans, as well as small groups of Nicaraguans and Cubans.

In total, 18,000 365 applications to obtain refugee status have been received throughout the country from January to April of this year. To achieve this condition, the applicants argue that their lives and that of their relatives are in danger due to the violence that lives in their respective countries.

Daniel Cordero, a “cooperation worker from Spain” who works at the Hermanos en el Camino shelter, says that many migrants want refugee status because they receive support from UNHCR and because they can rebuild their lives in Mexico. To achieve this, the wait is two months.

“People give up their purpose of obtaining refugee status, by so many procedures,” said an element of the Beta Group of the National Institute of Migration (INM).

Saturated shelter

Although the Frontera Sur Plan was launched in 2014, which prohibited migrants from traveling on La Bestia from Chiapas to Ixtepec, Oaxaca, the migration never stopped, says Daniel Cordero.

The Spanish aid worker explains that, although the migratory phenomenon has not stopped, it returned to the spotlight thanks to the first caravans that left during October of last year in Central America, and since then the capacity of the Hermanos en el Camino shelter has overflowed.

With an average of daily attention for 180 people, since the caravans entered and the Central Americans were allowed to get back on the train, every day 300 people arrive at the shelter.

“We have had to expand our response capacity in food, water and medicine,” admit collaborators. The migrants only stay one day and in the afternoon they get on the train that runs from Salina Cruz, passes Ixtepec and reaches Medias Aguas, Veracruz, “he says.

In a tour carried out by EL UNIVERSAL through the shelter, 150 migrants were found. The collaborators of the priest Solalinde emphasize that now they travel more minors, women and complete families.

Before 2014 it was observed that there were more males who sought to reach the American Union. Now, with the undeclared war in Central America, entire families are fleeing violence.

Grupo Beta, to the aid

Since the start of the caravans, the Beta Group has served about 500 Central Americans a month. So far in May, 200 migrants have been assisted by heat shocks, falls from the back of the Beast and abrasions on the feet. In addition, six pregnant women have been transferred to hospitals in Juchitán and Ixtepec.

With six elements, but with the support of Grupo Beta de Chiapas, and Veracruz, they have provided water, fruits and medicines to migrants since they enter the Oaxacan territory in Chahuites, Tapanatepec and Ixtepec on their way north.

Source: el universal

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