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"S.O.S. Freedom and Peace": Venezuelan migrants flee communism through Mexico to U.S.

A first caravan of close to 1,000 Venezuelan migrants left Ciudad Hidalgo, in Chiapas, southern Mexico, bound for the U.S., in search of work and better living conditions, despite new immigration restrictions

Personas migrantes
Personas migrantes | EFE

July 17, 2023 9:03am

Updated: July 17, 2023 9:03am

A new caravan of close to 1,000 Venezuelan migrants recently left Ciudad Hidalgo, in Chiapas, southern Mexico, headed for the United States, despite new immigration restrictions.

This is the first caravan of migrants from this country that entered illegally this year through the Mexican border with Guatemala. They arrived in Tapachula, located about 38 kilometers from the border line, to rest and then continue their journey.

The migrants led the caravan held up a banner reading "S.O.S., Freedom and Peace" as they continued their trek across Mexico's southern border.

They had been waiting five days in Ciudad Hidalgo with the promise from the country’s immigration authorities that they would be attended to. However, in the end, they asked for buses to avoid disturbing the Mexican population during their passage through the country.

"We come with a group of migrants asking the (Mexican) government to please address the program we have here. We are people with children who sold their houses, their cars, they have a business. They bring us here from town to town, we want them to please give us an answer from migration, who takes us from town to town so that we can make expenses,” said one of the migrants.

That migrant said he used to be a construction worker in his home country but decided to leave everything to be able to help his family due to the economic and political crisis that Venezuela is going through.

Members of the "Beta" group of the migrant caravan invited other people to continue walking and to get on the buses peacefully on the side of the Mexican highway until they reach Tapachula, in Chiapas.

Another migrant reported that Mexico's National Migration Institute (INM) returned them to the international bridge between that country and Guatemala, so they reorganized in Ciudad Hidalgo and decided to walk in search of another passage to the northern border of Mexico.

Likewise, Estefany Madrid, a Venezuelan migrant, indicated that they decided to walk out of their own free will, without anyone forcing them, while affirming that they are going in peace, without protest, and without affecting anyone.

Madrid helped out in her household back home but decided to emigrate to support the children she left behind in her native country.

"We are going in the real American dream, we have to abide by the rules or wait for the appointment, yet we need to be able to pass through Mexico," he said.

While traveling on the Ciudad Hidalgo-Tapachula highway, the caravan of migrants was guarded by units of the National Guard, as well as by police from the southern Mexican state and local police.