Over 2,000 migrants march out of southern city in Mexico

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A caravan of migrants, most from central America, head north as they depart from Tapachula, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Immigration activists say they will lead migrants out of the southern Mexico city of Tapachula Saturday at the start of a march they hope will bring them to Mexico City to press their case for better treatment. (AP Photo/ Edgar H. Clemente)

TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — Over 2,000 migrants, mainly Central Americans, began walking out of a city in southern Mexico on Saturday where they have essentially been trapped.

The migrants walked along a highway leading west and north toward the U.S. border, and pushed past a line of state police who were trying to stop them.

There were minor scuffles, but the migrants continued on their way. Police, immigration agents and National Guard have broken up smaller attempts at similar breakouts earlier this year.

Tens of thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti have been waiting in the southern city of Tapachula for refugee or asylum papers that might allow them to travel, but have grown tired of delays in the process.

Unlike previous marches, the one that started Saturday from Tapachula did not include as many Haitian migrants, thousands of whom reached the U.S. border around Del Rio, Texas in September.

In August, National Guard troops in riot gear blocked several hundred Haitians, Cubans and Central Americans who set out walking on a highway from Tapachula.

Mexico requires migrants applying for humanitarian visas or asylum to remain in the border state of Chiapas, next to Guatemala, for their cases to be processed.

In January, a larger caravan of migrants tried to leave Honduras but was blocked from crossing Guatemala.
The marches are reminiscent, but nowhere near as large, as the migrant caravans that crossed Mexico in 2018 and 2019.

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