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Mexican Authorities Raid Migrant Caravan

Up to 500 detained in surprise Chiapas raid
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 23, 2019 12:46 AM CDT
After Mexican immigration agents detained some Central American migrants on the highway, other migrants from the group carry wooden sticks and stones for self-defense as they continue their trek to Pijijiapan,...   (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
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(Newser) – Central American migrants hoping to reach the US now carry the added anxiety of the pursued after Mexican police and immigration agents detained hundreds in a surprise raid on a caravan in Mexico's south. While their compatriots were being taken into custody Monday, hundreds of other migrants scrambled away into the brush along the highway in Chiapas state to elude authorities. Many had already learned they would not be received in towns with the same hospitality that greeted previous caravans, and now they know they won't be safe walking along the rural highway either. Mexican authorities detained hundreds in the largest single raid on a migrant caravan since the groups started moving through the country last year, the AP reports.

Police targeted isolated groups at the tail end of a caravan of about 3,000 migrants who were making their way through Chiapas, Mexico's southernmost state. As migrants gathered under spots of shade outside the city of Pijijiapan, federal police and agents arrived in patrol trucks and vans and forcibly wrestled women, men, and children into the vehicles. The migrants were driven to buses, presumably for transportation to an immigration station for deportation processing. As many as 500 migrants might have been picked up in the raid, according to AP journalists at the scene. In recent months Mexican authorities have deported thousands of migrants, though they also have issued more than 15,000 humanitarian visas that allow migrants to remain in the country and work.

(Read more Mexico stories.)

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