Chiapas, Mexico — Elements of the National Guard and agents of the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) apprehended 150 Haitian migrants in Chiapas Saturday during a massive operation targeting people who are in the country illegally.
Federal agents caught the migrants in the Ejido San Nicolás Lagartero, 10 minutes from Tapachula. The migrants entered the Suchiate River, a river that borders Chiapas with Guatemala. From there, they walked the several kilometers into Mexico where they were met by authorities.
The group had crossed through bush and unmarked roads to avoid authorities, however, some 20 INM vehicles along with four army buses were waiting once they emerged.
The detention occurred in the context of a historical migratory flow with 147,000 irregular migrants detected in Mexico from January to August, triple that of 2020.
Last week, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador argued that mass arrests are carried out “to take care of migrants” because “letting them transit throughout the country without any protection is very risky” due to organized crime.
The objective of Saturday’s operation was to “assure” the migrants who were traveling in families. The migrants were transferred to the border of Carmen, department of San Marcos, Guatemala where guards stood to avoid their re-entry to Chiapas. It was one in a string of INM operations that have seen the detainment and transfer of illegal migrants in Mexico.