Mexican Soldiers, Reuters announced Wednesday, along with armed civil police and officials of the nation’s immigration agency “blocked hundreds of migrants after they crossed the border” into Mexico from Guatemala.
On Wednesday morning, about 300 refugees crossed into Mexico along a bridge spanning the border and another 120 met up with the group after they were across,” the country’s National Migration Institute states, adding that their immediate destination was the city of Tapachula.
Witness Salva Cruz, associated with one of the numerous migrant aid groups, Fray Matias de Cordova, reports that the Mexican armed forces “detained dozens” of the caravan members.
An unofficial INM source advises that 350 to 400 people were detained by “federal police and agents from the National Guard.” Mexico’s newly created National Guard is comprised of federal police and soldiers.
According to INM, “the migrants later agreed to be taken by bus to a migration office to be processed.”
The long awaited military response comes as potentially crippling new tariffs on all Mexican products are about to go into effect, as announced by the White House recently. The soldiers deployed at the town of Metapa, a bottleneck along the porous southern border where “the vast majority of migrants from Central America cross into Mexico.”
“That many sailors and military police, yes, it’s new,” Cruz relates.
Mexican trade officials are meeting in Washington with their U.S. counterparts this week. One meeting was held Wednesday at the White House, intended, Reuters notes, “to thrash out a deal that would avoid blanket tariffs on Mexico threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump last week.” As President Trump stated in last week’s press release, the tariffs are specifically being imposed to address “Mexico’s failure to stop Central American migrants from reaching the U.S. border.”
President Trump is demanding Mexico do something about the invasion of Central Americans, Cubans, Haitians and other refugees that have long been getting free passage, aid, food, and transportation all the way along the Mexican portion of their journey.
Just last month, over 132,000 individuals illegally entered the United States from Mexico and have reached “crisis” levels, U.S. officials insist.
As further evidence that Mexico is taking President Trump’s demands seriously, there are reports of a crackdown on the migrant aid groups which have been expediting the invasion. Police in Mexico City arrested Irineo Mujica on Wednesday afternoon. Mujica is the director of activist group Pueblo Sin Fronteras. Another rights activist, Cristobal Sanchez, was also detained, group member Alex Mensing advises.
Pueblo Sin Fronteras is one of the primary organizations acting as tour guides for the “caravans” that have been relentlessly making their way north. All along the way, the migrants are confronted with “criminals and corrupt officials who prey on lone travelers through kidnapping, extortion and other forms of assault.”