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Massive Migrant Caravan Heads North as US Seeks New Agreements

The caravan carries a banner with the poignant message “Poverty Exodus.”

A caravan of around 8,000 migrants, originating from Central and Southern America, has embarked on a journey through Mexico, making their way towards the United States border. Comprising individuals of all ages, the majority hail from Venezuela, Cuba, and Mexico. The caravan carries a banner with the poignant message “Poverty Exodus.”

The procession, which began in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula near the country’s border with Guatemala, is timed just days before the anticipated arrival of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Mexico City. Mr. Blinken’s visit aims to forge new agreements to address and manage the issue of migration.

Over the fiscal years 2022 and 2023, the number of individuals apprehended at the US southern border exceeded two million, according to US Homeland Security figures. In September 2023 alone, over 200,000 migrants were reportedly apprehended by the US Border Patrol while attempting to cross the US-Mexico border unlawfully.

A Honduran migrant, José Santos, who is part of the Christmas Eve caravan, shared his reason for joining, stating that he escaped a criminal gang that had threatened his life. “I was scared, so I decided to come to Mexico, hoping I’ll be allowed to go to the US,” he told Reuters.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed his willingness to collaborate with the US to address concerns related to migration. This sentiment was echoed just days before the caravan set off. President López Obrador is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Blinken on Wednesday to discuss the pressing issue.

The White House released a statement outlining that the discussions between Secretary Blinken and Mexican leadership would focus on “unprecedented irregular migration” in the western hemisphere. The goal is to identify ways in which both countries can collaboratively address challenges related to border security.

Kiki Garba

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