Mexico City: Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has pledged to respect the rights of undocumented migrants, mostly from Central America and Haiti, who arrived in a caravan on their way to the US.
Members of the caravan, which departed from the southern Mexican state of Chiapas on October 23, clashed with police on Sunday evening, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We want to assure migrants that this is a hospitable city. We will respect, as we always do, human rights. Our goal is for their passage through the city to be orderly and for us to protect them,” Sheinbaum said on Monday December 13.
The caravan is composed of about 300 people, including about 100 children and adolescents, according to the Mayor.
After 50 days on the road, the migrants arrived in the city’s Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe to join pilgrims celebrating the virgin’s feast day on December 12, but got into a skirmish with police officers who were blocking their entrance.
The migrants were eventually allowed access to the basilica and later spent the night at a shelter for pilgrims.
Central America is seeing an unprecedented exodus of migrants this year, apparently driven out of their homes by poverty worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
From January to August, Mexico reported the entry of more than 147,000 undocumented migrants, which tripled the total number of undocumented migrants who entered in 2020, according to the country’s National Institute of Migration.