Patrols of the Municipal Police of Ciudad Acuña, in the State of Coahuila, have entered the field where hundreds of Haitian migrants gather this Thursday. Outside, more National Guard patrols await. Some people covered in blankets wait in confusion after months of traveling by bus or on foot from South America to try to enter the United States. Others have started walking towards the Rio Grande to return to the camp under the international bridge between Ciudad Acuña and Del Río, in Texas, where 15,000 people gathered and now about 5,000 remain, according to the latest official figures.
The access from Ciudad Acuña, which until this Thursday remained open, has been fenced off by the authorities. The Red Cross tent is no longer inside. A helicopter patrols constantly. “The National Migration Institute (INM) will respect the human rights of migrants and guarantee an orderly, safe and regular migration,” said the head of the INM, Francisco Garduño, who this Wednesday visited the area, one of the epicenters of the most recent migration crisis.
Etrevis Doliskar does not share that certainty, he says. With his three-year-old daughter in his arm, the Haitian, who has been traveling from Brazil, says that this morning he ran out with his family when he heard the noise of the first vehicles at four in the morning. He hid and has now returned to the camp. “I feel calm because the press is there. But the police wait for everyone to leave and only the migrants remain, ”he fears.
For at least two nights, the National Guard, the Police and immigration agents have been raiding hotels in the city and on the streets. A woman who prefers not to identify herself remains attentive to her phone, since her husband was arrested two days ago when he left the camp to buy milk for his daughter. Now he is in Tabasco, in southern Mexico, and she, on the border with the US At his side, 26-year-old Wilson Joseph surrenders: “Let them take us, that’s the end of it.”
Just in case, people have started bagging their belongings, changing children’s diapers, or praying. Alexander Lundo, like many of the migrants who have tried to cross into the United States illegally in the last week, comes from Chile, where he has lived with his mother for four years. He toured a dozen countries before entering Mexico through Tapachula, in Chiapas. And on the way he saw girls raped, killed and suffered robberies. In Mexico, she hopes to get papers so she can work in Mexico and help her mother, or cross over to the United States, where she has a family.
The 23-year-old has been awake since 6.30 am. “They entered without saying anything, without speaking to anyone,” he says standing next to another group of migrants looking at the river. On the other side there has been, for days, another cordon of patrols that does not allow them to continue to the other side of the border. “We are waiting,” he adds. He does not know what can happen and asks. When they tell him that the National Guard is outside, he sighs, but he is not afraid, he says. He does not intend to cross the river to the United States. He was on that side for four days and is convinced that if he returns, they will deport him, as the Joe Biden Administration has done this week with thousands of migrants, because he travels alone: ”It is picking up the way we did.”
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