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‘Nativity Caravan’: Over 6,000 migrants begin trek through Mexico towards U.S.

The group began the walk to the north shortly after the bilateral meeting between both countries to discuss immigration was confirmed.

Captura de pantalla de una grabación de DW Español donde se puede ver la caravana de inmigrantes que comenzó a cruzar México hacia Estados Unidos durante Navidad

(Cordon Press)

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Thousands of immigrants from different parts of Latin America have begun walking on Christmas Eve from the Mexican city of Tapachula, Chiapas, towards the United States.

The estimated number of members varies between 8,000 from the local Civil Protection unit, reported by local media, and 6,000 from the AP agency. Even taking into account that this last figure is not the highest, AP assures that it is the largest caravan in more than a year.

Some local newspapers christened it as "the Nativity caravan."

Activists cited by the Mexican newspaper Milenio claim that among the walkers there are around 2 thousand minors and 4 thousand adults. Most of them are families. The majority would be Venezuelans - a group that has broken immigration records to the US this year - but there would also be people from around twenty Latin American countries.

Some of the immigrants assured that they had decided to start the march north because Mexican institutions had been delaying their procedures, causing them to remain in the country for months. They also reported cases of mistreatment and corruption.

Bilateral meeting

Near the border with Guatemala, Tapachula is a frequent departure point for caravans. This year alone, several groups have gathered there, such as the 1,500 who began walking north in March, amid complaints about failures in the CBP One application, or the up to 5,000 who took the same path in October.

The southern city illustrates the problem of the migratory flow that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised to "order" during his morning conference on December 22, where he also acknowledged that "there has been growth beyond normal in recent times."

López Obrador also confirmed then that he will meet on the last Wednesday of the year with a North American delegation, made up of the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, who was informed over the weekend that he could face an impeachment process in 2024 for his role in immigration management. Liz Sherwood-Randall, White House National Security Advisor, will also participate in the meeting.

Blinken will attend the meeting with the intention of looking to "identify ways Mexico and the United States will address border security challenges, including actions to enable the reopening of key ports of entry across our shared border." López Obrador, for his part, maintained that he is willing to collaborate, but that, among other demands, he hopes that the United States will get closer to Cuba.