14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 9 December 2021 — The Grijalva River has become one of the routes most exploited in recent months by coyotes to pass migrants from the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, in western Guatemala, to Tenosique, in the Mexican state of Tabasco. Cuban Ernesto Rodríguez told 14ymedio that this is how he crossed in a boat with his wife, his son and 15 other foreigners on November 18.
The group got together on the 17th, he says. “We were in a room without light, we only heard that the route was ’hot’ and that the sailors were already leaving.” Rodríguez, who paid 1,600 dollars to the coyotes to get him to Mexico, says that for getting him to Veracruz they “asked him for 4,000 dollars.’’ Some did pay it. Migrants are taking this route to avoid entering Chiapas, where thousands of Haitians are creating chaos.
The same coyote that left them in Tenosique contacted a truck driver who took them hidden among the load of bananas that he transported to the state of Nuevo León. “On the 20th he left us in a room and only charged us $60, but we soon left for fear of being arrested.”
The humanitarian visa was processed in Coahuila. “As everything was getting ugly, we left there and traveled until we reached Sonora.” Originally from Holguín, Rodríguez left this Thursday from the La Divina Providencia refuge, located in San Luis Río Colorado, in the state of Sonora which borders the United States, heading towards the immigration station located in the same town, to request information about his wife and his son, who on Sunday were detained by immigration police while he was buying food.
“The humanitarian visa arrived late. With the Stay in Mexico everything was complicated. What I want is that my family gets out,” he explains. The program implemented during the government of Donald Trump — questioned for putting migrants and refugees in danger — was the way for the United States to send 13,000 asylum seekers there, according to a source from the Mexican Foreign Ministry. Since this Monday, it began to be implemented again in cities bordering Texas, Arizona and California.
Given the return of Stay in Mexico, the shelters located in the border area of Sonora are full, “since due to the pandemic we cannot receive more than 42 people,” says Sara Sánchez, who works with the La Divina Providencia refuge. “They are given accommodation for three days. Right now we are full and we had to channel 14 Haitians from the caravan that arrived on Wednesday.”
The Cubans Aledmys and Raúl are also in the refuge. The first also hopes to hear from his family, which was picked up during a detention, and he, to avoid being detained, filled out a form requesting refuge. According to the latest statistics published by the National Commission for Refugees of Mexico (Comar), as of November 30, 8,148 Cubans had requested refuge and 2,538 have been approved. Many carry out the process in order to obtain a humanitarian visa to be able to travel through the country towards the northern border, cross into the United States and request asylum.
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