More than 18,000 Cubans Requested Asylum in Mexico in 2023

After nine days of walking, the “Exodus from Poverty” caravan was dissolved. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 4 January 2024 — The Mexican Refugee Aid Commission (COMAR) processed documents for 18,386 Cubans during 2023. All of them were part of the 140,982 migrants who requested documents for visitors for humanitarian reasons, which includes asylum cases. This is a “record figure,” the coordinator for COMAR, Andrés Ramírez Silva, told 14ymedio.

Migrants from the Island were the third largest group to which they provided assistance, behind Haitians, with 44,239 applications and Hondurans, with 41,935. Ramírez Silva stressed that despite the fact that the figure is considerable, between “November and December” they observed a decrease in the number of irregular foreigners who went to their facilities.

“Since October it has been agreed with the Ministry of the Interior to give priority to migrants who request asylum and want to remain in Mexico,” the official also explained, who attributed the collapse suffered during the year to the misinformation among foreigners who came to obtain transit permits so as not to be arrested.

Not to be confused with those who continue to arrive in Mexico. The flow has been very large and that is why the meeting took place between Mexico and the United States”

Ramírez Silva clarified that this decrease refers to migrants who approach COMAR: “Not to be confused with those who continue to arrive in Mexico. The flow has been very large, and that is why the meeting between Mexico and the United States took place.”

Guillermo wants to reach the United States, but he distrusts the Mexican authorities who have offered the almost 5,000 migrants who make up the so-called “Exodus of Poverty” caravan a “humanitarian visa” to be able to transit to the northern border. “They are going to return us to Tapachula and put us in prison,” he fears.

This Cuban tells 14ymedio that neither he nor nine other Cubans are going to get on the buses that Migración sent to the municipality of Mapastepec to transfer them to the custom facilities of Cerro Gordo, located on the Huixtla-Villa Comaltitlán section. He says that they will get the documents, but they will continue walking.

Zuselmi García López and the other 12 Cubans whom Migración tried to extort, charging 1,500 Mexican pesos (88 dollars) each, have left the caravan. “The same day of the complaint they took advantage of the night to continue in a van,” says Guillermo.

A group of the so-called “Exodus of Poverty” caravan in the municipality of Mapastepec (Chiapas). (Facebook/Girasol TV)

The coordinator of the Center for Human Significance, Luis Villagrán, told this newspaper that Migration committed to provide special attention to the vulnerable groups of the caravan (minors, women, the elderly). These will be attended to through the DIF (National System for the Integral Development of the Family) and will be provided with “assistance and services to meet their family needs.” The remaining migrants will be transferred to other parts of the country, but he did not specify where.

While the procedures are being carried out for the members of the caravan, the Secretary of the Interior, Luisa Alcalde Luján, reported the rescue of 31 people who were kidnapped in the state of Tamaulipas.

Without breaking down the figures by nationalities, Migration said that last year 135,382 documents were issued for visitors for humanitarian reasons, of which 97,545 were refugees, 25,402 were victims of persecution and 9,103 were given documents for humanitarian reasons.

They also delivered 136,235 documents for temporary residents, 83,529 to applicants for permanent residence, 69,517 to regional visitors and 6,637 for border workers.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.