EFE (via 14ymedio), Juarez, October 2, 2023 — Despite the operations of the Government of Mexico and the railway company Ferromex, thousands of migrants continue to risk their lives and ride the country’s trains, in particular “La Bestia,” [The Beast] to reach the border with the United States.
In Ciudad Juárez, on the border with Texas, EFE documented the arrival of one of these trains, which arrived from the Mexican city of Torreón with at least 500 migrants, some on the roof of the wagons and others inside the cars.
The Venezuelan Jesús Armando Barroso Barroso explained in an interview that traveling by rail is the only option, since the Mexican authorities stop them if they travel on the road, even if they go by bus.
They always stop you and take you off the bus. They don’t let you buy a ticket because they want you to walk the whole time
“They always stop you and take you off the bus. They don’t let buy a ticket because they want you to walk the whole time,” said the migrant, who after two months of travel arrived in Ciudad Juárez, where he hopes to cross to the American city of El Paso.
He said that as he passed through the city of Chihuahua he saw thousands of people waiting to get on a train and was frustrated by the possibility of Mexico returning them to their country of origin, as the Mexican Government promised U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) it would do.
The operation also contemplates rapid expulsion over Juárez bridges for migrants who cross the Rio Grande and surrender to the U.S. immigration authority.
It also implies the “return” of “secured” immigrants in Mexico to their countries of origin, with whom the country would negotiate to accept their citizens back. The migration travels by train.
The controversy over migrants in Mexico began on September 19, when the Ferromex company suspended 60 freight trains in the presence of more than 4,000 migrants and reported “nearly half a dozen unfortunate cases of injuries or deaths” on the tracks or cars in the midst of a new migratory wave.
The National Institute of Migration (INM) then promised to monitor together with Ferromex the main points where migrants board the trains. But migrants continue to arrive on the train to Ciudad de Juárez, one of the epicenters of the migratory wave in Mexico.
“We have fought a lot to be able to achieve our goal. We want to get to the U.S. to continue fighting for our families. Why are you going to return us? All we want is to pass through,” Barroso added.
Enrique Valenzuela, coordinator of the State Population Council (COESPO), acknowledged this week that despite the operations implemented by Ferromex and the state of Chihuahua, groups of people are constantly arriving in the city, mainly on board the freight train.
The controversy over migrants in Mexico began on September 19, when the Ferromex company suspended 60 freight trains in the presence of more than 4,000 migrants
However, it ruled out having official data on the number of migrants in Juárez, arguing that it is a very fluctuating figure.
In recent days, the migrants who arrive aboard “The Beast” have gone straight to the Rio Grande, just in front of gate 36 of the border wall, where they have stayed for up to five days waiting for attention from the U.S. authorities, according to José Gregorio, who arrived today on the train after three months of crossing.
“At night it’s cold and hot during the day. And there’s hunger too, because you can’t get off the train. There are people who stop and throw things up to us so we can grab a bottle of water or a loaf of bread,” José said.
“We have had to sleep on the street, but thank God we have always run into good-hearted Mexicans who have helped us,” he concluded with tears in his eyes.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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