Caravan presses north through Mexico as US pressure mounts

Trudging forward in the sweltering sun, thousands of migrants left the Mexican city of Tapachula on Monday a...

Posted: Oct 23, 2018 10:35 AM
Updated: Oct 23, 2018 10:35 AM

Trudging forward in the sweltering sun, thousands of migrants left the Mexican city of Tapachula on Monday and continued their trek toward the US border.

There seemed to be little organization as the migrants streamed north -- and plenty of peril.

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Immigration

Immigration, citizenship and displacement

International relations and national security

Latin America

Mexico

North America

Political Figures - US

The Americas

United States

US federal government

White House

Central America

Honduras

Cars whizzed by long lines of people walking on a highway. One man fell hard from the back of a flatbed. A group of migrants said they had witnessed a child run over by a truck.

Mexican and Honduran authorities confirmed Monday that a 25-year-old Honduran national participating in the caravan had died.

"I deeply lament the death of a 25-year-old Honduran man, who was participating in the migrant caravan. He lost his life when he fell off a trailer that was moving," Mexico's Interior Secretary Alfonso Navarrete Prida tweeted. Another Honduran national was confirmed dead Saturday, when he fell off a pick-up truck.

On Monday, the majority of migrants made their way on foot. But some also flagged down cars and trucks passing by and piled onto any vehicle that would take them.

The highway behind the passing migrants was littered with plastic bottles, juice boxes and Styrofoam plates, resembling the scene of a marathon that has just ended.

But for this group -- which UN officials estimate numbers more than 7,000 -- the marathon is far from over.

If they continue on foot, it will likely take them more than a week to make it to Mexico's northern border.

A key unanswered question: Will Mexican authorities stop the massive caravan before its members reach the United States?

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said Monday it will be difficult for the migrant caravan to reach its goals if they don't respect Mexican immigration laws.

"To all those who have chosen to continue with this caravan, which operates outside of the legal order, I respectfully say and want to make clear, if you continue with this behavior it will be difficult for you to reach your goal, be it entering the United States or staying in Mexico," Peña Nieto said during a speech in Mexico City. "Any other means that don't involve respecting the law will make it very difficult for those marching with this caravan to reach their objective."

The caravan formed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, more than a week ago and made its way through Guatemala before arriving at the Mexican border on Friday, when police at one point fired tear gas at an unruly crowd.

Before the caravan's arrival, Mexican authorities said that anyone who entered their country "in an irregular manner" could be subject to apprehension and deportation, but many migrants from the caravan appear to have circumvented authorities so far.

CNN teams witnessed migrants jumping off a bridge at the Mexico-Guatemala border over the weekend and riding rafts across a river to reach Mexican soil.

For days, Mexican police have made a point of showing stepped up security, standing guard in riot gear as the group marches on. But they haven't detained the majority of the migrants from the caravan.

Still, suspicions are running high among the migrants -- mostly Hondurans who say they're fleeing poverty and violence. Mexican officials have been sending buses and offering to transport them, but migrants have been hesitant to board -- worried they'll end up trapped in government custody, unable to continue their journeys to the US border.

On Monday the migrants had a more modest goal for their destination: Huixtla, a town about 21 miles away.

That's roughly the same distance the migrants had traveled the day before.

Rosa Dubon, 34, said she fled Honduras with her 2-year-old and 4-year-old after MS-13 gang members started to make people pay monthly fees. Her older sons, she said, already fled after gangs back home had tried to recruit them.

"There is no going back," she said, standing under a bridge on a highway outside of Tapachula.

Further north, people lay down clothes on the side of the highway and offered them to those walking by, along with bags of water and diapers. One woman gave away tamales.

Many in the migrant caravan were limping at the end of that leg of their trek -- their shoes falling apart as they arrived in Tapachula. At night, they packed so tightly into the city's central plaza that there was almost no room to walk. Hundreds of people slept on the ground.

Trump warns of 'national emergency'

US President Donald Trump warned once again that he'd declare a "national emergency" over the approaching caravan and others like it, vowed to slash foreign aid to several Central American countries and said that criminals -- and specifically people from the Middle East -- had infiltrated the group.

Even as analysts and a senior counterterrorism official countered that claim, Trump doubled down, telling reporters at the White House to "go into the middle" of the caravan and "search."

"You're gonna find MS-13," he said. "You're gonna find Middle Eastern."

CNN reporters following the caravan say they haven't met anyone from the Middle East, and have encountered many people who are fleeing gang violence.

Mexican authorities say more than 1,000 migrants from the caravan have officially applied for refugee status in Mexico.

Volunteers pass out supplies as caravan passes

Miguel Hernandez watched members of the caravan march by in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, waving and offering words of encouragement.

"I've never seen anything like this in my life, in 60 years, until today," he said. "It must be that where they live they don't take care of them the way they should."

Mexicans lined up along roads to hand out supplies to passersby, many expressing a sense of solidarity with the migrants' plight. They distributed hot food and cold drinks, and gave children bags full of candy.

Adela Ochoa Martinez passed out cups of water, noting that she was eager to help the passing migrants.

"They are people who need it. Today it's for them," she said. "Tomorrow it's for us."

It's painful, Ochoa said, to see so many children in the crowd.

"It hurts a lot," she said, fighting back tears, "and it touches my heart."

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Florence
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Fayetteville
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Scottsboro
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 159439

Reported Deaths: 2699
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23443377
Mobile16934315
Tuscaloosa10414140
Montgomery10298197
Madison939496
Shelby743663
Baldwin669469
Lee655065
Calhoun462161
Marshall441150
Etowah431251
Morgan418235
Houston418034
DeKalb346129
Elmore322753
St. Clair299942
Limestone289330
Walker282392
Talladega267435
Cullman250824
Lauderdale231342
Jackson217515
Autauga207431
Franklin206131
Colbert204132
Russell19533
Blount194225
Chilton189332
Dallas187227
Coffee179511
Dale177251
Covington175529
Escambia173030
Clarke135317
Chambers135244
Pike134413
Tallapoosa133087
Marion109729
Barbour10339
Marengo102522
Butler101340
Winston93713
Geneva9167
Lawrence86132
Pickens86018
Bibb84314
Randolph82916
Hale77730
Clay74912
Washington74912
Cherokee74514
Henry7196
Lowndes71428
Bullock64917
Monroe64810
Crenshaw60930
Perry5936
Fayette58413
Cleburne5738
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56113
Macon53720
Lamar5065
Sumter47321
Choctaw39212
Greene34616
Coosa2053
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 249866

Reported Deaths: 3163
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby36685565
Davidson31975343
Knox1284891
Rutherford12017115
Hamilton11867109
Williamson718756
Sumner6184112
Wilson473159
Putnam445657
Montgomery424057
Out of TN415136
Sullivan381946
Madison381479
Bradley361923
Washington356951
Maury338938
Blount337436
Sevier336423
Robertson262842
Hamblen247548
Tipton238123
Unassigned22615
Dyer224732
Gibson217244
Coffee192325
Hardeman190533
Greene181252
Obion179522
Trousdale17768
Bedford174520
Dickson170719
Fayette169825
Anderson169713
McMinn165937
Lawrence164520
Loudon164311
Cumberland161327
Wayne16047
Carter158334
Weakley157326
Jefferson156421
Monroe147228
Warren144910
Lauderdale144117
Henderson142126
Hardin140420
Macon134825
Roane13217
Franklin130220
Haywood129728
Overton122917
Hawkins122625
White119414
Johnson11577
Marshall115710
Carroll115326
McNairy113427
Rhea112418
Cocke108014
Cheatham106911
Campbell103512
Bledsoe10264
Smith99413
Lake9873
Giles98336
Fentress91811
Lincoln9173
Crockett87020
Hickman81015
Henry80211
Marion7839
DeKalb73717
Chester73314
Decatur66311
Grainger6124
Grundy57511
Union5463
Claiborne5286
Polk51713
Humphreys4584
Jackson4535
Morgan4437
Unicoi4333
Houston42317
Benton4219
Cannon4212
Lewis4185
Clay40615
Scott3865
Sequatchie3472
Stewart33611
Meigs3296
Perry3082
Pickett2748
Moore2722
Van Buren2081
Hancock1213

Community Events