The mass exodus began after they learned that the INM commissioner, Francisco Garduño Yáñez, personally delivered free transit permits for 30 days in Mexico in Tapanatepec.
Juchitan. – “What does it have for service? How much is it worth?” Are one of the most common questions asked by the heads of families in Venezuela, when they go to buy food before or after entering the soccer field on March 21 from San Pedro Tapanatepec, in the Isthmus region of Oaxaca.
The most common thing they find for breakfast, lunch, or dinner is a small chicken dish, either with white spaghetti or sliced potatoes and onions. An order costs 50 Mexican pesos, an affordable price in relation to the prices of the isthmus region.
“We are exhausted, especially with money, and the road is long to our final destination, which is the United States, but we do not lose hope,” says Doña Isabel, who has just bought some small tamales for which she paid 20 pesos each.
Since last Friday the fifth of this month, a week after the March 21 soccer field was set up as a temporary shelter to receive thousands of migrants stranded in the Chiapas municipality of Huixtla, some 500 foreigners from 12 countries arrive every day.
Huixtla is about 250 kilometers west of San Pedro Tapanatepec, where for fear of being detained and deported by the immigration authorities or fear of being victims of organized crime, the migrants did not want to advance that stretch of road.
However, the mass exodus began on Friday the fifth of this month, after they learned that the commissioner of the National Institute of Migration (INM), Francisco Garduño Yáñez, personally delivered free transit permits for 30 days in Mexico in Tapanatepec.
Since then, about 500 migrants arrive every day, including Venezuelans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Colombians, Afghans, and those from the Northern Triangle of Central America, who sleep and consume their food with their own resources.
Inside, says the head of a Cuban family, reluctant to explain, there are no beds to sleep on. He refers to the fact that in the soccer field shelter, where there are three canvases of 250 square meters each, there are no mats or lounge chairs. Just the hard dirt floor.
The stadium was enabled with three tents of 250 square meters each, 30 bathrooms, and 10 sinks, but no beds. The authorities also do not provide any kind of food.
For a municipality with four small hotels and the same number of restaurants, plus snack bars, which has the highest economic movement during the first five months of each year with the cutting, harvesting, and exporting of mangoes, 500 daily migrants exceed its supply capacity.
The municipal president of San Pedro Tapanatepec, Humberto Parrazales ( Morena party ), considers that until now the efforts of his government have managed to prevent it from being exceeded. There are no reports of fights and no criminal acts such as robberies or assaults.
However, he added, there will never be enough support sent by governments through the National Guard and the Oaxaca Public Security Secretariat ( SSPO ), “because this migration issue will continue.”