The Mexican government hasn’t exactly put the clamp on the Central American migrant “caravan” headed north for the past few days, weeks, even months, but there is sporadic street action seeking to make life unpleasant for them, with the ultimate goal for some to vanquish them from Tijuana.
A group opposed to what they described as the “chaos” of the migrant caravan and another group supportive of the Central Americans prepared to hold dueling demonstrations on Sunday in the border city of Tijuana.
About 2,400 members of a caravan of mostly Central American migrants arrived in Tijuana during the past week, and more than 1,000 in nearby Mexicali are expected to travel to Mexico’s westernmost border city in the coming days.
The migrants’ presence has already caused divisions in Tijuana, a city that has long been viewed as welcoming to immigrants. Their arrival sparked a confrontationWednesday night with local residents, who demanded the migrants leave a beachfront park near the California-Mexico border and go to a shelter. And their presence spurred sharp words from the city’s mayor, who, in an interview with Mexican media outlet Milenio, called the migrants bums and said some were smoking marijuana in the streets.
On Sunday morning, those opposed to the caravan’s presence prepared to make their voices heard in the streets of Tijuana. According to a Facebook invitation, the participants planned to demand the migrants not engage in marches or protests that cause the closure of roadways and that they not engage in confrontations with immigration agents that cause the closure of ports of entry.
About a half-mile east, counter-protesters planned a demonstration against what they’ve labeled “discrimination.” Organizers of that event said they will call for respect and dignity for the migrants fleeing poverty and violence, according to the Facebook invitation.
As I pointed out in this post earlier today, the migrants have been largely greeted “civilly” by Mexicans, but still, there are many who do not share such brotherly love for the northward caravan.
This video contains footage of a Hondurean migrant, outside one of the migrant camps, who claims that 30,000 more migrants are headed this way, and how are 30 pendejos (a mockery of Mexican protesters as helpless imbeciles) going to fight such a large caravan. Once the 30,000 marchers are assembled in Tijuana, he implies they will “bombard” Tijuana, a vaguely ambiguous reference which might refer to physical attack, or simple pestering invasion. Apparently, some interpreted it as a threat, and a follow-up video shows the same migrant, restrained in a moving vehicle, after his apparent kidnapping by unknown Mexicans.
The video shows him being interrogated about his nationality as well as the nationalities of two “coordinators,” a man and woman who brought the man to Tijuana. My Spanish translation skills suck, but this is a close approximation though I’m not clear on the “coordinator” semantics.
As in coordinating the caravan? Organizers of some sort?