Photo: Joebeth Terriquez / EFE
TIJUANA (Mexico) – The more than a thousand migrants who spend the night in a makeshift camp in Tijuana for months they were surprised on Thursday night when the Authorities of this border municipality installed a fence around the El Chaparral esplanade.
It was 8:00 pm local time when a first group from the municipality’s Welfare Secretariat arrived in the area at install care and food modules and also carry out a census of who lives in this camp, in addition to giving them identification cards.
However, spirits rose when local Public Works and Cleaning personnel began to uninstall some tents, taking blankets and clothing and throwing them into a garbage truck.
After an hour, another group of workers began drilling the concrete floor to install various metal pipes, and in turn, a mesh.
This fence, according to the Secretary of Public Security and Citizen Protection of Tijuana, Fernando Sánchez, is intended to take care of migrants.
“Yes, the perimeter will be delimited but it is to protect them, so that people are not entering to sell drugs, to sell alcohol, so that we protect children”Sánchez responded to the media.
In the place, the migrants – many of them have been stranded in the town for months while waiting to cross into the United States – were upset and expressed fear of being evicted due to the fact that this next November 8 the borders are reopened for non-essential crossings.
For several minutes a group of migrants faced elements of the Municipal Police that were guarding the place to attend to any emergency, all of them unarmed.
Within the push to recover the houses and clothes that had been thrown in a garbage truck, a young worker of the delegation was wounded with a knife.
It was last October 22 when the mayor Montserrat Caballero toured the El Chaparral camp, that day he reported to the local press that they intended to place a metal fence to protect the migrants.
El Chaparral, whose official name is PedWest Mex, is the pedestrian and vehicular exit gate from San Ysidro, United States, to Tijuana, Mexico, and was considered one of the most modern border ports until the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The region has experienced an unprecedented migratory wave since the beginning of the year, with a historical flow of 147,000 undocumented persons detected in Mexico from January to August, triple 2020.
In addition, the numbers of arrests at the United States border with Mexico in the past fiscal year reached figures never seen before, with more than 1.7 million immigrants detected by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
These days, a migrant caravan made up of some 5,000 people is moving slowly through the southeast of Mexico in an effort to reach the capital to regularize their situation, and later travel to the north of the country.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.