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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) expressed its “concern” for the safety and well-being of the thousands of children and adolescents who travel from southern Mexico to the border with the United States.
“The organization is monitoring the situation of migrants and refugees along the coastal highway from Tapachula to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas (southeastern Mexico) –With special focus on the situation of children and adolescents– and has identified cases of serious injuries and family separation ”, Unicef explained in a statement.
In recent days, three migrant caravans with hundreds of people in each have formed, leaving from Tapachula, in the southeastern state of Chiapas, to northern Mexico, bound for the United States.
However, the first two have already been dissolved by the authorities, receiving criticism from NGOs and agencies for the use of force.
In said caravans, Unicef assured that “disproportionate use of force by security forces against families with young children was identified., in addition to the theft and destruction of identity documents that supported the legal stay of these families in Mexico.
As a result of this, there were officials involved in the events who were suspended, something that Unicef positively acknowledged.
The organization assured that many of the children who walk in the caravan are dehydrated and are also receiving very limited access to essential services “For their physical and emotional well-being, nutrition, education and protection.”
The migratory flow increased in Mexico since October 2018, when caravans with thousands of migrants, mostly Central Americans, began to enter the country to reach the United States, so the then president Donald Trump pressured Mexico to stop them.
When the president Joe Biden arrived at the White House, he suspended his predecessor’s “Stay in Mexico” program, which forced asylum seekers to wait for their hearing from Mexican territory.
With this, the migratory flow rebounded so that the United States detained 212,672 undocumented immigrants at its southern border last July, the highest number in 20 years.
The National Institute of Migration (INM) of Mexico reported that from January to date has identified 34,427 minors, accompanied and unaccompanied, who were transiting Mexican territory in an irregular condition.
The Mexican migration body pointed out that this population flow tripled compared to the same period in 2020 in which 11,703 minors were identified, accompanied and unaccompanied.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.