Mexico City, Nov 19 (IANS) At least 150 people took to the streets of the Mexican border city of Tijuana to protest the Central American migrant caravan and called for law and order.
Convened via the social networks by the so-called “Citizens movement against the chaos of the migrant caravan”, the people gathered in Cuauhtemoc traffic circle on Sunday, reports Efe news.
The caravan of several thousand migrants set out from Honduras a month ago heading northwards through Guatemala and Mexico with the ultimate goal of crossing the US border.
Waving Mexican flags, the demonstrators climbed onto the monument to the last Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc shouting “Mexico, Mexico!” and “Tijuana, Tijuana!” as well as slogans calling for “defending” the country and the city in the face of the Central American influx.
“Wake up, Mexico. We don’t want problems. Out with the ‘maras’ (Central American groups and/or gangs) – Mexico for the Mexicans,” were some of the slogans chanted by a number of demonstrators.
“The migrants entered (Mexico) by violating Mexican sovereignty and humiliating us. We’re not going to permit them to stay here and enter Mexico and Tijuana as they please. For a better Tijuana we must not allow bussed-in criminals to come here,” said a demonstrator.
“We’re not against a migrant wanting to get ahead; the only thing we’re calling for is order and respect for the law.”
The municipal delegate for Tijuana’s central zone, Pablo Genaro Lopez, said that the protest was conducted in an orderly manner.
At least 3,000 migrants, of the 5,000 or so who set out originally from Honduras, were currently in Tijuana, and after the incidents last week the majority were waiting in a sports stadium to request asylum.
Many of the demonstrators echoed the same sentiments: namely, that they didn’t mind migrants coming to Mexico, but they wanted them to come legally, behave properly, and – above all – to prevent gang members and criminals from being among them.
Besides the caravan currently in Tijuana, there were at least two other groups of Central American migrants – mainly Hondurans and Salvadorans – who were now heading northwards through Mexico toward the US border.