By Sonia Perez D., Mark Stevenson and Maria Verza | AP November 6th, 10:13 MEXICO CITY – Thousands of Central…
MEXICO CITY – Thousands of Central Americans who dream of coming to the United States woke up Tuesday to donations of fruit and hot coffee at a sports stadium in Mexico’s cool capital as the United States held the middle elections where President Donald Trump made a migrant caravan a central issue.
The authorities counted more than 2,000 immigrants at the Jesus Martinez Stadium late Monday and a steady flow continued into the night. The facility has capacity to accommodate 6,000, officials said and four large tents set up to sleep filled. Women and children fell apart from the men who turned into concrete paler, while the city’s central market delivered 3.5 tonnes of bananas and guava to fill the crowd.
Still hundreds of miles from the US border, the migrants killed on thin mattresses with blankets to ward off the chill of a city about 7.300 feet above sea level, a major change after having trudging for three weeks in tropical heat. Temperatures fell below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (1
1 Celsius) during the night.
Nashieli Ramirez, Ombudsman for the Local Commission on Human Rights, said the city prepared to accommodate as many as 5,000 people. The leading caravan is estimated to have approximately 4000 participants and several smaller groups lead hundreds of miles south.
“We have space in terms of humanitarian aid,” said Ramirez.
Many of the migrants sought treatment for blisters and aching feet, respiratory infections, diarrhea and other diseases. City officials administered vaccines against tetanus and flu. Oxfam charity offered to donate 20 portable toilets.
Tania Escobar, a nurse with the Mexico City Public Health Department, said from a medical tent that demand was high for consultations. “After we came here we have not stopped,” she said.
Melvin Figueroa, a 32-year-old from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, was with her pregnant wife and two children, 6 and 8. He took 6-year-old girl to the tent because her eyes were annoyed and “she threw up everything she eats . “
More immigrants pulled along the highway between Pueblas city and the capital and attempted hitch rides from suitable vehicles. 19659013] Trump has taken on the caravan and portrayed it as a big threat, although such caravans have stepped up regularly over the years and largely passed unnoticed.
He ordered thousands of troops to the US-Mexico border, threatened to seize asylum seekers in tents and insinuated without proving that there were criminals or even terrorists in the group.
In dozens of interviews since the original caravan was from Honduras more than three weeks ago, immigrants have said that they release poverty and violent violence. Many are families traveling with young children. Some say they left because they were threatened by gang members or had lost relatives to gang violence. Others say they hope to work, secure a good education for their children and send money to support relatives at home.
Alba Zoleida Gonzalez, 48, from Valle, Honduras, said she went for five hours monday before taking a tour of a tractor trailer with about 150 other immigrants. Her calf muscles were worse, but it was a small price to pay the chance of a better life than that at home.
“I was looking for work and nothing,” said Gonzalez, adding that her husband had been robbed and had to hand over all he did to sell crabs so his attacker would not hurt. “And when you find a small job, they kill you for the money,” she said.
On arrival at Mexico City, some immigrants visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a great pilgrimage place, thanking the Virgin Mary to look over them during the trip.
The wagon had spread over the last few days, with many participants moving forward at a higher rate. The carriage is now planning to re-group in Mexico, where migrants are resting and seeking legal advice.
The route of 178 miles (286 kilometers) followed Monday to Mexico City from the city of Cordoba in the Gulf of Veracruz was the longest one-day trip that attempted from the group.
There was a barrier to this last stretch. Truck after truck denied migrants rides as they trudged along the highway to the relatively cooler November temperatures in Central Highlands Mexico. Migrants converged on tractors, which forced the big rigs to stay so that they could climb aboard. Such an improvised hitchhiking is uncertain, with dozens of encryption on vehicles at a time.
Mexico City is located more than 600 miles (1000 kilometers) from the nearest US border crossing at McAllen, Texas. A caravan last spring chose a much longer road to Tijuana in the northwest, across San Diego. This caravan steadily decreased to only about 200 people when it reached the limit.
Many in the latest group said they are still convinced to travel together is their best hope to reach the United States.
But Edgar Corzo, an official of the National Human Rights Commission, said that based on experience with previously wandering caravans , the group is likely to break up now when it is in the capital.
“Everyone goes to the place he thinks best,” mostly anywhere is closest to where they have relatives or friends already in the United States, he said.
Associated Press writer Amy Guthrie contributed to this report.
Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.