RT, August 27, 2019
Migrants from Africa demanding the right to travel to the US and Canada clashed with Mexican military police after Mexico cracked down on free migration in response to US threats of economic retaliation.
Nationals of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Angola, Senegal, Cameroon, and several other African countries, stuck in southern Mexico after the government clamped down on northward migration in response to US pressure, are protesting for the right to continue their journey. They are demanding travel documents and government support, so that they can enter the US. On Tuesday, their demonstrations turned violent.
Video taken at Tapachula detention center near Mexico’s border with Guatemala shows migrants pelting Mexican military police with trash cans, bottles, even the tents they’ve purchased for what has turned out to be an extended stay in the border town. Police are seen pushing back with riot shields as protesters chant. At one point, a seemingly unconscious policeman is carried into an ambulance as the rioters cheer, and another demonstrator is seen lying on the ground after reportedly fainting.
The demonstrations at the government-run migration center began peacefully enough earlier this month, but have grown increasingly agitated as migrants realize getting to the US is no longer as easy as showing up and claiming asylum. Mexican authorities, which once handed out “humanitarian” visas allowing migrants to travel north freely, reportedly ended the practice five months ago. Mexico has deployed tens of thousands of troops to its borders, in response to US President Donald Trump’s threats to impose tariffs if the country is unable to get illegal crossings under control.
Mexican security forces were sent to clear out the protesters several days into the Tapachula demonstrations, reportedly arresting several men who were later released. Mexican immigration authorities report they are utterly overwhelmed by the enormous number of migrants flooding into the country. Authorities are detaining more African migrants than ever before, as many turned to crossing the Atlantic due to European nations curtailing their own open-door migration policy.