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23 Jan 2020 | 11:30 PM UTC

Mexico: National Guard detains hundreds of migrants in Chiapas January 23 /update 1

Hundreds of migrants cross from Guatemala into Chiapas state near Ciudad Hidalgo on January 23 before being detained by National Guard personnel

entry/exit
security
MEX

Event

A large group of migrants crossed into Mexico’s southern Chiapas state from Guatemala on Thursday, January 23, in an effort to seek asylum in either Mexico or the US. Hundreds of people marched across the Suchiate River near Ciudad Hidalgo unopposed before forming a column and walking up the main highway. However, around 300 members of the National Guard blocked their passage near Frontera Hidalgo, detaining hundreds of migrants while some escaped the area.

Further attempts by migrants to cross into Chiapas state are possible over the coming weeks.

Context

On Monday, January 20, thousands of migrants attempted to cross into Mexico near Ciudad Hidalgo. However, a security cordon formed by Mexican National Guard officers prevented most of the migrants from crossing the border. Mexico's National Migration Institute (INM) said that 402 people were detained, while some were able to break the cordon and flee into the country. Some migrants threw stones at National Guard personnel during the attempted crossing, who responded by firing tear gas at the crowd.

According to Guatemalan officials, at least 4000 migrants have entered the country since January 15 in an attempt to walk to the US border. Mexican officials said that almost 1100 people were received at the border in Chiapas and Tabasco states on January 19. Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said that his government will not allow groups to enter the country illegally and deployed 20,000 National Guard members to northern and southern borders to block migrants.

Advice

Individuals in Chiapas state, and along the southern border, are advised to keep abreast of the situation, anticipate a heightened security presence, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.