Activist arrested in Chiapas whilst supporting migrant caravan

By October 19, 2018

A Mexican activist has been arrested after an altercation with authorities whilst at the migrant caravan movement.

Irineo Mijica Arzete, an activist and campaigner from Pueblos Sin fronteras (Peoples without borders), resisted arrest and caused injuries to police, it has been reported.

The altercation began in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, where parts of the migrant caravan have already arrived despite warning that police are expected to try and stop the movement. Mijica apparently attacked various elements of the police and surrounding properties as well as slashing the tyres of cars after being asked to produce his identification, and the attacks were captured on video.  

Reports have also pointed out that the man in question has dual Mexican and US citizenship. He has been an active supporter of the migrant caravan, and is, in fact, believed to have led the migrant caravan which took place last year.

Although it is an annual migration, geared at raising awareness of the ongoing situation in Central America, this year there has been increased turbulence surrounding the destination of the caravan. Aiming for the United States, many families are desperately marching forward with few belongings despite ongoing threats from the US president that he will cut aid to their countries.

Alongside Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis and the heightened violence in Nicaragua that is forcing citizens to leave, high rates of unemployment across Central America have meant that people are choosing to leave the area in swathes every day. Many claim violence and poverty are the main reasons they are being forced to leave their countries. Despite increased efforts to dissuade migration, a  recent study revealed that 95% of those forcibly returned to their country try and cross the border into the United States again. The risky vicious cycle of searching for a better life and fleeing from persecution continues.

Despite reports that Guatemalan citizens had helped the migrants with food, water and even money handouts, it is unclear how Mexico will act in response to entry into the country. Although one activist has been arrested, countless more support the movement of the caravan in a bid to ensure safe passage throughout Mexico regardless of their migratory status.