TAPACHULA, Mexico – The caravan organized by the Honduran Network of Migrants Committees and Relatives of the Missing started its journey in Mexico over the weekend to look for more than 500 Hondurans who went missing here while trying to reach the United States.
The 25-member caravan entered Mexico via Tapachula, a town on the border with Guatemala.
The group, which includes 11 mothers and two fathers of missing migrants, reached Tapachula Sunday morning and continued on to Arriaga, another town in Chiapas state, where they spent the night at a shelter run by the Rev. Herman Vazquez, Meso-American Migrants Movement, or MMM, leader Marta Sanchez Soler said.
This is the sixth annual caravan organized by the Honduran activists, who estimate that nothing has been heard from more than 6,000 migrants in the past five years.
“The caravan estimates that more than 6,000 Hondurans are missing, it has information about just over 1,000 and a fully documented registry of 340 people. It is thanks to these caravans that the whereabouts of 500 have been determined,” Sanchez Soler told Efe.
The caravan will be traveling in Mexico until Nov. 11, with visits planned to Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Jalisco and Mexico states, as well as the Federal District.
Caravan members plan to meet with Mexican legislators and present them with an official petition asking that the government “find the missing,” Sanchez Soler said.
Information provided by different organizations allowed the activists to find several missing migrants, the MMM leader said.
Illegal immigrants often fall prey to gangs of robbers, police, immigration officers and in recent years to Mexico’s drug cartels.
In August, 72 Latin American migrants were massacred at a ranch in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas.
The massacre victims came from Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Brazil, but the majority were Hondurans.
Two migrants – one from Ecuador and another from Honduras – survived the massacre.
Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, is suspected of murdering the migrants.
More than 1,000 Hondurans and Salvadorans have gone missing in Mexico, with “their whereabouts unknown,” non-governmental organizations say. EFE