JUCHITAN, Mexico (AP) — The latest on the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico (all times local):
An activist working with several thousand Central American migrants moving through southern Mexico says the caravan’s effort to arrange bus travel to Mexico City has “failed.”
Caravan coordinator Walter Cuello said Wednesday evening that the migrants now plan to set out on foot again before dawn Thursday from Juchitan in Oaxaca state. They will be heating to Santa Maria Jalapa del Marques, about 35 miles (57 kilometers) to the west.
The migrants had not said what route they intended to take northward or where on the U.S. border they hope to reach, and Juchitan was something of a crossroads.
Choosing Jalapa del Marques as the next destination appears to indicate they are opting to travel via Oaxaca’s eponymous state capital instead of turning north toward the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. Veracruz is a common transit route for Central Americans heading for the nearest crossing, at McAllen, Texas.
Mexican authorities say a woman with the thousands of Central Americans moving through the country’s south has given birth to the first known caravan baby.
The National Human Rights Commission says the girl was delivered at a hospital in Juchitan, where the migrants took a day off from traveling in hopes of negotiating bus transportation to Mexico City.
The commission says it arranged medical attention for the Guatemalan woman. Her husband was able to be present for the birth and the newborn is reported to be healthy.
Mexico’s top security official has appeared to suggest there was some kind of conspiracy behind the two migrant caravans already in Mexico, related to the Nov. 6 U.S. midterm elections.
Interior Secretary Alfonso Navarrete says “the fact that this is being done at a time when there are election campaigns in the country they’re headed for, that’s not a coincidence, that’s not chance, that’s the reason why.”
Activists with the caravan have denied there is any political motivation in the timing of the event.
Navarrete told a news conference Wednesday that “Here we are talking about a humanitarian crisis of a lack of jobs, a lack of opportunities, and the use by third parties of a vulnerable population group like the migrants.”
He did not specify who those third parties were, but said “I have talked about there being people tied to criminal activities who have infiltrated the caravan … we have detained some.”
That appeared to be a reference to two Hondurans caught and deported Monday, one accused of homicide and another of drug trafficking.
President Donald Trump’s complaints that Mexico is not doing enough to stop a caravan of migrants are being contradicted by his own White House.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that Mexican soldiers were “unable or unwilling” to stop the thousands of migrants moving toward the United States border.
But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News on Wednesday that “Mexico has stepped up in an unprecedented way.”
Trump has consistently exaggerated the size of the caravan and the threat it plays to the United States. The group is approximately 900 miles from the border.
But the Mexican government has taken a fairly contradictory stance on helping or hindering the first caravan, reflecting the country’s balancing act: Officials don’t want to irk Trump, but Mexicans themselves long suffered mistreatment as migrants.
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