An Invisible Crisis: Thousands of African Migrants Are Stranded in Mexico Hoping to Head North
Hundreds of African migrants in Mexico are protesting the country’s refusal to grant them transit visas to travel to the United States or Canada, where they want to apply for asylum. For months, thousands of African migrants have been forced by the Mexican government to stay in the southern state of Chiapas, on the Guatemalan border. Many of them have been sleeping in tent cities, cooking on the streets and bathing their children in buckets, without the promise of shelter, food or work permits. The long waits for African migrants began in June, when it was reported that Mexican immigration authorities were ignoring transit visa requests by African and Haitian migrants to legally cross through Mexico. For African migrants, the journey to Mexico often takes months as they cross the ocean to reach South America and then embark on a dangerous trek through the Colombian jungle and multiple Central American borders. We speak with Carolina Jiménez, Americas deputy director for research at Amnesty International in Mexico City.