As migrants moved through Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, the government offered them humanitarian visas if they agreed to dissolve the caravan Friday.
Leaders told Reuters that when they took the offer to a vote, members of the caravan, which include families with young children from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and the Caribbean, rejected it.
“We think it’s a trap,” Salvadoran migrant Rosa Arellano told Reuters. “We think it’s an opportunity for Mexican authorities to capture us.”
Mexico is under increasing pressure from the US to stem the flow of migrants making their way to the southern border. In fiscal year 2021, which ended at the end of August, more than 1.7 million migrants were arrested by US Border Patrol agents as they attempted to cross into the US, according to US Customs and Border Protection. It is the highest number of migrant arrests recorded since 1986, the agency said.