Mexico + 3 more

ACAPS Briefing Note: Mexico - Migrant Caravan (31 October 2018)

Originally published
View original


Since 13 October, several thousand migrants have left Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to form two large caravans and multiple smaller groups travelling by foot towards the United States border. At least 9,000 people have entered Mexican territory since 19 October. Protection concerns as well as urgent food, water, health and shelter needs have been reported. In the leadup to the US mid-term congressional elections the caravan has become a highly politicised issue, which put pressure on the Mexican state to prevent migrants entering the US and to create incentives for migrants to apply for asylum in Mexico.

Anticipated scope and scale

In addition to the 9,000 people in Mexico, up to 15,000 people have left Central American countries to follow the caravan’s path. More tensions at entry points along Mexico’s southern border and an increase of needs along the route are to be expected. Uncertainty of the route makes preparations harder and increases the likelihood of shortages. Pressure from the US is likely to increase the number of people applying for asylum in Mexico and disperse the caravan. Further delays and blockages are likely to increase migrant’s exposure to protection risks near the northern border.

Key priorities

+9,000 migrants in Mexico

Basic Needs incl. shelter, food, health services

+2,300 children in need of protection

Humanitarian constraints

Access to the areas affected is largely unrestrained currently. Humanitarian actors are most likely to face bureaucratic issues as the caravan has become politically significant and access may become impeded.


Estimates of the number of migrants in each caravan vary widely, and few have been verified. Although the caravans have received significant media attention, it is very difficult to determine to which caravan section each report refers.