Response to arrivals of asylum-seekers from the North of Central America, 14 November 2018 12h00
Since mid-October several organized groups of people from the North of Central America region, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, have been traveling north in hope of reaching Mexico and the United States. In Mexico, there are approximately 7,000-9,000 people in these groups, currently spread out between Veracruz and Baja California. Among them are people fleeing persecution and violence and in need of international protection. Many are vulnerable and in need of humanitarian assistance, including women and around 2,300 children. Newborn babies, pregnant women, elderly people and people with disabilities have also been identified. Most are exhausted, many are suffering foot injuries. The groups, widely referred to as “caravans”, can be divided into three main and various smaller groups. UNHCR supports national and local authorities; provides information and supports facilitation of access to the Mexican asylum system; and provides humanitarian assistance to those who sought asylum. Additional resources and staff are being mobilized along the routes. The situation and the size of the various “caravans”, evolves daily. As of 13 November 2018, the situation is as follows:
The “first caravan” arrived in Mexico on 18 October and is currently moving, spread out in groups of 500-2,000 people, moving north, mainly towards Tijuana, crossing the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, and Sinaloa. The groups consist of nationals mainly from Honduras but also El Salvador and Guatemala. Federal authorities estimate the total size of these groups around 4,600 people, amongst them many young families and over 400 children.
The “second caravan”, according to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), also consists of all three NCA nationalities, with a majority being Honduran and is estimated at 1,050 people with approximately 95% of them being young men. The group, fleeing violence and poverty, has arrived in Mexico City.
The “third caravan” is, according to the CNDH, estimated at approximately 1,500 people, mainly young men, with a majority of people from El Salvador. The “third caravan” began to arrive in Mexico City, where it merges with the “second caravan” joined by yet another group of approximately 400 people, whose composition is currently being identified.