Between 3,000 and 4,000 migrants left the Mexican southern border city of Tapachula on Saturday morning, bound for Mexico City.
Caravan organizers say that will be their last stop, as they try to secure humanitarian permits for the Haitians, Central and South American migrants to move freely in Mexico. But some of the migrants themselves have said they intend to reach the U.S. border.
The caravan immediately ran into a Mexican National Guard roadblock but appeared to break through, images on social media show. The images show a throng of people making their way past soldiers in riot gear and with plastic shields, yelling, “Libertad! Libertad! (Freedom! Freedom!)”
Many of the migrants had lingered for months in Tapachula, a city just a few miles from the border with Guatemala. Local news media published numerous photos of Haitians living on sidewalks and occupying public parks.
Prior to the departure, caravan organizer Irineo Mujica criticized U.S. immigration policy on interviews shared on social media.
“They’re just in denial of their own fault. They haven’t been able to handle immigration,” he said. “If I tell you the truth, I believe at least with Donald Trump we knew what we had. With Biden, we don’t know. He doesn’t seem to have a clue what to do with immigration because he says one thing and does another.”
The widespread perception is that caravan members intend to eventually make their way to the United States. An earlier group of Haitians – 12,000 according to Tapachula activists – departed Tapachula in early September and wound up in Del Rio, Texas a few days later.