Venezuelan migrants in southern Mexico form U.S.-bound caravan
Thousands of Venezuelan migrants stranded in southern Mexico for months set off on a northbound caravan Friday in hopes of reaching the U.S. border.
Many of them have been waiting in the city of Tapachula for a permit from the Mexican government to transit through the country without being detained by immigration authorities. But with little apparent progress, some said they would take their chances.
"We feel trapped here," said Venezuelan migrant Henry Caceres. "I don't know how we're going to do it, but we're going to find a way to get to the border."
An estimated 6 million Venezuelans have fled economic collapse and insecurity in their home country in recent years, according to United Nations figures. Many have settled in other South American countries but some have traveled north.
Mexico received 5,516 asylum applications from Venezuelans between January and May this year, according to the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR), the fourth highest among all nationalities.