International

Mexico closes migrant shelter after riots at US border

Mexico closes migrant  shelter after riots at US border
Migrant families, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America, look to cross the border into the United States.
Mexico City, Nov 27 (IANS): | Publish Date: 11/27/2018 12:17:03 PM IST

Mexican authorities have established a fence around the main shelter for migrants who arrived in the border city of Tijuana, after Sunday’s clash in which hundreds of Central Americans broke a police barrier trying to enter the US.

The police officers on Monday arrived in at least a dozen buses with capacity for 50 passengers each and were deployed with riot gear in the neighbourhood of the sports complex “Benito Juarez” which until Sunday night housed some 5,600 migrants, reports Efe news.

Meanwhile, some Central Americans have approached federal police officers and the Beta Group - a unit of the National Institute of Migration specialised in providing guidance and assistance to migrants - upon learning that there is an option for people who wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.

The federal police informed them that they would be transported to Tapachula, in the state of Chiapas, bordering with Guatemala, where they will be taken care of in a shelter and then transported back to their countries.

Central Americans are increasingly turning to this option given the reinforcement of security and the daily warnings of President Donald Trump, who on Monday urged Mexico to send the migrants trying to enter the United States back to their countries “by any means necessary”.

The new warning comes a day after a group of migrants challenged the authorities by climbing the border wall separating Mexico and the United States. After breaking a police fence, they were greeted with tear gas deployed by US border police.

Following the incident, the Government of Mexico presented a diplomatic letter to the US Embassy asking for an investigation into the use of the tear gas, which reached Mexican territory.

The Mexican Foreign Ministry asked the US authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the events in which non-lethal weapons were used from the US towards Mexico.

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