The inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States took place on Friday, January 20, 2017. Of his many proposals, one of the most polarising1 was the planned construction of a "Great Wall" along the United States-Mexico border supposedly to protect the US from all kinds of scourges coming from down South. During the four years of his presidency, violence in the countries of the northern triangle of Central America (Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala) continued to drive people to flee their homes, yet Trumpian policies made fleeing that much harder.
The pressure exerted through policies such as the threat of hiking up taxes on US imports from Mexico forced the Mexican government to take a stronger stance against migrant caravans, starting at their southern border shared with Guatemala.
"The border of the United States begins in the South of Mexico.” This is how Central American, Cuban, Haitian and African migrants tell the story of their journey to reach the fabled United States. It’s at the border between Mexico and Guatemala that makeshift rafts are regularly launched on the Rio Suchiate, part of the natural Southern border…
Once in Mexico, the journey begins. Walking in groups or hitching a ride on “La Bestia”, the name given to the famous freight train network that crosses the country from South to North, are the two most common modes of travel and a mix of the two is usually required to get all the way. The Mexican police are active along the route, chaperoning or obstructing the caravans on their Northern trudge and regularly inspecting the trains.
If they make it across the buffer zone of Mexico yet another obstacle appears in their way. For some, it’s one obstacle too many…
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