Oaxaca: Migrants Collapse Services in Eight Municipalities 


In one year, the migratory flow that crosses the Oaxacan territory collapsed various services in six municipalities of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and exposed the weakness of municipal authorities in terms of medical and health care. 

From the border bridge between Oaxaca and Chiapas, in Los Corazones, along almost 120 kilometers along the Pan-American highway, walking, in motorcycle taxis, taxis, or on hitches, people in transit —men, women, and minors of at least 16 countries from three continents—cross five eastern municipalities before reaching Juchitán. 

According to official data from the Oaxaca government, only from May to August there are more than 56,000 migrants who have crossed the state, the majority during July. In the San Pedro Tapanatepec module, more than 4,000 people have been served in that period. 

Just last week, the state government recognized that problems have arisen that affect citizens, as many foreigners remain stationed for several days in cities on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, complicating the provision of services to locals. 

Despite this, the government of Oaxaca assures that the immigration issue is not within the powers or responsibilities of the state and is only working in coordination with the federal government to install 80 checkpoints within the entity, to contain the flow of people. 

A passing state 

Elements of the Beta Group, of the National Institute of Migration (INM) go out to meet the foreigners. They say that they are prohibited from giving interviews, but they allow photographs, without their faces, at the moments in which they help the migrants with water, serum, tuna and cookies. Children are carried on the shoulders of elders or in the arms of adult women. Many minors go alone. 

From Los Corazones, the migrants board motorcycle taxis from San Pedro Tapanatepec, which leave them under the El Jícaro or Pascual Fuentes bridge. From there they get on another motorcycle taxi that brings them closer to the La Blanca turnoff, in Santiago Niltepec, which in turn brings them closer to Santo Domingo Ingenio; then they take another motorcycle taxi heading to La Venta, Juchitán. 

For each section they pay between 200 and 300 pesos, say the authorities of Tapanatepec, Humberto Parrazales, and Zanatepec, Tania Isabel Escobar. This has already collapsed the municipal public transport service because motorcycle taxi drivers no longer serve the community, which pays 15 pesos per trip. 

Some 400 foreigners arrive a day in San Pedro Tapanatepec, where there is a shelter that allows migrants a maximum stay of two days, says mayor Humberto Parrazales.  

During August, the migratory flow intensified in Juchitán, where the residents have begun to resent it, since it has disrupted the bus service, money transfer services and internet businesses, in which they seek to enter the CBP One application to process appointments at the United States Customs Office. 

In the main avenues of the city, where shops abound, there are dozens of families, many Venezuelans, asking for money to continue their journey, and in the bus stations hundreds of foreigners, mostly Africans, stay up to three days because there are no tickets to leave earlier. 

For the director of Health of the Juchiteco government, Lilibeth Jiménez, in that area there are health risks because people in transit “dispose garbage, defecate and urinate in the open, eat right there, and we send cleaning and fumigation brigades, but there are many”, she says. They don’t stay, they leave, but in less than 12 hours more arrive. 

Bus users complain that for at least three weeks they spend half a day lined up with some 200 foreigners to buy tickets to the city of Oaxaca. 

“There is only one window,” says Iván Regalado, annoyed, one of the users surprised by the magnitude of this migratory flow. 

Faced with the annoyance of the Juchitec families, the municipal president of Juchitán, Miguel Sánchez Altamirano, points out that he will ask the trucking companies to form lines for migrants and another for the Juchitec families. 

Source: Informador