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Violence to spur more migration from Mexico, Central America -Red Cross – Metro US

Violence to spur more migration from Mexico, Central America -Red Cross

Migrants under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, in Ciudad
Migrants under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, in Ciudad Juarez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Waves of migration through Mexico and Central America, and people who go missing will increase in 2022 due to high levels of violence in the region, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

“In many countries, violence is wreaking more and more havoc, and that’s why there are more and more migrants,” ICRC representative Jordi Raich told Reuters in an interview Wednesday. “And it’s not a situation that is going to improve or slow down, not even in the years to come.”

Immigration authorities in Mexico detained 307,679 migrants in 2021, a 68% increase compared to 182,940 detentions in 2019, according to government data.

Shelters in Mexico were completely overwhelmed last year, filled with frustrated migrants unable to continue their journey to the United States, Raich said.

Many migrants get “stuck” along Mexico’s southern or northern borders, Raich said, where they face “enormous economic constraints” and are only able to find basic services.

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has faced record numbers of migrants arriving at the southern border and has implored Mexico and Central American countries to do more to stem the wave.

Disappearances in the region have not slowed either, the Red Cross said in a report released Thursday. Mexico recently surpassed 100,000 people reported missing in the country.

In El Salvador, 488 missing person cases remain unsolved, and in Guatemala, the number of missing women rose to six a day, the Red Cross report said.

Raich said it will be difficult to respond to the root causes of migration immediately. A joint effort among countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is necessary, he added.

“Migration is not going to stop,” Raich said. “If you try to prevent it or strictly regulate it, people start to pile up at the borders, which is happening in Mexico and other countries.”

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by Kylie Madry, editing by Bernard Orr)

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