Tapachula, Mexico – Elmer Wilmer Pineda was as soon as factual all the strategy by the river from Mexico this weekend when he heard the border was as soon as going to be militarised. Honduran migrants and asylum seekers at a safe haven on the Guatemalan aspect of the border were passing spherical an editorial shared on Facebook.

“Of us were fearful,” he told Al Jazeera. “Many folk left all the strategy by the evening and early the next morning.”

Pineda, Forty five, earned seven dollars a day working at a plantain chip manufacturing facility in San Nicolas, in Santa Barbara division in western Honduras. Nonetheless gangs demanded workers pay them eight dollars a week, threatening to beat or assassinate them if they failed to comply. Several workers were overwhelmed and native police did nothing, Pineda said.

Ten days ago, Pineda fled alongside with his accomplice and 10-year-vulnerable stepdaughter. After hearing files of border militarisation, they took a raft all the strategy by the Suchiate River and made their manner as much as Tapachula, Mexico.

The family is waiting to find in to perceive the Mexican Refugee Help Price, COMAR, which issued them a number Monday evening after a day’s wait. In conjunction with dozens of alternative asylum seekers, the family has been staying day and evening on a pavement draw the COMAR tell of business.


Victor Cruz waits in southern Mexico after fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras alongside with his wife, two-year-vulnerable daughter, four-month-vulnerable son, and other family [Sandra Cuffe/Al Jazeera]

“We hope it is some distance our turn tomorrow morning,” Pineda said.

As the Central American exodus continues, the Mexican authorities is cooperating with the USA and cracking down on north-trudge migration. New measures bask in heightened uncertainty and dismay amongst migrants and asylum seekers and drawn condemnation from rights groups.

US-Mexico deal

The Mexican and US governments publicly introduced an immigration deal on Friday following US president Donald Trump‘s threats to impose escalating tariffs on Mexican exports to the US. 

The “Stay in Mexico” programme, officially dubbed the Migrant Protection Protocols, will without lengthen develop to cowl your entire US-Mexican border. At existing handiest in conclude at ports of entry in Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juarez, the programme forces many Central Individuals looking out out for out asylum in the US to dwell in Mexico while they dwell unsleeping for asylum proceeding hearings in the US.

Greater than 10,000 Central Individuals were returned to Mexico beneath the protocols since their implementation started in unhurried January. Mexican officers build a query to the entire number to reach 60,000 by the conclude of August, the head of Mexico’s refugee assistance commission said Monday.

Mexico will deploy 6,000 contributors of its National Guard to southern areas alongside and draw the border with Guatemala. The deal additionally mentions building aid for southern Mexico and Central The US, however the specifics will now not be but particular.


Mexican navy contributors reach at a defense pressure crude in Tapachula, Chiapas tell [Quetzalli Blanco/AFP] 

Key aspects of the deal were nothing original. The National Guard deployment was as soon as tell in secret talks months ago with passe Secretary of Operate of foundation Security Kirstjen Nielsen, the New York Times reported. Plans for the growth of the Migrant Protection Protocols had been in the playing cards because the programme’s inception.

No topic hypothesis, a “safe third country” agreement was as soon as now not included in the deal. 

Below such an agreement, handiest Mexicans shall be popular to stare asylum in the US. Guatemalans shall be forced to manufacture so in Mexico, and Hondurans and Salvadorans may well also possibly be restricted to looking out out for out asylum in Guatemala. None of those

countries are safe and such agreements will now not be in step with international legislation, critics bask in eminent.

For months, and even as objective now not too lengthy ago as remaining week, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard declared Mexico categorically rejected a “safe third country” agreement.

This week he said if Mexico does now not in the good deal of migration within Forty five days, the authorities will focus on additional measures, together with a “safe third country” agreement, with the US.

‘We are succesful of now not change into the wall’

The measures, and particularly the elevated militarisation deliberate for the southern border, bask in sparked condemnation from a unfold of human rights, tutorial, and spiritual groups in Mexico.

“The deployment of 6,000 contributors of the National Guard to the southern border is now not a resolution that addresses the factual causes of the migration phenomenon,” the Catholic bishops’ conference of Mexico wrote in an announcement on Monday.

“If we as Mexicans bask in rejected the event of a wall, we’re going to have the option to now not ourselves change into that wall,” they wrote.

In contemporary a long time, Mexico has cooperated with the US to deter migrants and asylum seekers from Central The US and previous. To manual clear of detention and abuses by security forces, migrants are forced to stir unsafe routes by rail or by territories controlled by prison and paramilitary groups.


Migrants in the hopes of reaching the USA fetch spherical a fireplace at a safe haven in Tapachula, Chiapas tell, Mexico [Pedro Pardo/AFP] 

Hundreds of migrants were killed or disappeared in Mexico in contemporary a long time, in step with rights groups.

Migrants and asylum seekers predominantly from Honduras and El Salvador started forming enormous “caravans” in October to stir overtly in public groups, in enormous piece for security. They faced many challenges, but initial caravans were ready to transit by Mexico largely unhindered by security forces.

Early this year, the original administration of president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador started issuing humanitarian visas to migrants and asylum seekers upon entry to Mexico, permitting northbound transit. After processing bigger than 12,000 permits over the route of a month, the programme was as soon as all correct now terminated. 

Even forward of the agreement with the US, Mexico had as soon as more stepped up defense pressure and police participation in migrant detention operations in the southern border tell of Chiapas.

The introduced National Guard deployment generated some confusion. Passed by the Congress in February, the controversial original pressure was as soon as now not tell to officially open unless June 30.

Greater than half of of the initial fifty three,000 National Guard troops were drawn from the defense pressure police, and the rest belong to other branches of the defense pressure and the federal police pressure.

The timeline for the deployment of 6,000 troops is unclear. Three bases may well be in-constructed Chiapas to accommodate the National Guard, in step with the tell authorities.

‘We can now not return to Honduras’

Victor Cruz had no knowing Mexico and the US were in negotiations that may well also bask in an influence on his family. He was as soon as on the street, having fled Olanchito, a city in northern Honduras, three weeks ago alongside with his wife, their two-year-vulnerable daughter and four-month-vulnerable son, and other family.

“We can now not return to our country with what we’ve been experiencing,” Cruz, 31, told Al Jazeera, splashing water on his daughter to chill her down.

Violence, gang threats against the family, and poverty drove the family to slump Honduras. There are no jobs in Olanchito, said Cruz. He would customarily find a day’s work in building right here and there, but meals payments are high, prison groups extort workers, and there was as soon as never adequate to feed his family.

“We were forced to leave the country,” he said.


Elmer Wilfredo Pineda waits day and evening for his turn at the Mexican refugee assistance commission tell of business in Tapachula [Sandra Cuffe/Al Jazeera] 

Cruz failed to hear about the introduced National Guard deployment unless Monday in Ciudad Hidalgo, correct all the strategy by the border into Mexico. Two law enforcement officers stopped the family and demanded their remaining remaining funds, roughly $50, as a bribe, but they in another case made it to Tapachula unscathed.

Recordsdata of border militarisation and transferring policies keep now not need altered the family’s plans anyway, said Cruz.

Whether it is some distance in Mexico or in the US, they correct need security and dignity.

“We all bask in the same hope: to search out someplace safe to work and produce an even bigger future for our young of us,” he said.