Friday - Mar 22, 2019

‘No more migrants:’ Coahuila at maximum capacity, governor says


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They should go to other states because Coahuila’s border is overwhelmed, said Riquelme governador of Coahuila

by Mexico News Daily

The governor of Coahuila has declared that no more migrants will be allowed into the state as thousands of Central Americans continue their journey through Mexico to the United States.

“We’re at maximum capacity,” Miguel Ángel Riquelme Solís said yesterday, referring to migrant shelters in the northern border city of Piedras Negras.

“We will not allow more migrants to travel through Coahuila because the border is overwhelmed, but neither will we invite chaos and therefore they should go to other states,” he said
The governor said that providing accommodation, food and services to more than 1,600 migrants who arrived in Piedras Negras yesterday had stretched the capacity of authorities, explaining that as a consequence, “we’ll block the entry to Coahuila.”

The Central Americans, mainly from Honduras but also Guatemala and El Salvador, entered Mexico in the middle of last month as part of a larger caravan of around 2,200. Authorities in Piedras Negras converted several old factories into shelters to house them.

State news agency Notimex said that 51 other migrants had gone to Monterrey, Nuevo León, where authorities provided them with shelter in a gymnasium and humanitarian aid.

Manuel González Flores, general secretary for the state government, said that 35 of the migrants have family members in Nuevo León and intend to remain there, while the others are expected to continue their journey to the United States’ southern border.

At the other end of the country, around 3,800 migrants are currently traveling through Chiapas and yesterday reached Mapastepec, a municipality about 140 kilometers north of the Mexico-Guatemala border.
Hondurans also make up the bulk of that group but are joined by 500 Guatemalans, 300 Salvadorans and 50 Nicaraguans, caravan organizers told the news agency AFP.

The migrants plan to travel to Mexico City, where local authorities are preparing to receive them at the same sports stadium-cum-shelter that has housed previous groups.

From there, they will decide which section of the northern border they will travel to in the hope of claiming asylum in the United States, although U.S. President Donald Trump continues to maintain a hard line on immigration.

In his State of the Union address last night, Trump described the approach of migrants to the border as a “tremendous onslaught” of “large, organized caravans” and continued to press for funding for his long-promised wall.

“The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security, and financial well-being of all Americans,” he said.

“We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens… In the past, most of us, the people in this room, voted for a wall. But the proper wall never got built. I will get it built.”

In a Twitter post earlier in the day, Trump wrote: “Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our southern border. We have sent additional military. We will build a human wall if necessary. If we had a real wall, this would be a non-event!”

As has become his trademark in assessing the U.S. president’s comments about Mexico and border security, President López Obrador said Trump’s address last night was respectful.

“…There were some remarks [I didn’t agree with] but that’s his right, that’s his vision … He was very respectful of our government and we thank him,” he said.

Asked specifically about Trump’s claim that Mexico allows migrant caravans to freely travel through the country, López Obrador simply responded: “We very much respect the point of view of the president, Donald Trump.”

(Source: El Universal (sp), Animal Político (sp), Excelsiór (sp), Noticieros Televisa (sp).

In other news in Mexico:

AMLO enjoys 86 percent approval rating, strong support for fuel theft strategy

In baseball terminology, 34 percent said AMLO hit a home run. Just one in 10 said he struck out

Two months into his six-year term, President López Obrador enjoys an 86% approval rating, according to a new poll that also shows strong support for the government’s crackdown on fuel theft.

The survey, conducted by the newspaper El Financiero over two days last week, shows that just 13 percent of 410 people polled disapprove of the president’s performance while 1 percent of respondents were undecided.

In contrast, the highest rating ever earned by López Obrador’s predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto, was just 57 percent, in May 2013, according to pollster Consulta Mitofsky. His lowest rating was 17 percent in February 2017 and he finished his term last November at 24 percent.

But AMLO, as Peña Nieto’s successor is commonly known, can do no wrong in the eyes of citizens.

Even though it caused widespread and prolonged gasoline shortages, the government’s anti-fuel theft strategy was very popular among poll respondents, with 80% saying they considered the move to be very good or good. Just 12% said that the strategy was very bad or bad.

López Obrador’s appearance at daily early-morning press conferences was considered very good or good by 72 percent of those polled, making them the second most popular measure implemented by the new government.

The response to the deadly petroleum pipeline explosion in Hidalgo, which 65 percent of respondents said was very good or good, was the next most popular government action followed by the decision to sell off government-owned armored vehicles, which garnered 64 percent support.

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