The month-long journey for the Migrant Caravan has been hard. The migrants’ expected long stay in Tijuana has raised concerns about the ability of the border city of more than 1.6 million people to handle the influx.
While many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants’ plight and trying to assist, some locals have shouted insults, hurled rocks and even thrown punches at them. The cold reception contrasts sharply with the warmth that accompanied the migrants in southern Mexico, where residents of small towns greeted them with hot food, campsites and even live music.
Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador in Mexico, told the AP on Saturday that 1,800 Hondurans had returned to their country since the caravan first set out on 13 October and that he hoped more would make that decision. “We want them to return to Honduras,” said Rivera.
Honduras has a murder rate of 43 per 100,000 residents, similar to US cities like New Orleans and Detroit.
In addition to violence, migrants in the caravan have mentioned poor economic prospects as a motivator for their departures. Per capita income hovers around $120 a month in Honduras, where the World Bank says two out of three people live in poverty.