TAPACHULA, Mexico — U.S.-bound migrants, mostly from Central America and the Caribbean, said on Thursday that a Mexican government crackdown was keeping them “prisoner” in the south of the country.
The migrant comments contrasted with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s promises of humane treatment ahead of Thursday’s high-level meeting between Mexican and U.S. officials in Washington, where the two countries agreed that development of poor regions was a long-term solution to slow migration north.
“Mexican authorities are mistreating us migrants,” said Guillermo Rivas, 25, from El Salvador, who said he was beaten by agents while in a detention center in the southern city of Tapachula.
Mexico’s immigration agency, which runs the detention center, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rivas said he has been waiting in the city for nearly five months for asylum paperwork that would allow him to move freely in Mexico.
“Tapachula is like a prison,” he told Reuters by telephone on Thursday. “We’re asking that