With pressure mounting from the U.S. government, Mexico on Tuesday appointed a czar to take charge of largely unimpeded migration from Central America, which sees tens of thousands of people each year enter southern Mexico and cross the country en route to the United States.
Migrants have been clambering atop the trains for years. Many die every year, falling from their precarious perch or being tossed off by marauding gangs who attempt to extort or rape the migrants.
With new attention focused on the latest surge of young migrants, some of them children traveling without parents, U.S. authorities are urging Mexico, Honduras and other Central American origin countries to do their part in stopping the flow.
He did not take questions from reporters.
Mexico has largely turned a blind eye to the thousands of Central American who have crossed the country for decades, despite millions of dollars from the U.S. government allotted for tightening the southern border. In the last several years, the numbers of Central Americans have increased as gang violence, poverty and a growing presence of Mexican drug cartels have made life at home impossible for many.
Previously, Mexico has said it will issue temporary permits for Hondurans and citizens of Belize to remain in this country briefly, but only in border states.
Mexico’s announcement Tuesday came a day after American authorities began deporting Honduran mothers with children and other migrants who arrived in recent days. The deportation flights will continue, the Obama administration has said.
Also on Tuesday, Thomas A. Shannon, a senior U.S. State Department official with extensive experience in Latin America, was expected in Tapachula to observe how Mexico was securing its southern border.