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In Focus

Migrant caravan, targeted by Trump, slows to a standstill in southern Mexico

Annual migrant caravans, guided by an activist group, are at the center of a Trump tweetstorm on immigration.

 / Updated 20 PHOTOS
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Migrant children play next to a sports field in Matias Romero, Oaxaca State, Mexico, on Monday.

The caravan of Central American migrants that angered President Donald Trump was sidelined at the field in southern Mexico with no means of reaching the border even as Trump tweeted another threat to Mexico on Tuesday.

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The group of about 1,100 people, most of them Hondurans, had been walking along roadsides and train tracks, but they have stopped to camp out at the sports field in  Oaxaca. They are waiting and getting advice on filing for transit or humanitarian visas in Mexico.

 

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While a group of about a couple of hundred men in the march, an annual symbolic event, broke off and hopped a freight train north on Sunday, the rest seem unlikely to move until Wednesday or Thursday, and are probably going to take buses to the last scheduled stop for the caravan, a migrant rights symposium in central Puebla state.

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A Honduran woman and her daughters at the sports center in Matias Romero.

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A Mexican government official said the caravans are tolerated because migrants have a right under Mexican law to request asylum in Mexico or to request a humanitarian visa allowing travel to the U.S. border to seek asylum.

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The "Stations of the Cross" migrant caravans have been held in southern Mexico for about 10 years. They began as short processions of migrants, some dressed in biblical garb and carrying crosses, as an Easter-season protest against the kidnappings, extortion, beatings and killings suffered by many Central American migrants as they cross Mexico.

The organized portions of the caravans usually don't proceed much farther north than the gulf coast state of Veracruz, while some migrants, moving as individuals or in smaller groups, often take buses or trucks from there to the U.S. border.

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Children play at the sports center. 

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Migrants search through donated clothing during the caravan's stop.

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Children break a piñata.

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Clothing hung out to dry at the temporary camp. 

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Volunteers hand out drinks to migrants.

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While there were reports that Mexico was seeking to end the caravan, it was for all intents and purposes over. The participants were never equipped to march en masse to the U.S. border or anywhere near it. The large number of children present made any move against the camp unlikely.

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Mexico's government considers the annual caravans to be "a public demonstration that seeks to call attention to the migration phenomenon and the importance of respecting the rights of Central Americans."

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A migrant from Honduras wears his nation's flag. 

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Children play in the temporary camp.

 

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A young migrant man poses for a picture at the sports center.

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A father and daughter lie on a makeshift bed.

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Central American migrants wait to start their documentation with a Mexican immigration official.

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People take shelter for the night.

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