The phenomenon of migrant caravans will continue "for a long time" before the expulsion of Central Americans due to structural conditions that will change little in the short or medium term in their countries, experts said today.
"(The phenomenon) evolves quickly and will stay here, among us, for a long time," said Oscar Contreras, academic general secretary of the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (Colef) based in Tijuana, Mexico.
Contreras and other experts in migration made a "Diagnosis and plan of action" on the phenomenon derived from the arrival in mid-November of some 8,000 Central Americans to Tijuana, on the border with the United States.
"As long as the structural conditions of the expulsion of migrants from the south (Central America) do not change, there is not much of a sign that it will change quickly, this will continue in one form or another," he added.
Contreras also pointed out that Tijuana's border condition, combined with expulsion factors, makes it a "particularly sensitive city for this type of phenomenon."
The study reviewed topics such as the visibility of the caravan, the census of migrants, the social reactions in Tijuana and the coordination and government strategy for emergency management.
Dolores París, of the cultural studies department of Colef, said that the total of migrants who entered Mexico since October 19, "are numbers that seem impressive, but for those of us who study Central American migration, they are not."
Since 2015, Colef experts have calculated an annual flow "of more than 350,000 people" from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, so that number only "represents a very small fraction of the people who transit through Mexico" each year.
Paris explained that these caravans for the first time "are visible as migrants generally travel invisibly" and by clandestine and high-risk routes.
He explained that migration occurs due to factors such as generalized violence, violations of human rights, environmental deterioration, natural disasters, climate change and political crises, such as Honduras, the main country of expulsion in this case.
Caravans are not something new, he said, and gave as a reference the so-called migrant viacrucis and the caravan of mothers of disappeared migrants who were already passing through Mexico.
The researcher explained that of the estimated number of migrants who arrived in Tijuana, half of them were already in Mexico, particularly in the state of Chiapas, southeast of the country and they were joining the different caravans.
Gabriel Pérez, specialist in studies of deportation, social control and social exclusion, said that before the arrival of migrants, there were "civic reactions that went from hospitality and solidarity, through nervousness and uncertainty to hostility and the open rejection. "
Perez said it was urgent to have "objective and accurate information on social phenomena" in the region and "it is important that an agenda of non-discrimination and tolerance be built for vulnerable populations."
Official sources estimated that there are currently 7,000 Central American migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in Mexico.
Around 6,500 are in Tijuana, 403 remain in Mexico City and another 800, arrived from El Salvador, stayed in Chiapas where they decided to seek employment, while the National Migration Institute regularize their stay in the country.
Until November 24, a figure of almost 2,000 migrants have taken refuge in the assisted return program. On November 29, the Mexican Refugee Aid Commission received 400 refugee applications and another 39 untimely requests.