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  • Valeria Obregon

Who’s the bad guy in the migrant caravan? Honduras, Mexico or the USA?


Photo by humberto chavez on Unsplash

When Central America caravan entered Mexico by force, a big percentage of Mexicans were not happy about it, arguing that the Central Americans were creating big problems in their country such as chaos, violence and they were even worried that the migrants would take the Mexicans jobs, sound familiar? Yes, it is easy to call Trump racist and xenophobic by calling Mexicans rapists and thieves, but what happens when another country enters Mexico violently and Mexicans immediately refuse to let them in. What is the difference between the USA and Mexico? Does everyone still agree that we all have the right to free transit?

The caravan doesn’t really want to stay in Mexico and they have stated since the beginning that their final destination is the US, but with Trump’s threats of taking away all the aid for Hondurans if they keep on trying to cross, the possibility of them staying in Mexico is rising. And the media has been saying that the Hondurans and Guatemalans are causing problems during their journey by stealing, destroying property and even rejecting the aid some Mexicans are providing which increases the xenophobia among Mexicans. But, on the other hand, Mexicans and people that are actually working directly with the migrants have a very different perception, Lucas Síque, director of Foundation Futbol Más, declare that after working directly with them their attitude is very positive and they are actually victims looking for better opportunities.


The caravan now has worldwide attention and the media is trying to find a culprit. Headlines accusing the migrants in newspapers such as “Number of Criminals in Migrant Caravan - Does It Matter?” by VOA News and “More than 500 criminals traveling migrant caravan” by Daily Mail as well as headline against Tijuana, the city receiving them in other important newspapers such as The Guardian “'Get out of Tijuana': migrants face racist backlash as caravan reaches US border”, LA Times “In Tijuana, a city of migrants turns on Central American caravan that's reached the border” and NBC News “Migrants met with fear, disdain in Tijuana, Mexico”. Before taking a side it is important to understand the role of the media and how it is making it worse. Imagine it as a chain, by advertising that migrants are violent, Mexicans automatically start rejecting them, the media then start saying that the Mexicans are racist and xenophobic which makes other nationalities dislike Mexicans. And I acknowledge that probably there was a violent Central American and a xenophobic Mexican but they are not the majority as the media is saying. As a consequence of the news saying that migrants are trying to cross illegally the border without showing any kind of respect, Trump and the USA have found the argument they were missing to finally start building the famous wall without anyone complaining. This raises the question of whether this is a gimmick for finally building the wall.


If we need to find a culprit I would say it is the media because it is pitting everyone against each other. As a Mexican away from home, just reading from the news I have felt confused about what and who to believe. That is why it is important to always question everything you read online. The truth is, the caravan is happening and the migrants need our help, no matter your nationality. We should all be aware of what is happening and offered our help.




References:

https://www.texastribune.org/2018/10/30/honduran-migrant-caravan-border-trump-threats/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/25/world/americas/tijuana-mexico-border.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/15/migrant-caravan-tijuana-lgbt-group-locals-reaction

https://www.radioagricultura.cl/internacional/2018/11/15/el-testimonio-de-un-psicologo-chileno-en-la-caravana-migrante.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6408385/More-500-criminals-traveling-migrant-caravan.html

https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-tijuana-migrants-protest-20181118-story.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/migrants-met-fear-disdain-tijuana-mexico-n937506

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