After visa requirements, Venezuelans have a large presence in caravans

HUIXTLA (Mexico) -- Wilber Pires from Venezuela spent two days walking along rural roads in southern Mexico with many thousand of migrants.

After visa requirements, Venezuelans have a large presence in caravans

HUIXTLA (Mexico) -- Wilber Pires from Venezuela spent two days walking along rural roads in southern Mexico with many thousand of migrants. He asked for help to purchase medicine for his daughter and took what was supposed be a day off.

Valesca Pires, a two-year-old girl, was admitted to Huixtla with a high fever. The extended family of 18 children had other sick children, all covered in mosquito bites. After walking 25 miles from Tapachula Monday, the adults took care of their feet under a covered court.

Pires stated that his daughter was difficult to imagine for adults.

This caravan is the largest of the year and includes a significant number of Venezuelans. One factor is a Mexican policy change that required Venezuelans to obtain a visa in order to enter the country.

Before this change, Venezuelans flew to Mexico City or Cancun to visit their relatives and then traveled to the border. Many people made it to the U.S. border within four days.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number of encounters with Venezuelans at their southwest border plummeted from 22,779 in Jan to 3,073, in February. There were 4,103 encounters in April, the latest month available.

However, the flow of Venezuelan migrants continues. According to Panama's National Migration Service, over half of the 34,000 migrants crossing the Darien Gap between Colombia, Panama and Panama in January were Venezuelans.

The visa requirement caused the influx of Venezuelans into shadows. The caravan is just one visible indicator of who is travelling through Mexico without being seen. Other Venezuelans may have turned to smugglers.

Pires and his extended family, spread over two cities in Venezuela, started a group chat via a messaging platform in January. This would lead to the decision to leave Mexico months later.

Wildre Pires Alvarez is another cousin who traveled with his wife and their two children. He said that it took them three months to make the decision to leave.

Pires Alvarez stated that she was making $3 to $6 per week. "But if I ask you how far it reached, a kilogram of rice, a kilogram of pasta, and a kilogram of beans and there was my $6." Families complained about frequent electrical blackouts and scarcity.

He stated, "The goal was the United States." "The dream is working and being able to support more family members that stayed in Venezuela."

An extended family of 18 people, including eight children traveled in 15 days from Venezuela to Mexico's southern border.

Eymar Hernandez, Pires' cousin, died while trying to navigate through the dense jungle of Darien, between Panama and Colombia, on the first of the three days.

Flor de los Angeles was Hernandez's 11 year-old daughter. She wept at the thought of her unconscious father.

She said that "He was having a problem" and that they had to give fluids, air, and help him. He was very bad in the jungle, and that was really difficult for me because it was scary about what would happen.

Tapachula granted asylum to the family, and they were scheduled for appointments in July. They claimed they didn't have enough money to stay in the city with so little work and affordable housing.

Hernandez's wife Jenny Villamizar said that the constant uncertainty and the overwhelming fear of not being able to go on has been terrible.

Wednesday saw negotiations between the Mexican government, the advocates of the migrants and the Mexican government continue. Recenty, the government offered to transfer migrants to other cities so that they could legallyize their status faster.

Representatives meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this week emphasized the importance of reaching consensus on managing migration flows within the region.

Villamizar stated, "This is terrible anxiety not knowing what we can achieve, what our abilities will be,"

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