‘Help me please. My son is dying’: Haitian mother pleads for medicine and food as hundreds of Haitian and African migrants riot at Mexico’s biggest detention facility
- African and Haitian migrants at a shelter in Chiapas tried to escape during a riot on Tuesday
- Police and the National Guard intercepted the migrants at the main entrance door and stopped them from fleeing the Feria Mesoamericana
- A mother from Haiti was caught on video crying for help for her sick five-year-old son while her two-month old son crawled nearby on the ground
- Migrants requested food, medical attention and assistance with their immigration processing
- Since late 2018, the Mexican government has dealt with an influx of migrants from Africa, Haiti and Cuba, as well as migrants from Central America
Hundreds of African and Haitian migrants rioted on Tuesday and tried to escape from a temporary immigration shelter in southern Mexico.
Guards and police officers at the facility, the largest migrant center in Mexico, stopped the inmates as they attempted to flee.
This was the third migrant uprising in a month at the Feria Mesoamericana shelter, which is located in Tapachula, a city in the state of Chiapas.
Trouble ignited when migrants requested food, medical attention and help with their processing that would allow the to leave the facility.
A heartbreaking video from Mexican outlet El Universal showed a Haitian mother-of-two sprawled out on the dirt pavement, crying for assistance for her sick son, 5, while her toddler crawled nearby on the ground.
A woman (right) from Haiti cries for assistance for her sick son, 5, while her two-year-old child (left) crawls on the ground during an uprising by African and Haitian migrants at the shelter
A male migrant (pictured) extends his hand out for help while a law enforcement agents blocks his path at the entrance gate of the Feria Mesoamericana shelter, which is located in Tapachula, a city in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas
A group of migrants (pictured) sit on the ground inside the courtyard at the Feria Mesoamericana after African and Haitian immigrants attempted to flee through the entrance
‘My son has been sick for a lot of days. I have suffered a lot,’ the woman wailed in Spanish as she peaked through the bottom of a gate in front of a group of reporters assembled outside the shelter.
‘They haven’t given us a bit of food. There is no drinkable water. Help, help me with my son. He is sick. I have two sons, a five-year-old and a two-month-old. … Help me please. My son is dying.’
The distraught mother, who said she had been at the immigration center for 10 days, was stopped from leaving at the main gate by members of the National Guard, National Institute of Immigration and the Federal Police.
The facility is a satellite of the Siglo XXI shelter, which drew recent criticism after migrants complained of inhumane conditions with no food, overflowing toilets, rats, roaches, abusive guards and up to 50 people sleeping in 9-by-12-foot rooms.
An official (right) revises the documents of migrant passengers (pictured) on a bus in Mexico
Since late 2018, Mexico has seen an influx of migrants from Haiti, Cuba and Africa that have crossed its southern border with Guatemala in hopes of reaching the northern border crossing with the United States to seek asylum. Pictured above are migrants on a bus in Mexico
Mexico has announced it has dispatched some 15,000 soldiers and National Guardsmen to its border with the United States after agreeing to place 6,000 at its southern border with Guatemala to stop the flow of migrants from Central American, Haiti and Africa
According to EFE news agency, the National Institute of Immigration dismissed the riot as just another ‘disturbance’ at the facility.
The agency also reported that the NII said all migrants were fed and provided with medical attention.
Aside from dealing with an exodus from Central American heading to the United States, the Mexican government has also seen an influx of migrants from Cuba, Haiti and Africa since late 2018, usually crossing the southern border with Guatemala.
Responding to the migrant crisis, President Donald Trump to threaten the Mexican government with a tariffs on goods unless they strengthen their borders.
On Monday, Mexico announced the deployment of at least 15,000 soldiers to the northern border after dispatching 6,000 to its crossing with Guatemala