BAJA California has had 16 Earthquakes in the region

Luke 21:11” There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • In one week, 16 earthquakes have been registered in the region: Cicese Ensenada
  • According to the Seismic Network of Northeastern Mexico, the Department of Seismology CICESE, from March 21st to March 28th, 16 earthquakes have been registered linked with the geological faults of the region.
  • The greatest intensity event occurred on March 24… this earthquake was 3.4 in the Richter scale

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Most of 54 dead in Mexico truck crash were Guatemalans, Mexico says

By Jacob Garcia

TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Mexico (Reuters) – Most of the victims of Thursday’s truck crash in southern Mexico that killed at least 54 people and injured dozens more were Guatemalan migrants, authorities said on Friday.

People spilled from the truck carrying an estimated 166 people after it flipped over on a curve outside the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez in the state of Chiapas, causing one of the worst death tolls of migrants in Mexico in the past decade.

The Mexican Attorney General’s office said it would investigate the incident, which state officials in Chiapas said had claimed the lives of 54 people and injured 58 others.

Authorities identified 95 Guatemalans among the people caught up in the accident, as well as three people from the Dominican Republic, a Honduran, a Mexican and an Ecuadorean.

Lists of people being treated in hospital published on social media showed dozens of Guatemalan migrants among the survivors. Local residents said other people fled the scene, apparently to evade arrest after the truck rolled over.

An unidentified Guatemalan man interviewed at the scene said when the trunk driver tried to negotiate the bend, the weight of people inside caused the vehicle flip over.

“The trailer couldn’t handle the weight of people,” he said.

Thousands of migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America travel through Mexico each month to reach the U.S. border. They often cram inside large trucks organized by smugglers in extremely dangerous conditions.

National and international leaders expressed consternation at the death toll, and urged migrants not to try their luck in making the journey north to the United States.

“Human smugglers disregard human life for their own profit. Please don’t risk your lives to migrate irregularly,” Ken Salazar, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico said on Twitter.

Many migrants fall prey to criminal gangs en route. In January, 19 people, mostly migrants, were massacred with suspected police involvement in northern Mexico.

Record numbers of people have been arrested on the U.S.-Mexico border this year as migrants seek to capitalize on President Joe Biden’s pledge to pursue more humane immigration policies than his hardline predecessor, Donald Trump.

Mexican authorities in Chiapas have attempted to persuade migrants to not form caravans to walk thousands of miles to the U.S. border, and have begun transporting people from the southern city of Tapachula to other regions of the country.

(Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz and Jose Torres; Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Alison Williams)

Mexico inflation quickens faster than expected to 20-year high

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican annual inflation accelerated faster than expected in November to its highest level in over two decades, official data showed on Thursday, reinforcing bets the central bank will raise its benchmark interest rate again when it meets next week.

Figures from national statistics agency INEGI showed inflation in Latin America’s No. 2 economy jumped to 7.37% last month from 6.24% in October. That compared with the consensus forecast of a Reuters poll for 7.22%.

The November figure took inflation to its highest level since January 2001.

The core rate of inflation, which strips out some volatile items, reached 5.67%.

The Bank of Mexico (Banxico) last month raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 5%, the fourth consecutive hike. It also revised up its expectations for Mexican inflation at the close of this year.

Banxico’s final monetary policy meeting for the year is due on Dec. 16. The bank targets inflation of 3%, with a one percentage point tolerance range above and below that.

Earlier this week, Irene Espinosa, a member of the central bank’s board, said Banxico’s monetary policy stance continues to be accommodative and that it should respond forcefully to anchor inflation expectations.

Month-on-month, Mexican consumer prices increased by 1.14% in November, the INEGI data showed. Meanwhile, the core index of prices rose by 0.37% from October.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

US sends first migrants to Mexico in reboot of Trump-era policy

By Jose Luis Gonzalez

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) -The United States has returned the first two migrants to Mexico since restarting a Trump-era program to remove asylum seekers from U.S. soil, officials said Wednesday, as the Biden administration grapples with pressure to curb immigration.

The United States and Mexico last week agreed to relaunch the controversial scheme known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) that obliges asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. immigration hearings, in keeping with a federal court order.

Mexico made the restart conditional on Washington meeting certain criteria, including offering vaccines to asylum seekers and exempting vulnerable people from expulsion.

The first two migrants returned under the revamped scheme entered Mexico at a border crossing in Ciudad Juarez opposite El Paso, Texas, according to a spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration.

One of the two men, who identified himself as Enrique Manzanares from Nicaragua, said he felt a little sad, but gave thanks to God that he was still alive.

“In the end, nothing was lost,” Manzanares told Reuters. “Some of us make it, others don’t.”

A Mexican official confirmed the restart, saying it would be limited on Wednesday to just the two migrants.

A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said the Department of Homeland Security began the court-mandated re-implementation of MPP at one location.

“For operational security reasons, DHS is not sharing details such as location of initial returns or number of individuals enrolled,” the CBP spokesperson said.

Once fully operational, MPP returns to Mexico will take place at seven ports of entry in San Diego, Calexico, Nogales, El Paso, Eagle Pass, Laredo, and Brownsville, the CBP said.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has struggled to reverse many hardline immigration policies put in place by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, and is facing a record number of migrant arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Biden ended MPP soon after his inauguration in January as he sought to pursue what he called a more humane approach to immigration. But a federal judge ruled Biden’s move did not follow proper procedure, and in August ordered MPP reinstated.

Misael Hernandez, a migration expert at Mexican think tank COLEF, said Mexico faced a challenge coping with the new flow of expulsions, with many shelters in the north already struggling to handle increasing numbers of migrant arrivals from the south.

“This is a setback in immigration policy between Mexico and the United States,” he said. “And an example of Trump’s power in Congress and U.S. courts to go against Biden’s promises.”

(Reporting by Jose Luis Gonzalez, Daina Beth Solomon and Lizbeth Diaz; Additional reporting by Ted Hesson and Dave Graham; Editing by William Maclean)

U.S. to restart Trump-era border program forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico

By Ted Hesson and Dave Graham

(Reuters) – The Biden administration will restart a controversial Trump-era border program that forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. immigration hearings, in keeping with a federal court order, U.S. and Mexican officials said on Thursday.

The United States will take steps to address Mexico’s humanitarian concerns with the program, the officials said, including offering vaccines to migrants and exempting more categories of people deemed vulnerable.

Migrants also will be asked if they have a fear of persecution or torture in Mexico before being enrolled in the program and have access to legal representation, U.S. officials said during a call with reporters on Thursday.

President Joe Biden ended the policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) soon after his inauguration in January. But a federal judge ruled Biden’s rescission did not follow proper procedure and in August ordered its reinstatement. The U.S. government said it had to wait for Mexico’s agreement before the policy could restart. “The United States accepted all the conditions that we set out,” said one Mexican official.

At the same time, the Biden administration is still actively trying to end the MPP program, issuing a new rescission memo in the hopes it will resolve the court’s legal concerns.

The policy was a cornerstone of former Republican President Donald Trump’s hard line immigration policies and sent tens of thousands of people who entered at the U.S.-Mexico land border back to Mexico to wait months – sometimes years – to present their cases at U.S. immigration hearings held in makeshift courtrooms near the border.

The MPP program will restart with a small number of migrants at a single U.S. border crossing on Monday, but will eventually expand to San Diego, California and El Paso, Laredo and Brownsville in Texas, one of the U.S. officials said.

The reinstatement of MPP adds to a confusing mix of immigration policies in place at the U.S.-Mexico border, where arrests for crossing illegally have hit record highs.

Biden promised what he called a more humane approach to immigration. But even as he tried to end MPP, his administration continued to implement a Trump-era public health order known as Title 42, which allows border authorities to rapidly expel migrants without giving them a chance to claim asylum. Nearly two-thirds of the record 1.7 million migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year have been expelled under the Title 42 order.

Migrants caught at the U.S.-Mexico border will first be evaluated to determine whether they can be quickly expelled under Title 42, one U.S. official said. If not, migrants from the Western Hemisphere could be placed in the reworked MPP program, the official said.

Exceptions will be made for migrants with health issues, the elderly and those at risk of discrimination in Mexico, particularly based on gender identity and sexual orientation, a different U.S. official said.

Immigration advocates argue MPP exposed migrants to violence and kidnappings in dangerous border cities, where people camped out as they waited for their hearings.

The United States and Mexico will arrange transportation for migrants waiting in Mexican shelters so that they can attend their court hearings in the United States, a third U.S. official said. But local officials in Mexico said that many border shelters are already full and overwhelmed.

Migrants with cases in Laredo and Brownsville will be placed in shelters further away from the U.S.-Mexico border to avoid security risks in Mexican border cities, the official said.

(Reporting by Dave Graham in Mexico City and Ted Hesson in Washington; Additional reporting by Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Editing by Mica Rosenberg and Daniel Wallis)

 

Mexico, U.S. to launch joint plan to contain Central America migration

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The Mexican and U.S. international development agencies will work together on a project in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador aimed at alleviating the root causes of migration, Mexico’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Dubbed “Planting Opportunities,” the project will bring together the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (Amexcid) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to target the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Central America.

Migration from the three countries has fueled record numbers of people being apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, and both Mexico and the United States have vowed to tackle the deeper problems behind higher migration levels.

Mexico’s foreign ministry did not detail how much funding will be allocated for the scheme in its statement.

The U.S.-Mexico collaboration will begin in Honduras, with an effort to teach job skills to more than 500,000 at-risk youth, the ministry said.

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Dave Graham)

 

UN official criticizes migrant deportations from southern U.S. border

By Sofia Menchu

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – A top United Nations official has criticized the United States’ deportation of migrants from its southern border, pushing Washington for faster action to roll back hardline immigration policies left over from the previous administration.

Filippo Grandi, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), urged President Joe Biden’s administration to do more, work faster and more strategically with Mexico and Central America to offer alternatives to illegal migration by improving security and job opportunities.

“We hear a lot of these programs being talked about, but we see very little at this moment still happening on the ground. And I think that this is the real issue …to prevent these movements from happening again or rather from continuing to happen,” Grandi, previously Commissioner-General of the UN Agency for Palestine refugees, told Reuters late Monday in Guatemala. His trip also included Mexico and El Salvador.

Biden vowed to lift many of the strict immigration policies of his predecessor Donald Trump. Still, several of Trump’s most criticized measures remain in place, including the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, informally called “Remain in Mexico”, and Title 42, which enables quick deportations of migrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The U.S. is now deporting them back very quickly, but we disagree with that,” Grandi said.

“I am worried that the political context is very strong and for this administration, it may be difficult to do the right thing, which they want to do,” he said, adding that the United States should ensure “due process” before deportations.

The United States has deported more than 1.2 million migrants since the start of the pandemic, according to the American Immigration Council. Detentions at the U.S.-Mexico border have hit record highs.

Mexico, too, should offer alternatives to migrants, including those from Haiti, who arrive at the U.S. border after passing through Mexico and have no option but to request asylum, Grandi said.

“We say to Mexico, why not create a separate migration channel for them and provide them with migration opportunities?” Grandi said.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu, writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by David Gregorio)

New caravan sets off from Mexico as officials struggle with immigration claims

By Jose Luis Gonzalez

TAPACHULA, Mexico (Reuters) – Some 2,000 migrants and asylum seekers departed the southern Mexican city of Tapachula near the Guatemalan border overnight on Sunday in the latest in a series of caravans setting out for the United States.

By Monday morning, the caravan had advanced about 25 kilometers (15 mi) to reach the town of Huehuetan, according to a Reuters witness.

The majority of its members were families from Central America and the Caribbean fleeing violence, poverty and growing hunger crises in their home countries.

For months, migrants and human rights advocates have denounced the “prison-like” conditions in Tapachula. Under Mexican rules, migrants must wait to process their claims – often for months – before being able to relocate to other parts of the country without fear of deportation.

Thousands of migrants waited on Monday in an hours-long line inside a stadium where immigration officials had set up a processing center.

“In Tapachula, there’s no life for migrants. We don’t have work, we don’t have money to pay for housing,” said Atis, a Haitian migrant waiting in line who declined to give his last name.

“We’re waiting here at immigration, but if there’s no other option, then we’ll leave here on foot, in another caravan.”

Last week, the Mexican government transported hundreds of migrants from Tapachula to other states in efforts to head off the formation of more caravans. But tens of thousands of migrants still remain in the city.

(Reporting by Jose Luis Gonzalez; Writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Daina Solomon and Dan Grebler)

Exclusive-Mexico considers tighter entry rules for Venezuelans after U.S. requests -sources

By Alexandra Ulmer, Dave Graham and Matt Spetalnick

SAN FRANCISCO/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexico is considering setting tougher entry requirements for Venezuelans, partly in response to U.S. requests, after a sharp rise in border arrests of Venezuelans fleeing their homeland, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Currently, Venezuelans do not need a visa to enter Mexico as tourists. But as apprehensions of Venezuelan migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border soar, Mexico is looking at making their entry subject to certain criteria, a Mexican official familiar with the government’s internal discussions said.

New entry rules could be applied soon, the official said.

A second Mexican government source said Mexico was reviewing its options, and holding discussions with Venezuela to explore alternatives to imposing visa requirements.

A third person familiar with Mexican-U.S. talks said Washington is urging Mexico to impose visa restrictions on Venezuelans, noting that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been complaining about the increase in Venezuelans.

Options under review include making Venezuelans show they are economically solvent and in employment, and have a return plane ticket when they enter in order to ensure they are not using Mexico to enter the United States, the first source said.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Washington was working with Mexico to address root causes of irregular migration in a “collaborative, regional approach” when asked by Reuters whether the Biden administration was pressing Mexico to tighten entry requirements for Venezuelans.

“The United States appreciates Mexico’s efforts that contribute to safe, orderly, and humane processes for migrants at and within its borders,” the spokesperson said.

The White House, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither Mexico’s foreign ministry nor Venezuela’s Information Ministry replied to a request for comment.

The discussions come as encounters of Venezuelans at the U.S.-Mexico border have leapt to 47,762 in the year through September from just 1,262 during the previous 12-month period, according to U.S. government data.

Total apprehensions of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border have hit record levels this year. That has put pressure on U.S. President Joe Biden ahead of congressional elections next November, with many voters in Texas border towns upset https://www.reuters.com/world/us/migrants-school-buses-texas-town-feels-caught-middle-2021-09-21 and Republicans accusing his administration of pursuing an “open border” policy.

One of the Mexican sources said Washington had lobbied Mexico to slow arrivals from Venezuela, but that Mexico also wanted to make sure people were not entering on false pretenses.

A fourth source, in U.S. government, said efforts to lobby Mexico to tighten entry requirements from OPEC member Venezuela had increased since Venezuelan arrivals jumped this summer, and that requests for cooperation had been made informally by diplomats and the DHS. The source said Washington was not leaning hard on Mexico.

Tighter entry rules could seriously affect migration plans of many Venezuelans, who pay smuggling networks to help them escape economic devastation under President Nicolas Maduro, who has presided over a severe financial meltdown amid heavy U.S. sanctions. Many of the Venezuelans depart with little money.

Venezuelans arriving from elsewhere in Latin America like Colombia or Chile, where they often work for a few years to save in hard currency before heading north, would likely be less exposed to requirements centering on their solvency.

Rights activists on Friday decried the potential move to restrict Venezuelan arrivals.

“Venezuelan migrants and refugees are fleeing a complex humanitarian emergency, lack of justice, an absence of freedom, and violence,” said David Smolansky, an exiled Venezuelan opposition leader who coordinates the Organization of American States’ response to Venezuela’s migration crisis. “In the face of such a situation, it is fundamental that they receive protection.”

Reuters reported in October that the Biden administration wanted Mexico to impose visa requirements on Brazilians to complicate their path to the U.S. border. And in September, Mexico suspended visa exemptions for Ecuadorians for six months following a steep increase in that country’s nationals trying to cross the U.S. border.

The U.S. government source said Biden’s aides could raise the Venezuelan migrant issue with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s delegation when he visits Washington next week for a U.S.-Mexico-Canada summit.

(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer in San Francisco, Dave Graham in Mexico City and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Additional reporting by Kristina Cooke in San Francisco, Mica Rosenberg in New York, Vivian Sequera in Caracas and Ana Isabel Martinez in Mexico City; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

Migrant caravan limps north through Mexico, despite dengue and exhaustion

By Lizbeth Diaz and Jose Torres

MAPASTEPEC, Mexico (Reuters) – A caravan of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers from Central America and the Caribbean resumed its trek through southern Mexico on Monday, despite concerns that half of them could be injured or sick, including some from dengue fever.

Over the past week, the approximately 3,000 migrants, mostly women and children, have trekked over 100 km (60 miles) from the city of Tapachula on the Guatemalan border, struggling through sweltering heat and evening rains.

Kabir Sanchez, a volunteer doctor helping to look after injured caravan members, said he and his colleagues treated dozens of people on Saturday with foot injuries, respiratory problems, infections and pregnant women at risk of miscarrying.

“More than 50% of the people in the caravan are sick,” he told Reuters by telephone.

He said other caravan members had possible cases of coronavirus, but that the government had not provided COVID-19 tests.

The government’s National Migration Institute (INM) did not immediately reply to a request for comment on COVID-19 testing.

The INM did say in a statement that six people in the caravan, including five children, had contracted dengue.

On Sunday night, the caravan members slept outside in the rain having paused their trek during the day due to the health concerns.

Most of the migrants are fleeing poverty, violence and the impact of adverse environmental conditions linked to climate change in their homelands. Many hope to make it to the U.S. border.

Leaders of the caravan last week rejected the Mexican government’s offer of visas that are meant to grant migrants access to healthcare and regular work, arguing it had failed to keep promises to help them in the past.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz in Mexico City and Jose Torres in Mapastepec; Additional reporting by Daniel Becerril; Writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Alison Williams)