Ciudad Juarez is one the main exit points from Mexico to the United States, both for foreign nationals and for Mexicans. The impossibility of accessing U.S. territory to seek asylum due to the expulsion measures known as ‘Title 42’ has led to the concentration of persons of concern in and around the city. Since March, pursuant to these measures between 15,000 and 20,000 people have been rejected or ‘expelled’ to Ciudad Juarez each month. Additionally, after clashes in Ciudad Acuña (more than 600 kilometers to the southeast of Ciudad Juarez) in which U.S. immigration authorities evicted an improvised camp of persons attempting to seek asylum – a majority of whom were Haitian nationals –, some of these people were transferred to El Paso, Texas (amongst other locations) in so-called lateral flights, before being expelled to Ciudad Juarez. In this context, the Mexican government announced the creation of a permanent dialogue process with Haiti and an agreement to initiate returns to country of origin.
In Tapachula, the humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate following an increase in arrivals of persons of concern and the saturation of COMAR’s appointment system in July and August. During September, Tapachula received flights from the northern border carrying Haitian nationals, causing concern amongst humanitarian actors as to the risk of chain refoulement. The frustration and desperation amongst persons of concern was fueled by a new system to verify appointments with the COMAR, the saturation of humanitarian services and an increase in contention measures – including raids, detentions and possibly refoulement – by INM and other state forces.