Local December 7, 2023 | 10:58 am

Illegal trips from Baní skyrocket two years after the tragedy in Chiapas

Bani.- In the wake of the Chiapas tragedy in Mexico two years ago, which claimed the lives of nine people from Baní and caused numerous injuries, there has been a surprising surge in illegal migration attempts from Baní to the United States. This increase occurs despite the persistent grief within the Banilejo community, where families continue to mourn the loss of their loved ones through memorials and cemetery visits in various localities, including Cañafistol and Catalina.

Recalling the fateful day of December 9, 2021, when 53 lives were lost in a trailer accident in Chiapas, the community of Baní is grappling not only with the emotional aftermath but also with the practical implications, such as the plight of 12 orphaned children and the financial burdens from the failed journey.

Despite these tragedies, the number of people embarking on this perilous journey has not dwindled. According to Confesor González, director of the Limonal District Board, over 1,500 youths have departed from his area alone, leaving several neighborhoods nearly deserted. This phenomenon is not isolated, as more than 25 to 30 travel organizers for undocumented migrants have been identified in the Peravia province.

Investigations reveal that each week, numerous groups of 30 to 40 individuals embark on these journeys, each group organized by different coordinators. The routes, costs, and methods of crossing into the United States have evolved, with migrants now choosing between ‘with delivery’ or ‘without delivery’ options for entry into American territory.

This exodus is so pervasive in rural areas like Villa Fundación, Sabana Buey, and others that it has significantly impacted local economies, particularly agriculture. Longtime agricultural producer Domingo Soto notes the necessity of employing foreign labor to maintain essential agricultural activities due to the lack of local manpower.

The impact is also felt in urban areas of Baní, with neighborhoods like Santa Rosa experiencing significant population declines. Heartbreaking stories emerge of young mothers embarking on these journeys with infants, highlighting the desperate measures some are willing to take.

Further underscoring the issue, a recent report from Mexico’s National Migration Institute disclosed the interception of 87 migrants from various countries, including several Dominicans, hidden in a tractor-trailer on the Tapachula-Huehuetán highway in Chiapas.

This ongoing crisis reflects the complex interplay of hope, desperation, and economic necessity driving individuals to undertake these hazardous journeys, despite the profound risks and past tragedies.

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