By KELIN DILLON
Mexico’s heightened military presence on its southern border with Guatemala has resulted in a 79 percent increase in arrests of undocumented Central American migrants since its new patrol policy went into effect on June 21, said Mexican Secretary of Defense Luis Cresencio Sandoval.
According to Sandoval, border patrols have increased in the region since June 21, as the Secretariat of Defense (Sedena) upped its presence at the border to 28,000 units of personnel while the National Institute of Migration (INM) simultaneously increased its review posts throughout the area.
Regional police forces likewise joined in to stop the migrant flow alongside elements of the Secretariat of the Navy (Semar) and the National Guard, though Sandoval did not specify how many personnel each would be providing.
The Sedena head went on to reiterate the military’s official migrant policy: locate, rescue and assist in the return of migrants, in order to safeguard their integrity.
“State governments participate with their police, checkpoints are increased, what has been done at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is an important part of reinforcement to rescue migrants,” said Sandoval, who said that the increase in patrols will continue moving forward in order to ensure lasting results.
Sandoval likewise took the opportunity to share a map of Mexico’s southern border, highlighting the heightened military presence between the border and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, tackling Mexico’s coastal migrant routes that previously went unaddressed by the Mexican government – until now. New reinforcement tactics include deploying ships to the region, adding helicopter assistance, and creating containment lines and strategic military zones to stop the migrant flow.
Mexico now has four containment lines strategically placed across the country in Oaxaca, Puebla, Tlaxcala and in the northern U.S.-Mexico border.