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Bulk of migrant caravan departs Mexico City

AP  |  Mexico City 

Thousands of Central American migrants were back on the move Saturday, as dedicated City metro trains whisked members of a headed to the US border to the last stop on a line in the northern part of the capital.

The first subway train pulled out before 5 am local time, with police, metro workers and human rights officials guiding the bulk of migrants through the city's empty stations. At the Line 2 terminus, they then got out and began making their way to a main highway to resume walking and hitchhiking through

Jose Enrique Ramirez, 40, snagged seats for himself and his 10-year-old son on the first departing train.

"I'm happy," he said, about being on the road once again. He said another son had been killed in and he was receiving threats when he heard about the

He now joins roughly 4,000 migrants who plan to proceed first to the city of a state capital 124 miles (200 kilometers) to the northwest before possibly going to Guadalajara, Culiacan, Hermosillo and eventually on the US border.

Whereas in Mexico's tropical south they carried tiny knapsacks with bare essentials, however, their belongings had swelled notably during their time in City.

Many are now hauling bundles of blankets, sleeping bags and heavy clothing to protect against colder temperatures in the north. Some left the capital with bottles of water and clear plastic bags of bananas and oranges for the long trek ahead.

Juan Jose Ramirez, a 35-year-old farm worker, said he left two kids behind in Santa Rosa, Honduras, and his goal was to find work in the US Walking through a subway station he said it was important to be orderly because eyes were on them in

He also had a simple plan: He would get to the border and "wait for an answer from Trump," he said.

The became a campaign issue in US midterms election and US has ordered the deployment of over 5,000 military troops to the border to fend off the migrants. Trump has also threatened to make attaining asylum even more difficult and to detain applicants in tent cities.

But the longest and most dangerous leg of the journey lay ahead.

On Thursday, caravan representatives met with officials from the local office and demanded buses to take them to the border, saying the trek would be too hard and dangerous for walking and hitchhiking.

A day later, the UN denied the offer, saying its agencies were "unable to provide the demanded by some members of the caravan."

The migrants said they were so angry at the lack of help that they no longer wanted UN observers with the caravan, and they again set out on foot.

is more than 600 miles from the nearest US border crossing at McAllen, Texas, but the area around the Mexican border cities of Reynosa, and is rife with drug gangs and the migrants consider it too dangerous to risk. While still perilous, the route to is considered safer.

A previous caravan in the spring opted for the longer route to in the far northwest, across from That caravan steadily dwindled to only about 200 people by the time it reached the border.

Mexico has offered refuge, asylum or work visas to the migrants, and its government said 2,697 temporary visas had been issued to individuals and families to cover them while they wait for the 45-day application process for a more permanent status.

But most migrants vow to continue to the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 10 2018. 21:40 IST
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