Migrants on Activist Pilgrimage Dodge Police, Gangs Across Mexico

Latin Dispatch News, 4/30/2015

Photo by Levi Vonk
Photo by Levi Vonk

Ciudad Tecún Umán is sweltering. All of the town’s households and its handful of ramshackle cantinas still use wood-burning stoves, their sweaty attendants braving the compounded afternoon heat. The smoke trails out into the few dusty streets, unpaved, potholed and barely stretching to the edge of the Rio Suchiate, which divides Tecún Umán and the rest of Guatemala from Mexico.

It was at the river that on March 24 a small group of migrants’ rights organizers launched the Viacrucis Migrante, an activist pilgrimage centered around Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the religious Mexican ritual of the “viacrucis,” in which worshipers reenact Jesus’ last steps before his crucifixion. Now in its fifth year, the Viacrucis Migrante serves as a platform for activists to highlight their grievances, as well as to give migrants direct access to reporters and scholars traveling with them.

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