Mexico braces for fresh flood of Central American asylum seekers

12/15/2016 Reuters 

Popocatepetl volcano spews ashMexico expects a sharp increase in people seeking asylum from Central America next year, fleeing gang warfare and poverty in their home countries, a senior official said on Thursday.

There has been a steady surge of Central Americans applying for asylum in Mexico since 2015. Cinthia Perez, a director of Mexico’s refugee agency COMAR, said in an interview that she is receiving about 9 percent more applications each month.

There were 3,424 asylum applications in 2015, and she predicts ending 2016 with around 8,000. That figure could well rise to 22,501 by the end of 2017 if the trend of 9 percent more applications each month continues.

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