CBS/AP October 23, 2018, 12:59 PM Migrant caravan pauses, honoring man who died
HUIXTLA, Mexico — A mobile medical clinic truck has pulled into the main square of the southern Mexican town of Huixtla to treat Central American migrants in a caravan trying to reach the United States.
Portable toilets have been set up in one corner of the plaza. The caravan is so large – estimated at over 7,000 – that a few hundred of the migrants camped out on a basketball court outside of town. There are no bathrooms there, and little donated food.
The caravan is resting today out of respect for a Honduran migrant who fell from a vehicle yesterday and died. CBS News correspondent Adriana Diaz saw where the migrant fell from the truck, leaving a pool of blood on the street.
It's also a chance to rest weary and blistered feet after days of marching.
Huixtla municipal worker Daniel Lopez says the town is offering some food and water as well as basic painkillers and rehydration liquids.
But he says some children are running high temperatures. Migrants are also taking it upon themselves to pick up after themselves.
Selvin Antonio Guzman from Santa Barbara, Honduras, was using two pieces of cardboard Tuesday morning to scoop trash from a garden bed where many had spent the night.
He said "it's important to keep it clean here."
CBS News first saw Sergio Caceres on Sunday, when the caravan reached Mexico. He's paralyzed and looking for work and better doctors in the U.S. He said he doesn't even have any shoes, since he gave them to his friend.
The group is still over 1,000 miles from the nearest U.S. border crossing.
A smaller caravan earlier this year headed for the distant Tijuana-San Diego crossing, dissipating as it advanced.
Only a fraction – about 200 of the 1,200 in the group – reached the California border.
The same could well happen this time around as some turn back, splinter off on their own or decide to take their chances on asylum in Mexico – as 1,128 have done so far, according to the country's Interior Department.
Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said Tuesday in Geneva that "in any situation like this it is essential that people have the chance to request asylum and have their international protection needs properly assessed, before any decision on return (or) deportation is made."
On Monday, President Trump blamed Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador for not stopping people from leaving their countries. "We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them," he wrote.
A team of AP journalists traveling with the caravan for more than a week has spoken with Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans, but has not met any Middle Easterners, who Trump suggested were "mixed in" with the Central American migrants.
In interviews along the journey, migrants have said they are fleeing violence, poverty and corruption.