The caravan of several thousand migrants from Honduras and Guatemala took a break in its journey to the US border Sunday, staying for a night in the Tapanatepec municipality in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, getting ready to press on Monday. The municipality decided to aid the caravan by dispersing sandwiches and water, but the plan backfired when the crowd beat up an organizer.
According to Raul Medina Melendez, security chief for the Tapanatepec municipality, one of the men responsible for food distribution used a megaphone to call the migrants to behave and wait their turn.
"People got really angry and those below began to attack the guy," Medina said, according to ABC.
As the man ran away, a false rumor flew that he had abducted a child of one of the migrants as a means of protection. The man was caught and beaten by the crowd. Police managed to rescue him and take him to hospital, where his condition remains undisclosed.
On Sunday, a meeting was held which shed more light on the behavior of the migrants. Coordinators, who talked at the meeting berated caravan member for smoking marijuana, as well as throwing litter and even uneaten food onto the streets.
During the meeting it became clear that many migrants depend on hitchhiking to move between towns rather than walking. When trucks stop it's usually young men who sprint to reach them first, as women carrying children or pushing strollers are at a disadvantage. A nun speaking to the audience reportedly reprimanded the men in the group, saying they should instead let women and children hop in first, according to the Daily Caller.
Police gave way after organizers argued that the stretch of a highway had no shade, no toilets and no water, and was not a place to offer registrations.
Those who choose to leave the caravan and register as asylum seekers in Mexico are offered temporary work permits, as well as food, shelter, medical aid, schooling and jobs. Those who choose to continue with their journey have until recently been denied assistance. Food and water dispersion in the Tapanatepec municipality is the first act of aid to the Honduran migrants, according to sources.