By Kevin Sieff, The Washington Post
Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, ran for office preaching the need to respect the rights of migrants. But since he took office in December, his administration has attempted to prove both to the Trump administration and to Central American asylum seekers that it will not allow unencumbered passage through Mexico.
For years before López Obrador took office, Mexico deported large numbers of Central American migrants — more even than the United States. From January 2015 to September 2018, Mexico deported 436,125 Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Hondurans.
Deportations by Mexican authorities have increased compared with the same period last year, according to the latest statistics. Between January and April, Mexico deported more than 37,000 migrants, according to its immigration agency. It has become more antagonistic toward migrant caravans, which last year traveled through Mexico with relative freedom.
But tens of thousands of Central Americans, mostly from Guatemala and Honduras and mostly traveling with smugglers, still journey through Mexico each month. U.S. officials say Mexico is not doing enough to secure its southern border with Guatemala, or to crack down on the private bus companies that ferry migrants through the country, usually accompanied by their smugglers.