Saturday, 28 August 2021 17:17 GMT
By Jose Torres
TAPACHULA, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers from Central America and the Caribbean departed the southern Mexican city of Tapachula en masse on Saturday in a caravan headed to the Mexican capital, where they hoped to seek expedited asylum proceedings.
The group of approximately 500 people included families with young children from Haiti, Cuba, Central America, and Colombia, according to a Reuters witness.
On Saturday morning, dozens of migrants gathered around a banner reading "Tapachula Migrant Prison" before they began marching through the streets, waving flags and chanting "Yes We Can," according to a video posted on social media.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have conducted more than 1.2 million arrests or expulsions of migrants crossing the U.S. border since October.
Mexico is facing mounting pressure from Washington to take steps to curtail U.S.-bound immigration.
In recent weeks, the Mexican government has sent thousands of migrants to southern Mexico by plane, where they are transported by bus to the Guatemalan border.
The United States has also urged Mexico to clear tent cities where thousands of migrants are camped out in dangerous Mexican border towns hoping for the chance to cross into the United States.