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Tijuana-Based Activist Defending Caravan Jailed In Southern Mexico

Irineo Mujica talks to reporters in Tijuana, Sept. 7, 2018.

Photo by Jean Guerrero

Above: Irineo Mujica talks to reporters in Tijuana, Sept. 7, 2018.

A Tijuana-based activist who was arrested in southern Mexico while marching in solidarity with a Honduran caravan that President Trump is condemning remained in jail on Friday, according to his colleagues at the migrant advocacy group Pueblo Sin Fronteras.

Mexican prosecutors have not responded to a request for comment from KPBS regarding why Irineo Mujica was detained.

Activists believe Irineo Mujica was arrested to paint the exodus as organized by outsiders. President Trump has blamed the Democrats for the caravan. A top Mexican diplomat told Fox News that the caravan is politically motivated.

But Mujica was in Mexico to protect the Hondurans from abuses once they arrived. Hours before a Facebook Live video showed him being pushed into a white van by Mexican federal police and immigration officials, he told KPBS he was concerned about police repression.

The following day, Thursday, Mexico's federal police unleashed tear gas on the caravan as it tried entering Mexico.

Mujica’s fellow activist at migrant advocacy group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, Alex Mensing, said the Hondurans are fleeing violence, poverty and a repressive government.

“People are choosing of their own volition to leave, it happens every single day thousands of people flee Central America. The fact that they’re doing it together is done for their own protection," he said.

Mensing said he thinks the U.S. is responsible for Mexico’s use of force against the asylum seekers because Trump told Mexico to stop the caravan.

"We should be very concerned about our government meddling in a very negative way," Mensing said. "The U.S. is essentially trying to carry out its own anti-immigrant, border militarization policies further south on the Mexico-Guatemala government."

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