Mexico registers a record in asylum applications and the figure rises over 230% compared to 2020

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Mexico has just registered the highest number of asylum applications due to refugee status in its history, counting more than 108,195 requests from foreign citizens during the first 10 months of 2021.

The information was detailed by the general coordinator of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (Comar), Andrés Ramírez, who explained that the number of applications breaks the record registered in 2019, when 70,302 people asked to be recognized as refugees.

“At the end of October, the number of applicants for refugee status in Mexico reached 108,195, which is 53.8% higher than the record for all of 2019“, explained Ramírez, about the registry that at the end of September 2021 counted 90,314 requests, according to the data published by the Government.

Ramírez also commented that the number of applications with respect to the same period (January-October) of 2019, reflects an increase of 73.3%; and when comparing it with 2020, when there were 41,133 requests, the amount rises exponentially to 238%.

“In the first ten months of 2021, the Comar has registered 80.77% more applicants for refugee status than it registered throughout the last six-year period from 2013 to 2018,” added the official.

These numbers are produced in the midst of the crisis due to the wave of migrants, mostly of Haitian and Honduran nationality, who are trying to cross into the United States from Mexico.

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Where do migrants come from?

According to Ramírez, the largest number of migrants seeking refuge are originally from Haiti, a country that faces a dramatic humanitarian, economic, social and political crisis, under a cloak of extreme armed violence, which has worsened since the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse, in July of this year.

The official explained that requests from Haitians, until October of this year, reached 37,849, while those from Hondurans stood at 33,578.

In addition, he stressed that there are also requests for children of Haitians, from Chile (5.294) and Brazil (2,449), which triggers the total number of applicants linked to the Caribbean country to 45,592.

The other countries on the list managed by Comar are: Cuba with 7,915; El Salvador, 5,433; Venezuela, 5,113; and Guatemala, 3,799.

The largest number of requests, according to the official, are distributed in eight entities in the south of the country, where 83.49% of the applicants have been registered. In 13 Central and Central North states, they have 9.08% of the demand; while 11 regions of the North-Northwest concentrate 5.6% of the transactions.

Regarding this situation, the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said at the end of September that Mexico does not want to become a “migrant camp”Rather, it intends for the problem to be addressed from the bottom up so that people are not forced to leave their countries of origin.

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What does the UN say?

According to data from the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid, which collects a release disclosed during the first half of 2021 by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the increase in asylum applications “reflects the upward trend” that was registered before the pandemic.

In this regard, the UNHCR recalls that between 2014 and 2019, “the number of asylum applications registered in Mexico increased from 2,137 to 70,302, an increase of more than 3,000%“.

The pandemic caused a pause in the upward trend, when COVID-19-related movement restrictions and border closures led to a significant drop in applications. However, as the countries relaxed their restrictions, the upward trajectory returned, “adds UNHCR.

According to the UN agency, the high number of requests is also “a sign of the important efforts made by Mexico” to protect migrants and adds that most of the requests are related “to the violence that affects hundreds of thousands of people in certain parts of Central America, including threats, forced recruitment, extortion, sexual violence and murder. “

“While Mexico was once considered a transit country for many of those fleeing Central America, the recent surge in asylum applications confirms that it also it has become a place where many refugees can find protection and start their lives over, “adds Unhcr.

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