Monitoring migrant flows in Tapachula and Tenosique, Round 1 (March 2022) – Mexico

Tapachula (Chiapas) and Tenosique (Tabasco) are the main cities receiving migrants on Mexico’s southern border. 2021 saw a record number of migrants entering Mexico through the southern border according to the Mexican Commission for Aid to Refugees (COMAR), which reported 89,636 applications for recognition of refugee status in Tapachula and 7,153 applications in Tabasco. However, the National Institute for Migration (INM) reported only 19,273 foreigners documented as permanent residents for refugee recognition nationwide. At the same time, the INM granted 87,174 visiting cards for humanitarian reasons (TVRH) during the year 2021, of which 20,364 were issued in Chiapas and 1,499 in Tabasco, mainly for humanitarian causes, offended person, victim or witness to crime and refugee claimants.

Access to health services shows differentiated behavior between cities as migrants in Tapachula receive care mainly in government health centers while in Tenosique NGOs are the main way to access medical services. On the other hand, the main barriers that people who were unable to access medical services in both cities said they encountered were lack of information and lack of money.

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