Mexico saw huge increase in migrants from Africa and Venezuela in 2023: authorities

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Asylum-seeking migrants wait to be processed in a makeshift, mountainous campsite after crossing the border with Mexico on Feb 2, near Jacumba Hot Springs, Calif. (AP)

MEXICO CITY, Feb 18, (AP): Mexican authorities say they saw a huge increase in the number of migrants from Africa and Venezuela entering the country in 2023.
Those migrants generally enter Mexico from Central America, and cross the country in a bid to reach the US border.
Mexico’s Interior Department said year-end figures showed that nine times more migrants from Africa entered Mexico in 2023, with numbers rising from 6,672 in 2022, to 59,834 in 2023.
The report also showed the number of migrants from Venezuela more than doubled last year, rising from 96,197 in 2022 to 222,994 in 2023.
In part, that may reflect more rapid and more numerous movements of migrants through the jungle-clad Darien Gap that connects South America to Panama.
Smugglers are moving migrants more quickly through the dangerous route, which last year was traversed by over half a million migrants. Once in Panama, migrants make their way through Central America to Mexico.
Overall, the number of all irregular migrants found in Mexico in 2023 rose by 77%, going from 441,409 in 2022 to 782,176 last year.

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