Faith Behind the Closed Doors of Huixtla, Chiapas

Zona de tolerancia, Huixtla, Chiapas

By Alejandro Medina Tapia

The XII Caravan of Mothers of Central American Migrants headed to the Huixtla, Chiapas, to learn about any local sightings of their children. Though many of their family members were headed to the United States, those who stayed in the southern states may have ended up in the city.

According to Martha Sánchez Soler, the founder of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, Huixtla has become emblematic of migration’s dangers. As migrants circle around the immigration checkpoint established in the area, they become the victims of robbery, assault, or mutilations, leaving them with little possibility of travel. She assured that, in previous years, the Mesoamerican Migrants Movement has found several migrants in the area who have lost contact with their families.  

When the caravan arrived in the city, Heyman Vázquez Medina, a priest at the parish of San Francisco de Asis and the coordinator of the Daniel Hernandez Rabanales shelter, led them on a brief march. When they arrived at the Francisco I. Madero park, they displayed photos of their missing sons, daughters, and other relatives.

The members of the caravan also visited one of the red-light districts, which are known in Mexico as “the zones of tolerance.” In the San Francisco neighborhood, the mothers entered bars, strip clubs, and areas known for sex work. They were primarily seeking information about their own relatives, but in the process they also sought out strangers who had not spoke to their families in years.


The mothers and fathers turned over the new set of information about sightings to the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, which will continue the investigation during the rest of the year.      


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