On 11th March 2020, due to the alarming levels of spread and severity of the COVID-19 virus, the World Health Organization declared a state of pandemic. In this situation, on 23rd March 2020 the General Health Council of the Ministry of Interior of the United Mexican States recognized the epidemic as a serious disease of priority in the national territory.
In the case of the governments of Chiapas and Tabasco, they also began the “Sana Distancia” campaign in parallel with the federal government, applying the same recommendations on the suspension of activities, including procedures, applications and legal proceedings. On 1st June, the campaign “El Semáforo de Riesgo Epidemiológico” (Epidemiological Risk Traffic Light) began to move towards a new normality. It is a weekly monitoring system to regulate the use of public space according to the risk of COVID-19 infection.
In the first weeks of June, the traffic light for the whole country was red, maintaining restrictions on non-essential economic activities. In Chiapas and Tabasco, the traffic light is still red, except that Tabasco is one of the states with the highest hospital occupation.
In addition, in Tapachula, Villahermosa and Tenosique there are migrants who are waiting for a migration decision from the Mexican authorities. This situation complicates not only the mobility of migrants across the border, but also those who were already stranded in these municipalities. Hence the provision of services within the framework of a humanitarian response becomes a priority need, in response to the demands of a settled migrant population without a defined migration status.
This report is a baseline assessment of the status of official Points of Entry (PoE) and service delivery for migrants on Mexico's southern border, specifically in Tapachula, Suchiate in the State of Chiapas, and Tenosique and Villahermosa in Tabasco. The information on points of entry is derived from the efforts of the IOM Mexico mission in evaluating the official PoE at the national level.