Mexico "substantially" curbs migrant flow: official

2019-07-17 03:09:18 GMT2019-07-17 11:09:18(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

MEXICO CITY, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Mexico has succeeded in "substantially" curbing the flow of undocumented Central American migrants passing through its southern border, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

"The flow of irregular entry at Mexico's southern border has been substantially reduced," said Maximiliano Reyes, deputy foreign minister responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean, in a radio interview.

"When we began the whole strategy, about 3,000 people entered in an irregular way (without documents). Now, about 400 to 500 are entering," he said.

Mexico stepped up security at its border with Guatemala after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose punitive trade tariffs if the government failed to take strong measures to slow the sudden surge in Central American immigrants heading north.

The country's new National Guard troops were deployed to the border area to safeguard entry points that were increasingly overwhelmed by migrants.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also reported a 28 percent monthly drop in the number of undocumented migrants apprehended at its border with Mexico in June.

Mexico is also spearheading a development strategy to address the issue of poverty that is driving Central Americans from their homes.