IOM interviews migrants from caravans in Chiapas

11 February, 2019



  • Violence and the search for work are the primary reasons why Central Americans are migrating.  
  • Access to basic resources and to information about forms of regularization and human rights are some of their main needs.  

Chiapas, Mexico. Central America currently shows migration movements known as Migrant Caravans, which have been characterized by the overland displacement of people primarily from the countries of northern Central America towards North America since the end of 2018.    

In this context, IOM is using the displacement tracking matrix (DTM) to track and monitor population displacement and mobility. The survey is designed to be a tool that enables thorough understanding of the characteristics, migration tendencies, and immediate needs of the people who make up these migration movements.   

The DTM has been applied in the border region in southern Mexico, specifically on the border with Guatemala in the state of Chiapas. 51.6% of the people interviewed acknowledged having migrated with the caravan. The first round of surveys was carried out from January 25-30, 2019 in the Municipality of Suchiate. The results have a confidence interval of 97%.   

73.9% of the people interviewed identified as men, 25.6% as women, and 1.7% considered themselves part of the LGBTI community. The primary nationalities reported were Honduran (72.2%), Guatemalan (12.2%), and Salvadoran (11.7%).   

The results of the DTM show that the primary motive for migration is the search for work (68%), followed by the search for educational opportunities (11.8%), and the search for better living conditions (10%). Additionally, 68.3% of people reported that they had had to change their residence in their country of origin for reasons related to violence or insecurity in the past 12 months.  

The migrants mentioned lacking basic needs for minimum quality of life, such as potable water, clothing, food, health care, and shelter. Ultimately, they reported needing regularization of their migration status, humanitarian visas, and access to asylum applications in Mexico in order to continue toward their destinations.  

Most significantly among their needs for information, 67.08% do not know the procedures and requirements to apply for protection in Mexico and 65.3% did not receive information about their rights as migrants.  

IOM urges that the findings of the displacement tracking matrix be used as a tool to improve the institutional and governmental response in terms of assistance and migration governance. The complete report can be downloaded here.  

All of these efforts are part of the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica-The Caribbean, which operates with support from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the Department of State of the United States.    

For more information, contact Tatiana Chacón, Communication and Press Official, Email:, Tel: +506 2212 5304