Mexican authorities had said the attempts to walk through southern Mexico put the health and safety of the migrants — many accompanied by children — at risk.
The Mexican government had relied on a strategy of containing migrants in the southernmost part of the country to alleviate pressure at the U.S. border.
But those states are the poorest and there is far more opportunity to find work in Mexico’s northern and western states.
Activists claim that even migrants who have received humanitarian visas that are supposed to allow them to travel in Mexico have been detained by immigration agents and sent back to Tapachula.
Migrant caravans began several years ago as a way for migrants who did not have the money to pay smugglers to take advantage of safety in numbers as they moved toward the U.S. border. However, more recently Guatemala and Mexico have become more aggressive in quickly breaking up the caravans with security forces.