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Traditional posada celebrated with restrictions at US-Mexico border

Traditional posada celebrated with restrictions at US-Mexico border

One of the decorations for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Posada Sin Fronteras on the wall that divides Tijuana (Mexico) and San Diego (California) in San Diego, USA, 15 December 2018. EPA-EFE/Alexandra Mendoza

EFE

The traditional Posada Without Borders was celebrated simultaneously in Tijuana (Mexico) and San Diego (California) on Saturday for the 25th year, even as the participants from the United States were prevented from coming close to the border fence.

This posada, a Mexican tradition which commemorates the pilgrimage to Bethlehem by Mary and Joseph in search of a room, brings together hundreds of people from both sides of the border who are separated by a fence, located at the Friendship Park on the US side.

But this year those attending the event on the US side of the border had to maintain a distance of about 60 meters on order of the US Border Patrol.

Jennifer Guerra Aldana of the Fuller Youth Institute said that even with the restrictions imposed; the resistance continues and added that it was miracle that the event could be celebrated this year given the current political climate.

Friendship Park, where families separated due to migration laws reunite every weekend, has been closed since mid-November following the arrival of the migrant caravan in Tijuana.

Eduardo Olmos, spokesperson for the US Border Patrol in San Diego, told Efe that the Border Patrol decided that under the current situation, it was very dangerous to carry out the event.

Pedro Rios, director of the San Diego Committee of American Friends lamented that the decision transformed this celebration into “practically two separate events,” because the distance prevented them from listening to each other despite the support of sound equipment.

He further added that in earlier years food used to be shared across the border, which has now been stopped and more restrictions have been imposed.

The event is celebrated in solidarity with the immigrants who have left their countries in search of better opportunities, but this year the emphasis was on the migrant caravan that awaits its opportunity to request political asylum in the US.

As it happens in every posada, Christmas hymns were sung and festive food was eaten and tributes were paid to the immigrants who lost their life in their attempt to reach the US.