Honduran migrant 'caravan' resumes from Mexico to US: AFP reporter

22 October, 2018, 02:04 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Honduran police officers stand as an Honduran migrant looks on while hoping to cross into Guatemala and join a caravan trying to reach the US

The caravan originated in the Honduran town of San Pedro Sula a week ago, with about 2,000 would-be migrants drawn together by social media. That would be about one fifth of his income.

Cristian, who is among the informal leaders of the caravan, estimated about 30 percent of the migrants want to apply for refugee status in Mexico. Authorities handed out numbers for people to be processed in a strategy seen before at USA border posts when dealing with large numbers of migrants.

"No, I'll fight. I'll try again", said Honduran Hilda Rosa as her four teenage children sat upright, beaming as she pumped the air with her fist.

Manelich Castilla told Foro TV the migrants will enter in an orderly fashion.

But on Sunday afternoon, police set up two checkpoints and appeared prepared to block the migrants.

Andrew Selee of the Migration Policy Institute told the BBC that closing the border "would wreak havoc on Mexican and American economies".

Mexican officials are refusing to yield to demands from a caravan of Central American migrants that they be allowed to enter the country en masse from a border bridge with Guatemala where they camped out overnight.

Organizers of a caravan of migrants trying to cross into Mexico and ultimately the USA appear intent on avoiding a repeat of a rush on the border with Guatemala that ended when Mexican security forces with riot shields and pepper spray drove them back.

Central American migrants walking to the USA start their day departing Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018.

"One way or another, we will pass", they changed, clambering atop to USA -donated military jeeps parked at the scene as Guatemalan police looked on. Men and women, some with young children and babies drenched in sweat, began storming and climbing the barrier - tearing it down. He should be happy because we're going to work.

"Tomorrow we go home", he said.


When confronted by reporters en route to the border, many migrants have said they are hoping to reach the U.S.to find work.

"Let's get these people out of there, there's something wrong, they're cuckoo", he said.

"We are going to the United States!" he said.

"There is nothing there", Orellana said.

Mexico's Interior Department said in a statement that it had received 640 refugee requests by Hondurans at the border crossing. The number, however, may be misconstrued since people have been joining and leaving the caravan daily. "It's the third time that I'm trying to cross", the 22-year-old Salvadoran said.

Hernandez said on Twitter he had asked Guatemalan authorities "to contract land transportation for those who wish to return - and airlift in the special cases of women, children, the elderly and the sick - and we will continue with this operation as long as necessary". The U.S. president has made it clear to Mexico that he is monitoring its response.

Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the US border early Sunday in southern Mexico. One day earlier, Trump thanked Mexico for sending police and riot gear to the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Thousands of them made it to the Mexican border on Friday.

Mexican authorities have vowed to respect the human rights of the migrants but said those lacking legal authorization to cross into Mexico would be detained.

While Mr Trump has sent National Guard troops to the border before, it is unclear what he means by shutting it down entirely, and whether that would affect businesses or people with legitimate visas.

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