Determined to reach the United States, hundreds of Honduran migrants approached the border between Guatemala and Mexico on Friday, January 17, leaving behind the poverty and violence plaguing their country.
These migrants, some of whom are children, are part of a 3,543-caravan leaving Tuesday evening from the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, said Alejandra Mena, spokesperson for the Guatemalan Institute. migrations.
On foot or aboard trucks and buses, despite the warning from the new president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei that Mexico will not let them in, they had crossed the border into Guatemala on Wednesday.
Mexican President Offers 4,000 Jobs
Since 2019, Mexico has deployed several thousand National Guard men to its borders to contain the wave of migrants seeking to reach the United States, a measure criticized by human rights organizations.
Friday, faced with this wave of migrants heading for his country, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered 4,000 jobs in the south of the country to migrants in this caravan, saying that part could also be allocated to Mexicans.
The goal of the caravan "is that we can all cross the border, no matter how, the goal is the United States," one of the migrants, Luis Orellana, 24, told AFP. from the village of Quetzaltepeque (eastern Guatemala).
"Whatever happens, we will pass because we refuse to let our efforts go in vain," added Karen Carcamo, 18, who is fleeing unemployment. Another migrant, Kenia Caceres, 36, said she fled the violence in Honduras with her two daughters, 13 and 16, one of whom was abducted and raped by a gang member.
Strengthening border security
Before the arrival of this new caravan, the Mexican government announced, however, Friday, strengthen security at its southern border.
About 200 additional National Guard officers have started arriving in Ciudad Hidalgo, one of the main cities on Mexico's southern border.
On the other side of the border in the Guatemalan city of Tecún Uman, the participants in this caravan waited for the arrival of other groups of migrants before moving on to Mexico and trying to reach the United States.
In Honduras, several caravans have been formed over the past year and a half. The first, which left on October 14, 2018, brought together more than 2,000 people who had marched north in the hope of entering the United States.
At least three other, smaller caravans followed in the first quarter of 2019. The phenomenon then stopped due to the deployment of soldiers at the border by US President Donald Trump.
The latter has in fact imposed migration agreements in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico on asylum applications, aimed at curbing illegal immigration.
But despite security measures taken by the Mexican government in accordance with the commitment made with the American administration, the passage of migrants has not dried up in the country.
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