At least 9,000 Honduran migrants have gone into Guatemala after a first group pressed past border authorities late Friday and others quickly followed on the first step of a journey north they hope will take them to the United States, authorities said Saturday.
Seeking to leave hardship, joblessness, gang and drug violence and the after-effects of 2 devastating cyclones, the migrants, the majority of them traveling on foot, planned to head very first to Mexico and then on to the United States, a journey of countless kilometers.
A first group of males, women and kids– numerous using masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic– pushed their way Friday past authorities at the Guatemalan border town of El Florido, 220 kilometers (132 miles) east of Guatemala City, an AFP correspondent said.
Guatemalan authorities stated the initial group numbered roughly 6,000; an additional 3,000 crossed into the nation on Saturday, they stated.
A Guatemalan federal government statement denounced what it said was an offense of its nationwide sovereignty and gotten in touch with Honduras to “include the massive departure of its inhabitants, through irreversible preventive actions.”
A young boy sobs as Honduran migrants head to the border with Guatemala AFP/ Orlando SIERRA
A police authorities stated the migrants were permitted to cross into Guatemala due to the fact that there were many families with kids. They said officers, who were unarmed, feared tear gas might cause casualties.
Border representatives asked the migrants for their documents– and required proof of negative coronavirus tests– but appeared to let numerous through who did not satisfy those requirements.
As the migrants moved northward in small groups, employees with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees supplied some with help.
Looking for to escape poverty, joblessness, gang and drug violence and the consequences of 2 ravaging typhoons, the migrants plan to walk countless kilometers to the United States AFP/ Johan ORDONEZ
The majority of the migrants, lots of in shoes, brought backpacks with their few possessions.
” I have actually come on foot, without cash, suffering,” 40-year-old Agustina Rodriguez told reporters. “Thank God we are already here in Guatemala– now on (to the United States).”.
The migrants are seeking a better life in America under Joe Biden after years of tough anti-immigrant policies under Donald Trump, however US authorities have actually already warned off the group.
Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras have an agreement with the United States to stop north-bound migratory circulations.
Biden has assured “a reasonable and gentle migration system” and promised aid to tackle the origin of poverty and violence that drive Central Americans to the United States.
Migrants heading to the United States show an Honduran nationwide flag as they hitchhike on the back of a truck near El Florido, in the Honduran department of Copan near the border with Guatemala AFP/ Orlando SIERRA.
However Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of United States Customs and Border Security, alerted the group last week not to “waste your money and time.”.
The United States commitment to the “guideline of law and public health” is not impacted by the modification in administration, he said in a statement.
More than a lots caravans, some with thousands of migrants, have actually triggered from Honduras because October 2018.
But all have actually run up against thousands of United States border guards and soldiers under Trump, who characterized immigrants from Mexico as “rapists” and lawbreakers.
The Mexican federal government stated it would not permit the “prohibited entry” of any migrant caravans and deployed 500 migration officers to the border states of Chiapas and Tabasco.
Guatemalan migration officials stated the Honduran group seemed heading for the border post at Tecun Uman in southern Mexico.
Trump stated Friday he was extending a nationwide emergency situation on the border with Mexico, a measure he first imposed in February 2019.
” Further action is required to deal with the humanitarian crisis and to manage unlawful migration and the flow of narcotics and crooks,” a White Home declaration stated.
However the migrants are keeping completion objective in sight.
Amongst them, 28-year-old Eduardo Lanza said he imagined living in a country where people of different sexual orientations can cope with dignity, and find “a task opportunity.”.
Norma Pineda, 51, stated in 2015’s hurricanes left her “on the street.”.
” We are leaving due to the fact that here is no work, no state assistance; we require food, clothes …” she informed AFP.