Some 9,000 Honduran migrants cross north into Guatemala

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GUATEMALA CITY (AP) – Guatemalan authorities on Saturday estimated that as many as 9,000 Honduran migrants had entered Guatemala as part of an effort to form a new caravan to reach the US border.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei issued a statement calling on the Honduran authorities to “contain the mass exit of its inhabitants”. The migrants passed around 2,000 police and soldiers stationed at the border on Friday and Saturday, and most entered without showing the negative coronavirus test demanded by Guatemala.

“The government of Guatemala regrets this violation of national sovereignty and calls on the governments of Central America to take measures to avoid putting their inhabitants at risk amid the health emergency caused by the pandemic,” the statement continued. Giammattei.

Mexico continued to drill thousands of National Guard and immigration officials at its southern border, in a show of force meant to discourage the caravan from entering Mexico.

On Friday evening, two groups of more than 3,000 Honduran migrants each entered Guatemala without registering, part of a larger caravan of migrants that had left the Honduran town of San Pedro Sula before dawn. A third group entered Guatemala on Saturday.

A video shared by the Guatemala Immigration Institute showed cheering people pouring in as border officials watched and tried to stop them from blocking traffic.

Honduran migrants have penetrated deeper into Guatemala, driven by deepening poverty and the hope of a warmer welcome if they can reach the US border. However, several previous attempts to form caravans were interrupted by Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.

The migrants had left San Pedro Sula around 4 a.m. on Friday, young men and entire families carrying sleeping children. Some quickly caught rides while others walked along the highway escorted by police.

Before Friday night’s big breach, Guatemalan authorities reported picking up only small groups of Hondurans and sending them back to the border. But Guatemala has set up nearly a dozen checkpoints on the highways and could start busing more migrants back to Honduras.

Mainor Garcia, a 19-year-old worker from San Pedro Sula, wore a purple backpack as he walked along the highway early Friday. He said he was afraid of the trip, but was willing to take the risk. “(Hurricanes) Eta and Iota destroyed all of our homes,” he said.

“There is no other choice” than to leave, said Oscar Zaldivar, 25, driver of Cofradia. “You have to get out of here, this country because we are going to die here.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement on Friday that “The combination of COVID-19, social exclusion, violence and climate-related disasters occurring at the same time on a scale rarely seen before in Central America raises new humanitarian challenges. “

Migrants leave with little certainty as to the distance to be covered. Regional governments have recently appeared more united than ever in stopping their progress.

Francisco Garduño Yáñez, head of the National Institute of Immigration of Mexico, said in a statement on Friday that his country should “guarantee our national territory” and called for “orderly, safe and legal migration with respect for human rights. human rights and humanitarian policies ”.

On Wednesday, the 11-country Regional Conference on Migration “expressed concern over the exposure of irregular migrants to situations of high risk to their health and life, mainly during the health emergency.”

Mexican officials said on Thursday they had …

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  • According to the source Some 9,000 Honduran migrants cross north into Guatemala.
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