Mexico City, Oct 29 (IANS) Thousands of migrants, most of them Hondurans, broke through a metal fence separating Guatemala and Mexico and after clashing with police, poured across the border into Mexican territory.
Guatemalan riot police fired tear gas at the migrants on Sunday who, in desperation to continue their northward trek toward the US border, responded by hurling stones and sticks, reports Efe news.
“Let’s go to Mexico,” shouted the migrants in the group as they headed for the Mexican customs office, where a heavy police presence initially prevented them from crossing the bridge or the river separating the two countries.
There was significant tension during the confrontation, with parents pulling their children out of the line of fire.
Ultimately, however, the migrants broke through the fence into Mexico, despite police opposition.
An initial caravan of migrants – now comprising some 7,000 people, mainly Hondurans – departed from San Pedro Sula on October 13 heading for the US and a large number of them are currently traversing far southern Mexico on foot after making it through Guatemala.
Most of the members of this caravan on Sunday postponed their departure from San Pedro Tapanatepec, in Oaxaca state, to reorganise their security measures after a fight occurred on Saturday night in which one person was injured.
Caravan spokesman Alexander Martinez said that all except about 300 members of the group decided to remain in the town and resume their journey on Monday morning while they organise safety and security committees.
Meanwhile, this second caravan of about 1,500 people is moving through Guatemala in several groups.
Some 150 Salvadorans, including women and children, on Sunday began heading northwards toward the US looking for better living conditions, just like the other groups.
The Salvadoran caravan departed from San Salvador, where the members gathered to organise, and members told Efe that they intended to head for the border with Guatemala, then enter Mexico and finally travel the 1,000 or so miles north to the southern US border.
US President Donald Trump has taken a hard line toward the first caravan, threatening to deploy Army troops along the border to prevent entry and saying he will significantly cut economic aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in reprisal for their inability to halt the caravans.