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Migrant caravan delays entry into Mexico

Mexico City, Jan 20 (IANS) Members of a migrant caravan from Honduras which was expected to enter Mexico from Guatemala, have announced a delay in their border crossing until Monday as they anticipated additional migrants, bringing the total number to between 5,000 and 8,000.

Officials in the Guatemalan municipality of Tecun Uman calculated that some 2,500 people are currently at the Casa de Migrante and in special camps set up to house them, although others were resting on the Rodolfo Robles Bridge linking Guatemala with the Mexican state of Chiapas.

“We’re asking Mexico to support us. We’re coming peacefully, we’re not going to fight, we’re calm because in our country we can’t stand the hunger any longer, the lack of work, the government. It’s a lot of corruption. We have to emigrate,” a caravan member told Efe news on Sunday.

The migrant was resting along with his companions on the border bridge, where calm and regular traffic passage has prevailed after the altercation on Saturday, when the Mexican National Guard restricted bridge access and fired tear gas at dozens of Central Americans who tried to literally shove their way through to Mexican territory.

After that, during the day, 821 Hondurans, 38 Guatemalans, 19 Salvadorans and three Nicaraguans crossed the bridge into Chiapas, Guatemala’s National Immigration Institute reported.

On January 15, thousands of Honduran migrants set out for the border with Guatemala as part of a caravan heading toward the US after the group was convened via social media.

The phenomenon recalls what happened in October 2018, when several caravans of thousands of Central American migrants entered Mexico fleeing poverty and violence in their homelands with the aim of getting to the US, thus sparking tensions between Mexico City and Washington.

The US and Mexico reached an agreement in June 2019 whereby the Donald Trump administration withdrew its threat to impose tariffs on Mexican products in exchange for Mexico City’s deployment of its newly-created National Guard on its border with Guatemala to halt the illegal migrant flow.

–IANS

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