Honduran migrants on journey to United States, head toward Guatemalan border

17 Janvier, 2021, 02:32 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • People waiting for the start of the first migrant caravan of the year to the US in San Pedro Sula Honduras on Jan 14 2021

"We can't just sit around after what happened to us".

"We won't leave here until they let us through", said domestic worker Dania Hinestrosa, 23, shortly before attempting to cross the border with one of her young daughters.

As thousands of migrants from Honduras and Guatemala are heading to the USA for a new life.

By Thursday, more migrants arrived at San Pedro Sula's bus terminal.

But all have run up against thousands of USA border guards and soldiers under Trump, who has characterized immigrants from Mexico as "rapists" who were "bringing drugs" and other criminal activity to the United States. "First the pandemic and later the two (hurricanes) left us in crisis". One officer said the intention was to stop the migrants from violating a pandemic-related curfew, check their documents and make sure they weren't traveling with children that were not their own. Possible early confidence-building steps included reversing the tit-for-tat expulsion of journalists, easing visa restrictions and restoring closed consulates, Campbell said, adding that the priority was on irritants that could be resolved quickly and easily."We can't say we'd like you to change your whole system, and they can't say to us, withdraw your forces from Asia", he said.

On Friday, Mexico's National Immigration Institute kept up its dissuasive campaign, again posting videos showing hundreds of agents and National Guard members drilling on the southern border. Mexico's migration agreement with the United States is still in place, meaning the caravan would be dispersed, a Mexican official said.

For weeks, a call for a new caravan departing January 15 has circulated on social networks. But previous caravans have been turned back.

Ariel Villega, 35, from the town of Ocotepeque, was walking with his wife and 10-year-old son. Aware of the hurdles that awaited them, Villega said, "We've got everything, the passport and the COVID test".

Thousands of Hondurans, including many families with children, walked together across Guatemala on Saturday hoping to reach the United States, fleeing poverty and violence in a region battered by the pandemic and back-to-back hurricanes late past year.

If the group reaches the border this time, they will have to show negative tests for COVID-19 in order to pass, which would not be possible for majority.

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The statement by the 11-member Regional Conference on Migration suggests that Mexico and Central America could continue to turn back migrants on the basis of the perceived risks of the pandemic.

Mexico also deployed soldiers and riot police to its border with Guatemala on Friday.

Meanwhile, Mexican authorities along with other countries have expressed their concern about health risks among migrant groups.

Biden, who is due to be inaugurated on Wednesday, has pledged a more humane approach to migration - a departure from outgoing President Donald Trump's hardline anti-immigrant policies.

In recent caravans, Guatemalan authorities have stopped small groups of migrants at roadblocks and returned them to Honduras.

Once the caravan reaches Mexico, it is likely to be subjected to pressure to break up.

Some say they are suffering from the aftermath of two violent hurricanes that hit the country last November. The storms destroyed crops, shuttered businesses and displaced thousands.

In addition, migrants hope that with a change of administration in the United States, they may receive a warmer welcome.

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