Weary migrants wait at Guatemala roadblock as caravan stalls
VADO HONDO, Guatemala (AP) – A whole lot of Honduran migrants awoke drained and hungry Monday after a second evening caught alongside a rural Guatemalan roadside by police and troopers who won’t allow them to cross.
A steep mountain and tall wall flanking the agricultural freeway have allowed Guatemalan authorities to bottle up the group that had numbered about 2,000 when it pushed into Guatemala Friday evening.
Their ranks have lowered by means of attrition as some migrants have agreed to be bused again to the Honduran border. A smaller quantity have been forcefully despatched again after struggling with authorities who held their line with baton strikes and tear gasoline.
Guatemala’s immigration authorities mentioned Monday that one other group of about 800 migrants had been positioned about 40 kilometers farther north alongside the freeway close to Rio Hondo. They’re additionally blocked from advancing there, however authorities mentioned they efficiently negotiated opening one lane of site visitors so autos might cross.
In complete, some 8,000 to 9,000 Honduran migrants had been believed to have entered Guatemala within the yr’s first caravan after departing from San Pedro Sula, Honduras early Friday. Honduras has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic and two main hurricanes that struck in November, leaving 1000’s homeless. That’s on high of the prevailing lack of financial alternative and protracted gang violence.
In Vado Hondo Monday, web site of the roadblock exterior Chiquimula, migrants leaned in opposition to the wall or sat up after a fitful evening’s sleep within the brush alongside the highway or on the pavement. Some migrants had drifted again to the city looking for meals or shade to attend out the stalemate.
Visitors, particularly semi-trailers, had been backed up for miles. Locals picked their approach among the many migrants and had been allowed to cross the strains of police and troopers.
On Sunday, Guatemala’s Well being Ministry reported that 21 of the migrants who sought medical consideration at well being facilities had examined constructive for the coronavirus. The division mentioned the 12 males and 9 ladies wouldn’t be returned to Honduras till they endure quarantine at facilities in Guatemala.
Even when the migrants handle to seek out their technique to the Mexican border, that authorities has made a present of pressure with 1000’s of Nationwide Guard members and immigration brokers ready there.
Mexico has mentioned it might implement its immigration legal guidelines and require an orderly crossing.
“We’re proposing that they search a dialogue with the migrants, in Honduras, Guatemala,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned Monday. “They need to attend to them in order that they don’t enter any nation by pressure.”
The president mentioned he additionally hopes to listen to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden deal with immigration in his inauguration speech Wednesday.
AP author Christopher Sherman in Mexico Metropolis contributed to this report.