100s of migrants crossing Guatemala face brand-new difficulties

The migrants are less organized, Guatemalan authorities more disciplined and U.S. “advisers” are keeping a careful eye on a migration occasion that hasn’t achieved caravan status


SONIA PÉREZ D. Associated Press

January 16, 2020, 5: 03 AM

4 minutes read

EL CINCHADO, Guatemala–
Less-organized migrants, tighter migration control by Guatemalan authorities and the existence of U.S. consultants have actually minimized the possibility that the numerous migrants who left Honduras will form anything like the cohesive procession the term “caravan” now conjures.

What awaits them along their journey has actually changed dramatically. Guatemalan officials are inspecting documents, Mexico’s National Guard has been released and if the migrants make it to the U.S. border, officials there will make them await their asylum cases in Mexico or send them to another nation in the region they’re getting away to apply for protection there.

The migrants who set out from a bus terminal in the northern Honduras city of San Pedro Sula early Wednesday rapidly distributed depending upon their luck capturing rides and the border crossing they were targeting.

For days, a rallying require a new caravan circulated on social media. The turnout while big did not compare to caravans of 2018 that drew the ire of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Caravans have actually tended to bring in migrants with less resources– insufficient money to pay a smuggler– and provide a greater level of security than taking a trip alone or in little groups.

Migrants talked to said they knew of no plan to regroup along the way and form a caravan. The majority of were clustered along highways strolling in groups of 20 or two.

Walter Martínez signed up with those assembled in San Pedro Sula since he figured it would be more secure to take a trip with others.

They were spending the night at a little shelter in Entre Rios about 15 miles into Guatemala.

” I didn’t tell my little brothers due to the fact that I hesitated of failing,” Martínez said. “The only thing inspiring me is seeing my household.”

Farther along toward the Guatemalan capital, in the town of Morales, National Cops were checking migrants’ documents at an obstruction. Associated Press reporters saw about 20 Honduran migrants being put onto a police vehicle to be driven back to the border since they had actually not registered with migration officials there.

Guatemalan law enforcement officer were accompanied at the checkpoint by four representatives from U.S. Migration and Customs Enforcement.

Since about May, Homeland Security has actually released dozens of representatives and investigators to Guatemala to work as “advisers” to the nationwide cops there and migration officials. They are likewise attempting to interfere with human smuggling operations.

The move was a preliminary action in the contract with Guatemala to send asylum-seekers there, and was part of a general plan by DHS to help strengthen the country’s border security in an effort to stem the flow of migrants crossing into the U.S.

Authorities have actually not provided specifics on how many DHS personnel were on the ground for security factors. It was an effort brokered by Kevin McAleenan, the former acting head of DHS.

Mexico avoided them by agreeing to the growth of the U.S. program known as “Remain in Mexico” that has led to more than 55,000 asylum hunters waiting out their cases in Mexico and to the implementation of a part of its freshly developed National Guard to assist stop migrants making their method through the nation.

On Wednesday, Guatemala’s new President Alejandro Giammattei said Mexico Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard told him Mexico will not let a migrant caravan pass. Mexico Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero alerted of special operations and immigration representatives.

Some migrants stated they understood that getting to the United States would be tough, but said they would try anyway.

” We aren’t living here, we’re just surviving,” stated Elmer Garcia, 26, a migrant from the town of Comayagua who set out from San Pedro Sula. “So it does not make much distinction if you pass away there, or die here.”


AP writer Colleen Long in Washington added to this report.

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