A caravan of an estimated 3,000 migrants from Honduras today joined the northern border of Guatemala, despite the threats of US President Donald Trump. The US head of state said yesterday that he wants to close the border with Mexico and wants to deploy the army if the country fails to stop the migrants.
Trump has been outraged by a migrant march for days on end in a big procession from Central America to the United States, hoping to start a better life there. The caravan left Saturday from the violent Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. The group has grown to several thousand people and migrates northward through the neighbouring Guatemala to Mexico and the US.
There are also women and children in the caravan. Most of them flee the gang violence in their country. There is also little work and a lot of corruption in Honduras. “The journey has been very tough, but in Honduras we do not have a good future”, says 20-year-old Glenda Salvador, a mother of two toddlers.
Migrants who have already arrived at the Mexican border sleep in churches, fire stations and shelters for refugees. Wilson Chacon, a migrant from Copan in the west of Honduras, does not want to give up hope. “I am confident that I will cross the border in one way or another”, it sounds.
Yesterday, Trump described the migrant march as an “attack on the United States”. He threatened to close the southern border with Mexico “if Mexico does nothing about the savage attack of migrants, including many criminals who enter Mexico from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.” “I must, in the strongest terms, ask Mexico to put an end to this attack. If it is not able to do so, I will appeal to the US Army and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER”, the American head of states tweeted.
Trump seems to want to make the issue of immigrants an election theme at the mid-term parliamentary elections in early November. “All Democrats fail with their weak laws,” he said.
Today, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, visited Mexico. First Mexico said that it will not allow these people if they do not have the necessary documents. But police chief Manelich Castilla admitted in a television interview that they do not want to tackle the group too hard. They especially want to guarantee public order, he sounded.
The Mexican authorities are preparing for an influx of migrants. Local police chief Gerardo Hernandez says five detention centres have been set up in Ciudad Hidalgo for up to 4,000 people. He added, however, that only 15 of the 132 Central Americans registered in the city came from the caravan. But “they do not all register here for fear of being detained,” Hernandez admitted.
Mexico is also going to ask for the cooperation of the UN refugee organization to find a “humanitarian solution” for the migrant group.