A group of more than 4,000 Honduran migrants who are attempting to reach the US border overland have crossed into with Guatemala – despite warnings that they would be turned away at the border. Singing the Honduran national anthem, praying and chanting, “Yes, we can,” the group, who say they are fleeing violence and poverty, crossed the border on Monday afternoon and headed towards the city of Esquipulas.
“We are not criminals, we are migrants… Like the ancient Israelites, the Honduran people are walking in their exodus, fleeing from political and economic slavery imposed by corruption and the deterioration of government systems. There are many forced migrations and in Latin America these migrations are marking the current history” Agenzia Fides http://www.fides.org/en/news/64932-AMERICA_HONDURAS_We_are_not_criminals_we_are_migrants_three_thousand_Hondurans_fleeing_their_country
The migrant caravan has swelled from about 1,500 to 4,000 since setting out last week from San Pedro Sula, which has become one of the world’s most dangerous cities thanks to a toxic combination of gang and state-sponsored violence, corruption and impunity.
In Chiquimula, Guatemala, the big group was received well at the Capuchin pastoral centre. The Capuchin friars at the centre provided vital necessities including food, water, medicine, accommodation and other amenities before the group moved to the next town.
Shelters and churches along the border have been flooded as a result of the surge as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have been releasing hundreds of migrants from detention at a time.
The group includes dozens of families with infants and children who hope travelling in numbers will reduce the risk posed by criminal gangs that prey on vulnerable migrants. The passage through Mexico is one of the world’s most perilous migration corridor. Rampant violence and poverty in Central America continue to force people to abandon their homes in search of safety and jobs. Honduras remains one of the most dangerous countries in central America.
Many of the Hondurans travelling in the caravan are children, some travelling with their parents and some without. Because children are afforded special protections in the United States, their arrival is creating anxiety within the Trump administration, which has pledged to decrease illegal immigration. President Donald Trump said last week that he would consider separating migrant families at the border once again, after reversing his controversial “zero tolerance” policy in June. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is tracking the caravan as the Hondurans make their way north toward the U.S. border.
Source: Agenzia Fides