Migrant caravan risks river to reach Mexico

Migrant caravan risks river to reach Mexico

Kerry Wise
October 23, 2018

Numerous migrants, the overwhelming majority fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras, slept on the bridge through heavy rain overnight, dozens of them crammed against a metal border gate guarded by Mexican police.

"There are others caravans being called for to start on Monday from Choloma (just outside of San Pedro Sula) and another this weekend from La Ceiba (on the Honduran northern coast)", Frank-Vitale said. It's the favorite - and only - toy of her two daughters, 4-year-old Victoria and 3-year-old Elisabeth, who trudged beside her gleaming with sweat. "There are risks that we must take for the good of our children".

Morales said a Honduran migrant died in the town of Villa Nueva, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Guatemala City, when he fell from a truck.

The women ran forward when immigration officers unchained a gate that had been pinning back migrants at the crossing.

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"Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Souther (sic) Border". Authorities handed out numbers for people to be processed in a strategy seen before at US border posts when dealing with large numbers of migrants.

The mob swelled to at least 5,000 people - some estimates go as high as 10,000 - and once past police dressed in riot gear, they resumed their trek to the U.S. -Mexico border.

They marched through Mexico and yelled slogans like "Si se pudo!".

A day earlier, Mexican authorities halted entry to migrants on the bridge, but did allow women with small children in.

It was not immediately clear where the additional travellers had materialized from since about 2,000 gathered on the Mexican side Saturday night.

Chaos erupted when people in the caravan arrived at the Mexican border on Friday.

Their destination Sunday was the city of Tapachula in Chiapas state.

The migrants include many parents travelling with young children.

"You have to help the next person".

"It is a blessing that they have given us food", Martinez said.

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Passing freight trucks were quickly boarded by dozens of migrants, and straining tuk-tuks carried as many as a half-dozen.

Three federal police units are escorting the massive crowd of migrants marching across southernmost Mexico and a police helicopter has been flying overhead.

Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated that policy in a statement late Sunday, saying the administration is closely following the progress of the caravan and accusing the migrants of violating the sovereignty, laws and procedures of the countries they are traveling through. They moved on toward the city before the caravan reached them.

Maria Teresa Orellana, a resident of the neighborhood of Lorenzo handed out free sandals to the migrants as they passed. Cruz, 20, said she was going to ask for political asylum because of threats and repression she faced back in Honduras from President Juan Orlando Hernandez's governing party. It released photos of migrants getting off buses at a shelter and receiving food and medical attention.

President Trump, who has threatened to cut aid to Honduras over the issue, thanked Mexico for holding back the group. "They've really stepped up, and it will not be forgotten". Authorities handed out numbers for people to be processed in a strategy seen before at US border posts when dealing with large numbers of migrants.

President Donald Trump launched a Twitter attack Sunday against a growing Central American migrant caravan hoping to enter the US, stating he plans to block it.

"In this way, we confront the phenomenon of migration, because he who leaves his town does not leave for pleasure but out of necessity", he added.

Others migrants remain stranded at the border in an attempt to enter Mexico legally.

A large number of families are still being held back by border crossings.

The migrants say they gave up trying to enter Mexico legally because the asylum application process was too slow.

"We're warriors, we got to get to the place we got to get to".

"We are working to provide a peaceful and safe return trip and avoid that these movements keep happening in the future", said Mr. Morales.

The soft-spoken 25-year-old said he was travelling with three friends who made a decision to remain in the caravan, but that for him, the fear of being deported once he reached Mexico was too much. "I am not going to stop".

Guatemala has organized a fleet of buses to take Hondurans back to their country.