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Hondurans participating in a new migrant caravan to the United States walk on a highway in Chiquimula, Guatemala, January 16, 2021. REUTERS / Luis Echeverría
Mexico is getting ready to receive the first migratory wave of this 2021 with a reinforcement of border security in the face of a new caravan of some 6,000 Central American migrants who left San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Friday night, in search of crossing the country to U.S.
Since Friday, hundreds of elements of the National Guard, personnel from the Army and the Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico joined the 500 immigration agents that the government deployed in the south of the country with the aim of policing the border and eventually stopping the caravan.
The members of the National Guard went in convoy and trucks to the Rodolfo Robles International Bridge, the main legal route in southern Mexico for migrants, while other groups made their way to the bank of the Suchiate river cwith anti-riot teams to be present and prevent migrants from trying to cross into Mexico illegally.
Hondurans who participate in a new migrant caravan bound for the United States, clash with Guatemalan soldiers when they try to cross into Guatemalan territory, in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, January 17, 2021. REUTERS / Luis Echeverría
The military will remain for several days to make a strict surveillance in the main informal crossings along the Suchiate river that divides Mexico with Guatemala, which maintains its lowest levels and that would allow foreigners to walk if they can freely pass through Guatemala.
The Brigadier General and Southern Coordinator of the National Guard, Vicente Antonio Hernández Sánchez, pointed out that the deployment of elements to reinforce security on the southern border is the position of the Mexican government before any caravan that may enter the country in an unordered manner.
He explained that the objective is to safeguard the integrity of migrants, Therefore, there are also representatives of the Ministry of Health (SSa) because, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, this item has become a priority.
That is why, he added, that everyone who enters Mexico must be reviewed by the SSa, while their migratory situation falls under the National Migration Law, although he stressed that the attention will be given “always respecting their human rights”, especially of minor migrants.
REUTERS / Luis Echeverria
He stressed that the device that remains in the border strip will be to give attention tol migrant in order for them to enter in a regulated manner and will be provided with health services, food, accommodation and, mainly, work.
“If in their saying they indicate that they are fleeing from some ailments that they have in their respective countries, it cannot be questioned, but if their objective is to be well, in Mexico they will be well and they will have a job, so they do not have to follow another place, “he said.
He reiterated that Mexico will assist and protect migrants “everything that the (National) Migration Institute (INM) has to do, it will do.”
Similarly, he said that according to article 96 of the National Migration Law, the National Guard would be in a position to “provide support.” to the INM in case migrants seek to pass violently through the Suchiate River.
In 2019, given the increase in caravans of Central American migrants crossing Mexico to the United States, Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all Mexican exports.
The government of Mexico then agreed with The United States militarized its southern border with Guatemala in exchange for promoting a development program for Central America in order to curb migration, but it was stalled.
Security forces stop migrant caravan in Guatemala with tear gas and sticks
Thousands of migrants who entered eastern Guatemala on foot, on their journey from Honduras to the United States, were stopped this Sunday by the police, who fired tear gas at them, and by the military who beat up those who insisted on advancing by force.
The security forces surrounded the migrants on a highway in the town of Vado Hondo, in the department of Chiquimula, on the border with Honduras. SAccording to police figures, at least 6,000 of the 9,000 people estimated to have entered Guatemala have reached this place.
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