Mexico’s federal government Thursday deployed 200 police agents to its southern border in the state of Chiapas to stop Honduran migrants from entering the country without visas. The move has been welcomed by the United States president.
Guatemala also deployed hundreds of police on the eve of the arrival of over 1,600 Honduran migrants who are heading to the U.S. in an attempt to flee the rampant violence and poverty that affects Honduras and other Central American countries. According to testimonies, the Honduran migrants will not cross until the remaining members of the caravan, who are still in transit, arrive at the crossing point most likely Friday.
Mexico's Foreign Affairs Minister has also requested support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help Mexican authorities review the asylum requests on an individual basis. "This measure has the goal of contributing to a humanitarian solution, respectful of the legal framework of human rights, is transparent and has the participation of the international community," a ministry's communique explained.
Mexico’s anti-riot police will not be the only obstacle in their passage. U.S. President Donald Trump has warned he will militarize the southern border and close the border to prevent them from entering the country.
On Tuesday, Trump also issued a warning to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador that they would lose all financial aid if they didn't stop the caravan. It is uncertain by which means these countries can stop over the1,600 people from walking north.
It is a harrowing journey but the migrants have also received support on their path. The Guatemalan Red Cross organized groups to treat foot injuries caused by the long march and volunteers have offered them water, food, and clothing.
Contrary to the federal government, the government of Chiapas affirmed earlier this week that they would not stop the caravan. Rather, the local government, NGOs, and the Mexican Red Cross are organizing committees to receive the migrants and provide humanitarian aid, including a service center to help families reunite that were separated throughout the walk.
This is the second time this year that a so-called "Migrant Walk" has left Honduras in order to escape extreme violence and unemployment in a country that registered over 3,790 homicides in 2017, and with seven percent unemployment, according to the Northern Triangle Mobility Initiative.