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  • A Honduran man protects his child after fellow migrants stormed a border checkpoint in Guatemala.

    A Honduran man protects his child after fellow migrants stormed a border checkpoint in Guatemala. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 October 2018
Opinion

Men, women, and children have braved hundreds of miles in order to reach the U.S. border.

"We are not smugglers, we are immigrants!" a crowd of thousands of migrants shouted as they approached the gate at Guatemala’s border. Some climbed on top of the gate and jeeps demanding to be allowed entry in order to pass into Mexico.

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Guatemalan police in riot gear stood silently while Mexican federal police officers stood on the bridge, backed up by even more officers on the other side, AP reports.

The group, of what has grown to be an estimated 4,000 migrants, has trekked hundreds of miles across Central America. Some have walked over 435 miles (702 km) from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where the caravan originated. They have now reached an impasse at a closed metal gate at the Guatemala-Mexico border. Their aim, at large, is to enter safely into the United States.

Mexico's ambassador to Guatemala said his country was enforcing a policy of orderly entry. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw financial aid to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras unless they stop the caravan.

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"It is an illegal activity," Ambassador Luis Manuel Lopez Moreno said. According to Moreno, more than 100 people have been permitted entry to apply for refugee status. 

Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray said those with passports and valid visas would be let in immediately, though he acknowledged that "we anticipate those are the minority."

Those who cross illegally and are caught risk detainment and deportation, the Mexican government warned.

"One way or another, we will pass," throngs of people chanted as they headed toward the bridge.

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