National Guard stops Central American immigrants from entering the country

Yesterday, hundreds of immigrants tried to cross the border between Mexico and Guatemala through the Suchiate river

Mexico’s National Guard stops Central American immigrants from entering the country
Hundreds of migrants crossed the Suchiate River yesterday but were later detained by Mexican authorities – Photo: Marco Ugarte/AFP
English 21/01/2020 12:38 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Actualizada 12:56
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Yesterday, hundreds of Central American immigrants looking to arrive in the U.S. tried to cross the border between Mexico and Guatemala through the Suchiate river, however, Mexico’s National Guard used tear gas to stop them and the immigrants threw rocks. Several children and elderly people were harmed during the altercation.

Video footage showed scattered groups of migrants throwing rocks at members of the National Guard, who were on the banks of the river attempting to halt illegal crossings, while hundreds of others ran past into Mexico.

Photo: Fabricio Alonzo/REUTERS

Despite the harsh security measures implemented by the Mexican government, around 200 people were able to cross the river into Mexico but were detained later, when they were walking towards Tapachula, Chiapas.

After being intercepted by the National Guard, the federal police, and migration officers, a large number of migrants agreed to board buses supplied by Mexican authorities. Nevertheless, some resisted and tried to flee the scene but were detained and forced into the buses.

After the incident, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said it had detained 402 migrants and transferred them to immigration stations where they will receive food, water, and shelter. The INM will return them to their home countries via airplane or bus if their legal status cannot be resolved.

A new migrant caravan is heading toward the U.S.

The altercation took place after Mexican authorities refused to allow the undocumented immigrants to enter Mexico, their last stop on their quest to reach the U.S.

On January 21, when hundreds of migrants crossed the Suchiate river, a scuffle ensued between them and Mexican authorities.

Central American migrants then reported that several children went missing during the incident. Other children suffered nervous breakdowns or fainted due to stress or dehydration.

A spokeswoman at the INM said the institute had no reports of children going missing amid the clashes.

Hours later, a migrant said they are “not going to give up, we can’t return to Honduras because the Maras will kill us.”

Alden Rivera, the Honduran Ambassador to Mexico said that Mexican authorities detained around 1,300 Hondurans in migration centers and will start deporting them back home by airplane and bus on Tuesday.

Last week, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador offered 4,000 jobs to the immigrants.

According to Central American authorities, around 3,500 immigrants formed the first migrant caravan of 2020; media reports there are around 4,000 migrants in the caravan.

During today’s news conference, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that operations to control the flow of migrants at the country’s southern border were meant to protect them.

Mexican National Guard blocks US-bound migrant caravan

A few minutes ago, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced hundreds of migrants have been sent back to their home countries. He said 2,400 migrants legally entered the country and authorities are reviewing their immigration status. He emphasized Mexico is creating 20,000 jobs in each of these Central American countries.

Ebrard said Mexico will not change its policies and won’t allow undocumented migrants to transit Mexico.

Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero said Mexico's National Guard was only enforcing the law. 


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