İrem UZUN -TDO- Hundreds of Honduran migrants huddled overnight on a highway in eastern Guatemala after domestic security forces used sticks and tear gas to halt the passage of a U.S.-bound caravan just days before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
An estimated 7,000 migrants, mostly from Honduras, have entered in recent days, fleeing poverty and violence. They hope to travel on to Mexico, and then the U.S. border. As the migrants trekked across Guatemala towards its border with Mexico, they were slowed down by security forces near the south-eastern village of Vado Hondo. A group of soldiers and police officers blockaded a road, stopping many of them from advancing. Some people still attempted to force their way through, prompting security forces to push them back. Several people were injured.
On Saturday, President Alejandro Giammattei issued a statement calling on Honduran authorities “to contain the mass exit of its inhabitants”. “The government of Guatemala regrets this violation of national sovereignty and calls on the governments of Central America to take measures to avoid putting their inhabitants at risk amid the health emergency due to the pandemic,” Giammattei’s statement said.