Up to 8,000 US-bound migrants enter Guatemala from Honduras

Honduran migrants walk along a road in Camotan, Guatemala, on Saturday, January 16.

An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 US-bound migrants have entered Guatemala from Honduras since Friday, a spokesman for Guatemala’s official immigration agency, Alejandra Mena, told CNN on Saturday. 

Thousands of people are joining the US-bound groups to flee a life of poverty and violence. Two devastating hurricanes struck the region late last year, exacerbating the economic strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Honduran authorities to do more to “contain the massive departure of its inhabitants” in a statement issued Saturday.

Experts project increase in migrants at US-Mexico border as pandemic devastates Latin America

While not responding directly to Guatemala’s request, the National Institute of Migration in Honduras said on social media it has reinforced three border points between the two countries with immigration inspectors.

A video captured by CNN on Saturday showed a large group of people pushing past a cordon of Guatemalan soldiers to gain access to highways traveling to Mexico. Authorities estimated nearly 3,500 people made it pass the cordon. 

Last October, the first major US-bound migrant caravan since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic left San Pedro Sula, Honduras and crossed into Guatemala with an estimated 1,500 to 2,800 people.

Crossings at the US-Mexico border plungedduring 2020 lockdowns. Apprehensions in the month of April hit the lowest mark in years, with approximately 17,100. 

Since then, apprehensions have steadily climbed, with roughly 70,000 each in the months of October, November and December, according to US Customs and Border Protection statistics.View on CNN

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