Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Honduran migrants break Guatemala police cordon

Pentagon to send 'several hundred' troops to US-Mexico border, says official Donald Trump may send US troops to Mexico border, migrants remain undeterred
Jay Anderson | 29 October, 2018, 16:11

A new group of migrants gathered and left from the capital of El Salvador on Sunday, headed for the United States after thousands of other Central Americans began similar journeys in recent weeks, angering US President Donald Trump.

Authorities said more than 1,700 had already applied for refugee status.

"We are talking about every possible way that we can adjust the flows", she said. Thousands of migrants took a break today in Tapanatepec on their long journey toward the US border, with Mexican government agencies seeming to waver between helping and hindering.

Martin Rojas, an agent from Mexico's migrant protection agency Grupo Beta, said he and his fellow agents planned to use agency pickup trucks to help stragglers catch up with the caravan.

In Mexico, the original group of Hondurans, exhausted by constant travel in blistering heat, spent Sunday resting in the town of Tapanatepec, Oaxaca.

They agreed to relay information back to their respective sides and said they would reconvene. Many members have been travelling for more than two weeks.

"Our destiny is to get to the border", Orellana said. She was also suspicious of the Mexican proposal, fearing that she would be deported if she applies for asylum in Mexico. The Mexican government is claiming that their police couldn't have killed the migrant because they were deployed without firearms "or anything that could fire rubber bullets".

The standoff comes after one of the caravan's longest days of walking and hanging from passing trucks on a 60-mile journey to the city of Arriaga.

Most of the migrants in the caravan appeared determined to reach the US, despite an offer of refuge in Mexico.

"Thank you!" they yelled as they voted to reject the offer in a show of hands.




Sitting at the edge of the edge of the town square, 58-year-old Oscar Sosa of San Pedro Sula, Honduras concurred.

A Mexican official said Sunday that the group is seeking entry via Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico. "We want passage, that's all".

The caravan still must travel 1,000 miles to reach the nearest US border crossing at McAllen, Texas.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed off on a request for help from the Department of Homeland Security and authorized the military staff to work out details such as the size, composition and estimated cost of the deployments, according to a USA official.

Stoking fears about the caravan and illegal immigration to rally his Republican base, the president insinuated that gang members and "Middle Easterners" are mixed in with the group, though he later acknowledged there was no proof of that.

"We have a crisis at the border right now", she said. "I will not tolerate Mexicans or anybody else acting in a violent way towards our men and women on the border". She pointed out scabbed-over blisters on her feet, a testament to the fact they had walked or hitched rides since leaving their country.

The migrants have largely been disconnected from news reports about them while on the road. At other times, police have ejected migrants from passenger buses or prevented smaller groups from joining the caravan.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, referring to U.S. troops who are expected to be deployed to the southern border to deter an incoming migrant caravan, said Thursday that "we do not have any intention right now to shoot at people".

Caravan spokesman Alexander Martinez said at a press conference that all except about 300 members of the group chose to remain in the town and resume their journey on Monday morning while they organise safety and security committees.

Mexican immigration officials in the video urge the men to bring families to the front of the line and present their requests for transit in an orderly manner.

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