Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Honduran migrants march on

Honduran migrants march on

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Honduran migrants heading in a caravan to the US climb the gate of the Guatemala-Mexico international border bridge in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas state, Mexico, on Friday. PEDRO PARDO/AFP

Honduran migrants march on

THOUSANDS of Honduran migrants whose trek toward the US has triggered a series of tirades from President Donald Trump resumed their long march Sunday after crossing a river into Mexico.

Mexican authorities had managed to block the “caravan” of migrants on a border bridge between Mexico and Guatemala, but many later forged the river below using makeshift rafts – regrouping early Sunday to march north.

Trump said “full efforts” were underway to halt the caravan’s progress toward the US.

“Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Southern Border,” Trump tweeted.

“People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the US will turn them away.”

Nevertheless, around 3,000 people were marching in the caravan on the Mexican side, according to an estimate from a federal police commander whose forces were closely monitoring the migrants’ progress.

About a thousand migrants were still stranded on a border bridge hoping to enter Mexico legally via Guatemala.

Mexican authorities insisted those on the bridge would have to file asylum claims one at a time in order to enter the country.

While the migrants on the bridge waited to be processed, those who had managed to get to the Mexican side were heading to Tapachula – the next stop on a journey of at least 3,000km to the border between Mexico and the US.

“No one is going to stop us, after all we’ve gone through,” said 21-year-old Aaron Juarez, who was accompanied by his wife and baby and was walking with difficulty because of an injury.

‘Forced to leave’

“We are tired, but very happy, we are united and strong,” added Edwin Geovanni Enamorado, a Honduran farmer who said he was forced to leave his country because of intimidation by racketeering gangs.

The caravan left San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras last weekend, following a call on social networks relayed by a former Honduran deputy.

The politician, Bartolo Fuentes – a member of leftist former president Manuel Zelaya’s Freedom and Refoundation Party – said he only reproduced a poster on his Facebook page.

The poster invited people on a “Migrant march” with a slogan: “We’re not leaving because we want to, but because we are being expelled by violence and poverty.”

The caravan has comprised between 3,000 - 5,000 people at various times as it moved through Guatemala, according to various sources.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said more than 5,000 migrants had entered Guatemala from Honduras, but that some 2,000 had since returned home.

Officials of the national disaster management agency, Conred, told AFP that more than 1,000 Hondurans had left the caravan between Friday and Sunday, taken home on a fleet of buses laid on by the Guatemalan government.

On Saturday, Mexican authorities opened the border for women and children on the overcrowded bridge, taking them to a shelter in the city of Tapachula.

Throughout Saturday, around 900 migrants – tired of waiting on the bridge – resorted to crossing the Suchiate River below on makeshift rafts and police did not intervene as they clambered up the muddy riverbank on the Mexican side.

Morales and his Honduran counterpart Juan Orlando Hernandez said after meeting on Saturday the march was “violating the borders and the good faith of the states.”

The Honduran president admitted however that social problems were a contributory factor: “Without a doubt, we have a lot to do so that our people can have opportunities in their communities.

A migrant who gave his name as Jaled, said they were marching “because there is no work in Honduras, no education, nothing good. The cost of life increases every weekend.”

The migrants are generally fleeing poverty and insecurity in Honduras, where powerful street gangs rule their turf with brutal violence.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Nod given for school exams

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced that State-run higher educational institutions can hold examinations to end the academic year, while private schools can organise grade 9 and grade 12 examinations at their premises for two days. However, private institutions have to take measures to prevent