Recently, a migrant caravan barreling towards the United States has recently hit a snag: border security forces in Guatemala. Multiple hundreds of migrants had departed from San Pedro Sula, Honduras with the goal of reaching the porous United States border. However, they were promptly intercepted by Guatemalan border security forces, who began the process of returning the migrants back to their homelands.
Of the 300 immigrants, the vast majority were either Nicaraguan or Honduran. The migrants had arrived in Corinto, located in Honduras, by Saturday afternoon, and they made it to the Guatemalan border, specifically in the province of Izabal. However, upon their arrival to the Guatemalan border, they were met by hundreds upon hundreds of anti-riot agents originating from both the army and national police of Guatemala.
According to the Guatemalan Migration Institute, the nation is currently conversing with migrants about their return back to their original countries of origin. For migrants who desire to remain in Guatemala, they will be tasked with presenting a variety of identification documents, including a vaccine card, negative COVID test, and personal identification document.
Per the Institute’s director, Carlos Emilio Morales, migrants “are being returned, everything in order, humanely.” Morales added that Guatemala is simply “protecting [its] borders,” as well as “protecting the health of all Guatemalans.”
According to the Guatemalan government, 36 individuals were promptly deported back to Honduras due to not meeting the mandatory requirements. However, ten individuals who met all the paperwork requirements were permitted to proceed.
One member of the migrant group, Fabricio Ordoñez, claimed that he joined the caravan in order to give “a new life” to his family. Ordoñez also blamed the left-leaning President of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, for the current economic conditions in the nation.
“They have looted everything,” Ordoñez proclaimed, adding that it will be “very hard” for the Castro government to improve the nation’s social and economic turmoil.
Another migrant, Ubaldo López proclaimed that it is “a very hard road” to the United States, which is why he has “[asked] God and the Honduran government … [to] not put up more roadblocks.”
López also called for the American government to “open its doors to [them],” in spite of the fact that the United States has displaced the pressure of border security upon other Central American governments to stymie the movements of the caravans.
This caravan is the first registered caravan of 2022, and while it originally contained 600 individuals, the group eventually splintered into two in an effort to avoid various Guatemalan authorities and access various illegal entry points.
In 2021, an enormous number of migrants, a significant percentage of which originated in Haiti and Central America, successfully reached the U.S.-Mexico border, creating major headaches for the turbulent Biden administration.