Migrant Caravan Swells to 5000 Resumes Advance Toward US

Honduran police officers stand as an Honduran migrant looks on while hoping to cross into Guatemala and join a caravan trying to reach the US

Honduran police officers stand as an Honduran migrant looks on while hoping to cross into Guatemala and join a caravan trying to reach the US

Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the border, a growing throng of Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the USA border early Sunday in southern Mexico.

In contrast to the earlier caravan, which had advanced into Mexico before officials began intensive efforts to process the migrants, the Mexican government turned its attention to the new group right on its southern border.

Various caravans of migrants have been traveling by bus or on foot from their homeland, mostly through Guatemala, in the hope of not just reaching Mexico but heading on to the United States.

A massive caravan of Honduran migrants - many with children in tow - cheered and chanted as they streamed toward a crossing at the Guatemala-Mexico border Friday.

As the day wore on, migrants began jumping from the bridge and swimming to the Mexican side or climbing aboard makeshift rafts, which ferried them to shore.

Last week, Trump threatened to cut aid to the region, deploy the military, and close the US-Mexican border if authorities did not stop them. Organized groups of smugglers assist the migrants on their way north, charging $5,000 or more a person. They were even given a secret password that smugglers told them to use whenever they encountered Mexican customs or other federal authorities.

President Trump called out the Democratic Party in relation to the migrant caravan making its way through Central America on Twitter on Sunday.

"We are going to reach the United States", said Erasmo Duarte, a migrant from Danli, Honduras, despite warnings to turn back this week from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has sought to make the caravan and border security in general into a campaign issue a little over two weeks before midterm elections.

With a homicide rate of 43 per 100,000 citizens, Honduras is one of the most violent countries in the world.

They swam and rafted across the river from Guatemala before deciding to reform their mass caravan and continue their journey towards the US. "Change the immigration laws NOW!" the President tweeted.

On Friday, United States Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo met with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and said the two officials had a "good conversation".




"Please let us in, we want to work!" they entreated agents at the main gate.

At least a dozen migrants stuck on the bridge have jumped into the river below.

"A lot of people say 'I wonder who started that caravan?'" he said.

An estimated 10% of the population of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have fled danger, forced gang recruitment and dismal economic opportunities.

She added in a subsequent tweet that she has been in "constant contact" with her foreign counterparts in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and that her department was monitoring the situation and ready to provide assistance if necessary.

"From here", Yanez said, "there's no going back".

"If that doesn't work out, we're calling up the military - not the (National) Guard - we're calling up the military", he told reporters.

Earlier Friday, Mexico's ambassador to Guatemala said his country meant to enforce what he called a policy of orderly entry in the face of the thousands trying to cross. "And neither does our country want them in our country".

Geronimo Gutierrez, Mexico's ambassador to the US, said his country had reason to believe that the migrant caravan from Honduras was not the result of a grassroots effort but was "politically motivated".

The caravan of mainly Honduran migrants had surged through a series of police lines and barricades up to the final fence on Mexico's southern border on Friday.

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