Hundreds of Honduran migrants stranded in Guatemala on their way to the Mexican border were being repatriated on Saturday in military trucks, AFP journalists noted.
Departing Wednesday evening in a human caravan from San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras, more than 2,000 Honduran migrants who wanted to go to the United States requested their repatriation to the Guatemalan authorities, according to the presidency of Guatemala.
Small dispersed groups, however, refuse to be repatriated and want to continue their journey north, migrants told AFP.
Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei on Thursday evening ordered the arrest and deportation of some 3,000 Honduran migrants who had just forced their way across the country’s border in the hope of reaching the United States, despite the risks and restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the midst of a health crisis, “neither the entry protocols into the country nor the health protocols established to guarantee the protection of our citizens have been respected”, denounced the Guatemalan president.
A few hundred migrants had then turned back, but the majority of the candidates for the American dream, fleeing the misery and violence in their country, had continued their journey.
Mexico quickly deployed military along its border with Guatemala to block the passage. In Guatemala, roadblocks have been set up by the authorities on the roads to Mexico.
Migrants being repatriated are handed over to the Honduran authorities at the Corinto border post, 280 km east of the capital Guatemala, according to Guatemalan police.