Thousands of migrants cross into Mexico after fleeing violence in Honduras

World Today

Migrant children bound for the U.S.-Mexico border wait on a bridge that stretches over the Suchiate River, connecting Guatemala and Mexico, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)

A wave of migrants is moving north as thousands from Central America have overwhelmed border agents and crossed into Mexico. Most began their journey in Honduras and at least a thousand more are still in Guatemala trying to get in.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports.

The migrants entered the southern Mexican state of Chiapas on Sunday morning and their numbers made it clear – this is a mass exodus.

Everyone CGTN spoke with in the caravan was from Honduras. Many had spent a hard night sleeping out in the open along the border with Guatemala in places like public parks.

One family, a young father and mother and their two daughters, walked for a week all the way from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Mother, Malena is 21 years old. She is exhausted and has a bad cold.

Her husband, Jonathan Peralta, is aware that U.S. President Donald Trump refers to the migrants as criminals and has said that migrants traveling with children are often not even related to them.

“No one should be confused. There are a few who break laws. But we should not have to pay for their bad behavior,” Peralta said. “We brought our daughters with us because we could not leave them behind. If I left them in Honduras, they would face much danger there because of criminals.”

Jose Alfredo Lopez Vasquez is a Mexican citizen who lives along this international highway leading to Tapachula. He offered the traveling migrants water and some shade when they passed his home.

“Migration is a natural thing in this place,” Vasquez said. “Migrants are always passing by here. When they pass, no one complains. But this time it does worry us to see so many people.”

The migrant caravan broke into at least three different large groups over the weekend. The second group is made up of hundreds of Hondurans who are still waiting in line on the Guatemala-Mexico international bridge to enter Mexico.

The sun is bearing down on those families on that bridge and the situation is increasingly difficult as they wait in line to fill out immigration forms and hopefully gain asylum status inside Mexico. 

Many others are still in Guatemala, waiting to see what happens to those who have gone ahead of them.