Guatemala forces stall migrant caravan with tear gas, batons

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VADO HONDO, Guatemala (AP) — Guatemalan police and troopers launched tear gasoline and wielded batons and shields in opposition to a gaggle of Honduran migrants that attempted to push by way of their roadblock early yesterday.

A gaggle of about 2,000 migrants had stopped in need of the roadblock the night time earlier than. The roadblock was strategically positioned at a chokepoint on the two-lane freeway to Chiquimula in an space often known as Vado Hondo. It is flanked by a tall mountainside and a wall leaving the migrants with few choices.

Some 100 migrants tried to make their manner by way of authorities round 7:30 am yesterday. The safety forces beat them again and deployed tear gasoline. None made it by way of and the bigger remaining contingent saved its distance in the course of the melee.

Some migrants have been visibly injured by baton strikes. One man, who didn’t give his title, leaned in opposition to a wall close to police with a bandage atop his head.

“They hit me within the head,” he mentioned. “I did not include the intention of on the lookout for issues with anyone. We’re brothers, Central Individuals. We’re not on the lookout for bother. We simply need to go.”

Guatemalan troopers and police had blocked a part of a caravan of as many as 9,000 Honduran migrants Saturday night time at a degree not removed from the place they entered the nation, searching for to achieve the US border.

The troopers and riot police — about 450 in complete — shaped ranks throughout a freeway.

Guatemala’s immigration company distributed a video displaying a few hundred males struggling with troopers, pushing and working by way of their traces, at the same time as troops held a whole lot extra again Saturday night time.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei issued an announcement calling on Honduran authorities “to include the mass exit of its inhabitants”. On Friday, the migrants entered Guatemala by pushing previous about 2,000 police and troopers posted on the border; most entered with out displaying the destructive novel coronavirus check that Guatemala requires.

“The Authorities of Guatemala regrets this violation of nationwide sovereignty and calls on the governments of Central America to take measures to keep away from placing their inhabitants in danger amid the well being emergency because of the pandemic,” Giammattei’s assertion continued.

Guatemala has arrange nearly a dozen management factors on highways, and will begin busing extra migrants again to Honduras, because it has executed earlier than, arguing they pose a threat to themselves and others by travelling in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Governments all through the area have made it clear they won’t let the caravan by way of.

Mexico mounted a dissuasive marketing campaign at its southern border, circulating movies and pictures of hundreds of Nationwide Guardsmen and immigration brokers getting ready, in case the migrants handle to cross Guatemala.

Honduras has been ravaged by the novel coronavirus pandemic and two main hurricanes that hit the nation in November, leaving its most efficient northern areas in tatters. Most of the migrants hope for a hotter reception from the incoming Administration of President-elect Joe Biden who can be inaugurated Wednesday.

Up to now, Biden’s staff has indicated it is not going to make fast modifications to insurance policies on the US-Mexico border.

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