GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – More than 1,000 Honduran migrants have crossed illegally into Guatemala in a bid to reach the United States as a major new caravan formed barely a month ahead of U.S. presidential elections, Guatemalan authorities reported on Thursday.
Some young men and women carrying backpacks and small children were held up at the Honduran border post of Corinto, where Guatemalan authorities tried to prevent them from entering by asking they provide proof they did not have coronavirus.
But more than 1,000 migrants illegally crossed into Guatemala after a stand-off with authorities at the border, the Guatemalan immigration department said.
The exodus occurred after months of economic chaos wrought by the coronavirus pandemic in Central America, and could draw the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made cracking down on illegal immigration a top priority.
“We want to pass, we want to pass,” shouted Honduran migrants at the Guatemalan border, according to a Facebook Live footage posted by Radio Progreso in Honduras.
The pandemic has battered the economies of Central America, and killed more than 2,300 people in Honduras.
“We want to pass peacefully, we don’t want conflicts but we are determined to reach the United States,” said a young man with a mask who identified himself as Alberto on the HCH television channel.
“In Honduras there is nothing, there is no work and you cannot live,” he added.
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