Police in Guatemala have started breaking up a caravan of hundreds of mostly Honduran migrants who had camped on a street while trying to reach the US, after their journey was halted by officials, migration authorities have said.
In videos aired on TV and shared on social media, lines of security forces could be seen marching with shields and batons towards migrants in the village of Vado Hondo, in the east of the country, around 55 kilometers from the borders of Honduras and El Salvador.
Guatemala continues to use soldiers and police to stop the caravan. Here Guatemalan forces blocked off a highway to stop immigrants from pushing forward. The people in the caravan have left the area and are taking side streets. Video from Vado Hondo via @mmendoza_GT pic.twitter.com/dPxvyNalir
— Adolfo Flores (@aflores) January 18, 2021
La @PNCdeGuatemala informa que ha dispersado la #CaravanaMigrante y liberado la carretera bloqueada el kilómetro 177 en Vado Hondo, Chiquimula. Se reportan varias personas heridas. pic.twitter.com/JsNGfQcYPW
— 45tv (@45tv1) January 18, 2021
Algunos grupos de la #CaravanaMigrante vuelven a reagruparse y buscan continuar su paso por el km 177 de #VadoHondo #Chiquimula, la @PNCdeGuatemala nuevamente les ha impedido el paso. pic.twitter.com/oMtgri92wP
— Daniel Collín (@danielcollin01) January 18, 2021
Around 2,000 migrants were camped on a street following their skirmishes with Guatemalan troops on Sunday, with the blockade reportedly causing 30 kilometer-long lines of vehicles.
Guatemala’s National Civil Police and the military cleared the camp on Monday, after those encamped did not respond to warnings they would be evicted if they stayed in situ.
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Some migrants threw stones and other objects at the troops, with several injuries reported by local media.
Three groups of around 3,000 people each crossed into Guatemala on Friday and Saturday night, in an attempt to escape poverty exacerbated by the pandemic and damage caused by hurricanes. Most of those entering failed to present the required negative Covid-19 tests.
The Guatemalan authorities said 1,568 migrants had been returned to Honduras since Friday and another 100 to El Salvador.
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