Honduran migrant caravan ended in Guatemala through force
The huge caravan of Honduran migrants dispersed in Guatemala after a violent police crackdown at the border.
A huge caravan of Honduran migrants was dispersed in Guatemala after a violent police crackdown at the border.
Amid one of the world's largest health crises of recent history, thousands of Hondurans have been forced to leave their countries for a better future in the United States. Authorities estimate that around 8,000 to 9,000 people, including some 500 children, have been trying to cross the border from Guatemala to the United States for almost a week.
Fleeing violence, poverty and the ravages caused by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, the caravan was advancing with hope for a change in the immigration policies of the Biden-Harris administration.
But as the caravan continued to advance, on Monday, Jan. 18 Guatemalan authorities acted with repression and violence to disperse and push the caravan back towards Honduras.
The violence used by the army put the international spotlight on the Central American country and Jordán Rodas, Guatemala's Human Rights Ombudsman called the brutal use of force by the Guatemalan army against the migrant caravan deplorable.
"It was really outrageous to see that the Honduran brothers and sisters were received with clubs, sticks and tear gas... No person's dignity can be sullied, because dignity is the essence of human rights. And to migrate is a human right," said Rodas in an interview and also warned of a humanitarian crisis of a regional nature.
By Jan. 20, almost 4,000 people had returned to Honduras, but it is estimated that a group of Honduran migrants had reached the Guatemalan town of Tecún Umán, on the border with Mexico. The emotional, physical and mental impact for adults and children who have been forced to migrate in conditions like those of the caravan is to be feared, but nevertheless, the migrant caravans have only been increasing since 2018.
So far, neither violence nor the fear of going to prison have been able to contain this traumatic way of migrating.
It is hoped that human rights organizations can take action to redress the violent during the caravan backlash and fully protect the rights of migrants. No one is illegal.