Monday 2 August 2021

Central America gets ready for a possible wave of migrants on the way to the United States

Authorities are alert to possible caravans of Haitians, Cubans, Asians and Africans

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Q24n – Central American countries presented a plan on Monday in the face of a possible migratory wave of Haitians, Cubans, Asians and Africans who seek to reach the United States illegally, a Guatemalan official reported.

Migrants crossed the Chucunaque River, in Panama’s Darien province, on February 10, 2021. Many are Haitian or African. Photo: AFP

The proposal, prepared by Guatemala, was made during an extraordinary virtual meeting of the Comisión Centroamericana de Directores de Migración (OCAM) – Central American Commission of Migration Directors, said the director-general of the Guatemalan Migration Institute, Guillermo Díaz.

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He explained that the action plan comprises three points and its objective is “to attend to mass mobilization events of migrants.”

The first aspect is to protect the security of the region, the second the attention to a possible mass migration, and the third, the possible solutions at the regional level considering collective displacements.

Finally, he recognized that migration is a human right that must be carried out in a regular, orderly, and safe manner.

Guatemala and other Central American countries are preparing for the arrival in the coming weeks of migrants who travel from Peru and cross the Darien province, in Panama, to continue on to Mexico.

Thousands of people from various countries have tried to reach the United States irregularly, fleeing poverty and violence.

In mid-January, Guatemalan police and soldiers forcibly dissolved a caravan of thousands of Hondurans, including hundreds of children, who stormed the border without presenting documents or negative proof of COVID-19, demanded by the government.

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The security forces acted based on a decree by President Alejandro Giammattei, which ordered to halt their advance in the face of risks from the coronavirus pandemic that leaves 171,289 cases and 6,306 deaths in Guatemala as of February 23.

Some 7,000 people managed to enter the country in that last caravan, but most were returned to Honduras, according to official data from Guatemala, which lashed out at its neighboring country for not preventing their departure.

A week after the migrants were repelled, diplomats from the United States, Mexico and Guatemala warned that the borders would be closed for the passage of other caravans.

Since October 2018, irregular migration to the United States from Central America was by caravans of thousands of people, mainly from northern Honduras, despite the anti-immigration policies imposed during the government of former US president, Donald Trump (2017-2021).

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Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

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