CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico (AP) – Hundreds of Central American migrants crossed the river into Mexico from Guatemala Thursday after a dayslong standoff with security forces.
Carrying U.S. and Honduran flags at the head of the procession, they walked along a highway toward a waiting contingent of dozens of national guardsmen with riot shields and body armor and vans from the National Immigration Institute.
Jose Luis Morales, a Salvadoran leader of the caravan, said the migrants want to negotiate to be allowed to pass peacefully.
But Mexico has cracked down on the large caravans seen previously following intense pressure from Washington last year.
Thursday’s movement was a resurgence of a migrant caravan that had been diminishing since its last concerted attempt to cross the border Monday was turned back by Mexican National Guardsmen posted along Suchiate river, which forms the border here.
The national guardsmen awaited the caravan outside the community of Frontera Hidalgo, near Ciudad Hidalgo where the migrants crossed the Suchiate river at dawn.
Mexico began flying and busing members of the caravan back to Honduras on Tuesday.
Seven more buses left Mexico for Honduras on Wednesday, carrying 240 migrants back home, and two flights left with an additional 220 Hondurans, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said. By Wednesday, the number of people outside the Casa del Migrante in Tecun Uman was perhaps half of what it was at its peak Sunday night.
In previous caravans, Mexican authorities have allowed caravans to walk for awhile, seemingly to tire them out, and then closed their path.