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Migrant Caravan from Honduras Dissolves Before Reaching U.S. Border

Guatemala Refused to Clarify How Many Migrants Are Still Heading Towards the U.S.

By: Lana Di

On January 20th 2024, a caravan transporting roughly 500 migrants left a bus terminal in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, making it the first group to depart Honduras since January 2022. However, the caravan dissolved after crossing the Guatemalan border, according to the Guatemalan Migration Institute.

Authorities had been monitoring three border crossings and reported part of the caravan advanced a few kilometres into Guatemalan territory. The migrants were stopped by migration officials who processed them, prioritizing the minors.

No force was utilized according to the immigration agency and the situation was resolved through dialogue. Those who had the required documents were allowed to proceed; Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador have free transit amongst themselves. Those who did not possess the necessary documents were sent back to Honduras. Guatemalan authorities did not provide any figures relating to the individuals who stayed or returned.

The vast majority of migrants cross Central America and Mexico in small groups, using differing forms of transportation and smuggling networks. Only a limited number of individuals tend to form caravans.

The largest groups left San Pedro Sula in late 2018 and 2019 and many made it as far as the southern U.S. border. Despite the numerous obstacles and challenges ahead, many of these individuals completed the challenging journey and made it to their desired destination. This event highlighted the harsh realities that many people face when attempting to flee their homes for a better life.

After the pandemic, the U.S. pressured Mexico and Central American governments to increase efforts to stop migrants heading north.

Photo by: Lara Jameson from Pexels

The U.S. have pressured their southern neighbours to tighten border controls, resulting in the interception of caravans in Mexico and Guatemala. Despite these measures, 2023 witnessed unprecedented numbers of migrants across the hemisphere, culminating in a spike of illegal crossings into the U.S. by year's end. During December, there were up to 10,000 daily arrests at the southwest U.S. border. This number dropped significantly to 2,500 in the early days of January 2024, indicating fluctuations in migration trends.

While the Biden administration endeavours to manage perceptions of migration, the reality speaks to the enduring challenges and desperation that drive individuals to embark on such perilous journeys.

The global issue of forced migration highlights the need for collective action to tackle the root causes of disparities in our world. As the world confronts these challenges, the resilience and bravery of migrants from Central America continues to be demonstrated.  

The stories of Central American migrants underscore the indomitable spirit of those who dare to dream of a brighter tomorrow, despite the darkness that surrounds them.


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