Guatemala issues emergency decree as new migrant convoy is announced

A “state of ban” restricts unauthorized outdoor gatherings and demonstrations along the Honduran border.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giamatti issued a decree of “precautionary state” Monday along the country’s border with Honduras, amid reports of a new migrant convoy forming in Honduras.

The emergency decree would restrict open-air gatherings and demonstrations without permits, and would be in effect for two weeks in the five Guatemalan provinces along the border with Honduras.

The government justified the restrictions in a statement, saying that “groups of people could endanger the lives, freedom, security, health, and access to justice, peace and development of Guatemalans”.

According to a Reuters witness and local news reports, several hundred Hondurans set off for the Guatemalan border on Tuesday seeking to reach the United States to escape the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters.

The migrant caravan in Honduras, mostly young men with backpacks and women carrying children, began an early morning walk from a bus stop in the northern city of San Pedro Sula to Corriento, on the border with Guatemala.

“You have to take risks to have a better life in the United States,” immigrant Carlos Flores told a local TV station, “In Honduras, we will never do anything. “Here you can hardly eat what you earn, even if you can find work.”

Guatemala issued a similar decree in January to impede A. Previous convoyUnder the pretext that they represent a public health risk amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

During the previous attempt on JanuaryPolice and soldiers in Guatemala Launched Tear gas, batons and shields to stop a group of about 2,000 Honduran migrants at a roadblock.

Mainly several convoys Honduran immigrants It has attempted to cross Guatemala and Mexico to reach the US border, although none has been successful since 2019.

Central America made up the bulk of the sharp increase in the number of immigrants trying to reach the United States via Mexico in recent weeks, putting pressure on US President Joe Biden. The crisis includes the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children who have crossed the US-Mexico border.

US authorities reported more than 100,000 confrontations on the southern border in February, the highest level in four consecutive months in 2019.

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