Sun. Apr 21st, 2019

Hundreds of Honduran immigrants continue caravan that left Wednesday

Hundreds of Honduran immigrants continue caravan that left Wednesday



Hundreds of Hondurans continued on Thursday leaving their country behind the caravan of more than a thousand that started on Wednesday from San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras, with the goal of reaching the United States.

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"We are going with the family to the United States, we can not live here due to lack of work," said a woman who preferred not to identify herself, while she lined up with her "two youngest children" at the customs point in Agua Caliente, western department. of Ocotepeque, border with Guatemala.

He commented that he arrived at midnight in the city of Ocotepeque, located a few kilometers from Agua Caliente, and this Thursday he was "standing in line to leave legally" in his country.

This woman was one of around 500 people who from 06.00 local time (12.00 GMT) began to make the line to go through the Honduran immigration register and then to Guatemala, both located at the same time, in the same building in the Hot Water Customs Office.

On this occasion, most of the migrants are young men and women, and many children, from newborns to adolescents. In the other caravans that have been since October 2018 there were also many older adults, some in wheelchairs, others with crutches or a staff.

While on the right side of the building in the direction of Guatemalan territory, those who were trying to leave the country lined up on the left side, two brothers who had gone irregularly a fortnight ago and could not get through Mexico, returned.

Sitting on the edge of the road, in Honduran territory, a few meters from the migratory point, Porfirio Mejía, 37, told Acan-Efe that "the thieves" took away "everything."

He added that with his brother, both bricklayers, they lost the little money they had to survive on the long journey they had undertaken.

"I had 2,000 lempiras" (about $ 84), adds Porfirio, who did not know how to do, without money, to return back to his town, San Nicolás, in the department of Copán, adjacent to Ocotepeque and also bordering Guatemala.

The return from Mexico said that they did it sometimes by bus and others in private vehicles of people who felt sorry for them and ended up leaving them at the border.

Many of the migrants who arrived at the border point of Agua Caliente stayed overnight in shelters in Ocotepeque and neighboring towns to be early in line and leave the country legally.

A score of people who were asked with what type of document they travel, responded that with the identity card.

With this document they can leave their country and enter Guatemala, but it does not help them to reach Mexico and the United States.

An official of the staff of the National Migration Institute (INM) of Honduras, who spoke in exchange for his name being omitted, told Acan-Efe that about 400 Hondurans had made their exit process around 08:00 local time, and that on Wednesday they did between 1,100 and 1,200.

He added that to get out, adults, 21 years old according to Honduran legislation, can do so with or without a passport because it is enough with their identity card, but that minors "can only do it with a passport".

While the INM officer responded to Acan-Efe, an immigrant approached him to ask for "help" because the immigration registry did not authorize his daughter's permission to leave, even though he was also accompanied by his mother.

"She is our daughter, she is 18 years old, she carries her identity card, she goes with us, we are her parents and they do not want to let me leave," explained the migrant anxiously.

The response of the immigration officer was terse: "if your daughter is a minor, you have to carry a passport, even if you go with your parents, only adults can leave with an identity card, I'm sorry, I can not help you."

This time, the migrants have been able to reach Agua Caliente without having to go through rigorous security controls of the military and police armed with wooden canes, shields, bulletproof vests and tear gas, as happened with the three previous caravans that left, one in October of 2018 and two in January of this year.

The fourth caravan of immigrants began to leave on Tuesday night from the Gran Central de Autobuses of San Pedro Sula.

The immigrants agree that they leave their country because of the lack of employment and insecurity, and that they do not care about the threats of deportation and raise walls of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, with his rigorous immigration policy.

Germán Reyes

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