January 16, 2021

Ombudsman of Guatemala requires the Government to comply with Honduran caravan rights

Ombudsman of Guatemala requires the Government to comply with Honduran caravan rights



The Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala, Jordán Rodas, today demanded that the Government respect the rights of Honduran migrants who travel in a caravan through the country in the direction of Mexico -to reach the United States- because they should not be "an object of confrontation. "

In a press release, the ombudsman recalled that internal rules and regional agreements on migration "seek to guarantee the enjoyment of the rights of each person," so that actions to manage migratory flows should not "use the control mechanisms as a way to discourage migration. "

On the contrary, they should "facilitate the identification of people with special protection needs, promoting the reporting of abuses and mistreatment", as well as guaranteeing "communication with authorities and access to basic services" that ensure "the integrity of all migrant people in conditions of vulnerability ".

Rodas argued that Guatemala committed, through these agreements and its own Migration Code, to "provide this protection without any other requirement than being requested by the person who so requires".

In the text he stressed that foreigners "with international protection needs" are exempt from "ordinary" immigration control.

The magistrate of conscience said that the Honduran people who make up the caravan "account for well-founded fears and few possibilities of development in their place of origin."

For this reason, he added, the group must be attended "from a humanitarian approach in principle" and not "discourage migration with strict controls", but to promote "a social environment that tends to development in a dignified and safe manner".

Finally, he exhorted the Government of Guatemala, which is chaired by Jimmy Morales, to address these types of circumstances "from a human rights perspective" and to establish a "comprehensive and inter-institutional plan".

After six days of travel, the caravan, made up of some 3,000 people, according to the UN, managed to reach Mexico.

Once they managed to eliminate the obstacle posed by the border fence of the Guatemalan city of Tecún Umán, which remained open for approximately half an hour, the Hondurans entered forming a great flood, many of them running.

After a first moment of euphoria, the migrants were contained by the Mexican Federal Police, which triggered moments of tension.

US President Donald Trump threatened this week with a military closure of the southern border of his country if Mexico could not stop the caravan.

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