Mexico deployed hundreds of riot police on Thursday to intercept a caravan of more than 4,000 Central American migrants, following demands by President Trump that Mexio, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador intervene before he has to deploy US troops.
MIGRANT CARAVAN: Two federal police-filled planes w/anti-riot gear landed near the Mexico/Guatemala border this morn (vid source: Policia Federal de Mexico). pic.twitter.com/UyneeXlPnu— KarlaZabs (@karlazabs) October 17, 2018
"I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” Trump Tweeted Thursday morning.
I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2018
....In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2018
....The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA. Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border. All Democrats fault for weak laws!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2018
On Tuesday, Trump threatened to cut off aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador if they "allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States."
We have today informed the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that if they allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States, with the intention of entering our country illegally, all payments made to them will STOP (END)!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2018
Mexico said in a Thursday statement that it would also seek assistance from the United Nations refugee agency for help coordinating with Central American governments of countries from which the migrants originated.
Honduran riot police were deployed to the Guatemala border to stop more people joining a caravan of migrants and asylum seekers. They are headed to the U.S.-Mexico border to escape inequality and violence in Honduras, where 66% of people live in poverty. pic.twitter.com/cleR2movqs— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 17, 2018
Hundreds of federal police in riot gear fanned out on the international bridge in Suchiate, on the Mexican-Guatemalan border, as the caravan of several thousand Honduran migrants trekked toward the crossing.
Guatemala also sent police reinforcements to its side of the border, after Trump threatened to cut aid to the region, deploy the military and close the US-Mexican border if the migrants were allowed to continue.
A first group of several hundred migrants arrived late Wednesday in the border town of Tecun Uman, Guatemala, where they overflowed a local shelter, leaving many to sleep in the town square or on the street, an AFP correspondent said. -AFP
The new caravan, which began in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula with 150 migrants, is the second caravan from Honduras this year. The first caravan was largely disbanded, though a few asylum seekers successfully made it to US soil and were taken into custody.