Walk to the USA Central America's governments want to punish migrants
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In Mexico City, about 1,000 migrants spend the night in a sports stadium. They still have hundreds of miles to go on their march to the US border. In their homeland is now determined against them.
SThey are thousands. On their way to the USA, some of them camped in a sports stadium: About one thousand migrants from Central America were staying overnight in a specially set up transit camp in Mexico City. The arrivals from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala were treated in tents by doctors for foot pain and other ailments, and provided with food. Nashieli Ramirez of the Mexico City Human Rights Commission said the accommodations would be made available for as long as necessary. By Wednesday, another 3,000 migrants are expected, according to the National Human Rights Commission of the Latin American country.
In the meantime, migrants headed for the US are threatened with legal consequences in their home countries. Those who "encourage or participate in the formation of a so-called caravan" must be investigated and "sentenced under international law," said Guatemala President Jimmy Morales. "We are in solidarity with our brothers in this caravan, but we must condemn those who organize this type of migration to inhumane conditions," Morales said. His Honduran colleague Juan Orlando Hernández commented similarly. In the US, the refugees are not welcome given the harsh election campaign rhetoric of US President Donald Trump anyway.
Trump threatens to cut aid
The governments of Guatemala and Honduras are under massive pressure from Trump, who has announced the withdrawal of aid to Central American states. He accuses the countries of origin of the migrants of not having stopped them from their march towards the USA. In the election campaign before today's congressional elections, he made the potential immigrants on a daily basis – among them are criminals, he said about and threatened, if necessary, they would set up tent cities and hold them there.
In response to such announcements, Honduras President Hernández said on Monday that "thousands" of his compatriots had already returned home. On the other hand, migrants themselves often said that they spontaneously joined the "caravan" in the course of their own journey north. They hoped to be safer in the big crowd.
In total, more than 5000 migrants were traveling through Mexico at the weekend, according to the country's ministry of the interior. According to the authorities, nearly 2,800 immigrants have applied for asylum in Mexico in recent weeks. 500 asked for help returning home.
Escape from violence or desire for wealth?
Trump had recently called the migrants' northward migration an invasion. There are many bad people among them. He did not present evidence of his allegations. Many of the emigrants flee according to human rights organizations from the violence in their homeland, which emanates mainly from powerful youth gangs. The so-called Maras operate drug trafficking and protection racketeering, control entire neighborhoods and force recruiting young people.
The motives of migrants for the march are varied on demand. Nidia Pérez Cruz, for example, is seven months pregnant. "Most of the time we ran, but then a woman took us with her car," she said. "My husband and I decided to go to Mexico City and stay here. Our son is to be born here and to register as a Mexican. "" We left Honduras for poverty and because there is no work, "said Karin Julissa Ramos Mancia. She has been traveling with her husband, daughter and girlfriend for three weeks.
Trump announced days ago the deployment of a total of 15,000 troops on the border with Mexico – which would correspond approximately to the US troops in Afghanistan. On Monday, a US Department of Defense spokesman estimated that the soldiers stationed at the southern border were "more than 4800". By Monday night, their number should increase to 5200. 2100 National Guard reservists have been stationed there for several months. According to the Washington Post, Trump supporters as well as paramilitary groups have made their way to the border to confront the invaders if necessary.