Thousands of migrants defy authorities to head north through Mexico

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Thousands of migrants from Central America were making their way through Mexico towards the US on Sunday, despite efforts by Mexico and Guatemala to send them back. PIX: Jesusalvarado/dpa
Thousands of migrants from Central America were making their way through Mexico towards the US on Sunday, despite efforts by Mexico and Guatemala to send them back.PIX: Jesusalvarado/dpa

Thousands of migrants from Central America were making their way through Mexico towards the US on Sunday, despite efforts by Mexico and Guatemala to send them back.

A caravan of migrants fleeing violence and poverty had gathered during the past week on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, while US President Donald Trump vowed that they would not be allowed to enter his country.

According to unofficial estimates, some 4,000 migrants had made it across the border to southern Mexico on Sunday and were making their way northwards, accompanied by police.

It was not clear whether the migrants had all crossed the border with Guatemala in the past few days, or whether some of them had been in Mexico for longer.

The Mexican authorities called on them to formally register in the country, with the head of the regional migration authority, Francisco Echeverria, warning that they were in the country illegally.

The caravan left the border town of Ciudad Hidalgo on Sunday and was on its way to the city of Tapachula, about 40 kilometres away and about 3,800 kilometres from the US border.

The Mexican Foreign Ministry said on Saturday evening that it would send back hundreds of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who had entered Mexico by crossing the border river from Guatemala.

The authorities claimed to have rescued around 900 migrants from the river.

The Mexican Interior Ministry said that 640 had applied for asylum, and those people were allowed to enter the country.

The Guatemalan government said early on Sunday that around 2,000 Honduran migrants were on their way back to their home country with the help of the authorities. -DPA

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