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Mexico supports Guatemala with buses for the return of Honduran migrants

Guatemala, Jan 17 (EFE) .- The Government of Guatemala reported this Sunday that it had requested and received support from Mexico for the return to Honduras of thousands of citizens of this country who are advancing in a caravan through Guatemalan territory with the purpose of reaching U.S. The communication office of Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei told reporters that cooperation between the two countries “is part of regional efforts to address massive flows of irregular migration.” “The support of the Mexican government has been positive and immediate response,” the presidency also said in a brief message. At least six Mexican buses were authorized in eastern Guatemala for the return of Hondurans, according to the Guatemalan authorities, without disclosing more specific details about the binational cooperation. The objective of the Mexican support, according to the Giammattei government, is “to facilitate the orderly and safe return of migrants to their country of origin after having entered Guatemala irregularly.” The Hondurans are part of a migrant caravan made up of more than 9,000 compatriots, according to official calculations, that left San Pedro Sula, a city in northern Honduras, in different phases last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Guatemalan Army has deployed more than 5,000 soldiers in seven departments of the country and is also supported by thousands of other agents of the National Civil Police as part of a plan organized by the Government this week to prevent migrants from advancing. Around 6,000 Hondurans were stranded this Sunday morning in front of a barrier formed by the Guatemalan security forces in the department of Chiquimula, on the border with Honduras and located 200 kilometers east of Guatemala City. The other 3,000 Hondurans who make up the caravan have managed to advance in some cases and in others the crowd has thinned out or has begun the journey back to their country. According to the Guatemalan immigration authorities, 1,383 Hondurans have been returned to their country in the last four days. Migrants seek to reach the United States to have better living conditions, away from the poverty and violence that plague the Central American isthmus, especially after the pandemic and hurricanes Eta and Iota, which made landfall last November. Hondurans cannot continue their journey if they do not meet a negative covid-19 test, according to the Guatemalan Migration Institute. (c) EFE Agency

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