A caravan of some 3000 migrants heads toward the United States fleeing violence Honduras. In this photo, the caravan in Esquipulas, Guatemala, 16 October 2018. Photo: Moises Castillo / Associated Press

By John Wagner
16 October 2018

(The Washington Post) – President Trump on Tuesday offered a fresh threat to cut off aid to Honduras if a large caravan of migrants continues heading toward the United States.

“The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!” Trump said on Twitter.

The group has swollen in size since leaving San Pedro Sula, one of the world’s most dangerous cities, on Friday. Its travels were prominently covered Tuesday morning on “Fox & Friends,” a program that Trump regularly views. According to the Fox News report, the number of people in the caravan doubled in recent days to 3,000.

Trump threatened in April 2018 to withdraw aid from Honduras and other countries that allowed passage for a similar caravan that originated in the Central American country. That caravan dissipated as it approached the U.S. border.

The latest caravan was launched a day after Vice President Pence urged the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala to persuade their citizens not to enter the United States illegally.

“To the people of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador: You are our neighbors,” Pence said at a regional security event in Washington. “We want you and your nations to prosper. If you want to come to the United States, come legally or don’t come at all.”

With new caravan coming from Honduras, Trump issues fresh threat to cut aid

Honduran migrants, part of a caravan trying to reach the U.S., gesture while arriving to the border between Honduras and Guatemala, in Agua Caliente, Guatemala, 15 October 2018. Jorge Cabrera / REUTERS

By Doina Chiacu and Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Susan Thomas, and Frances Kerry
16 October 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to withdraw funding and aid from Honduras if it does not stop a caravan of people that is heading to the United States, in his latest effort to show his administration’s tough stance on immigration.

Up to 3,000 migrants crossed from Honduras into Guatemala on Monday on a trek northward, after a standoff with police in riot gear and warnings from Washington that migrants should not try to enter the United States illegally.

“The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!” Trump said on Twitter.

It was not clear how Honduras would be able to exercise control over people who had already left the country.

The crowd more than doubled in size from Saturday, when some 1,300 people set off from northern Honduras in what has been dubbed “March of the Migrant,” an organizer said.

The migrants plan to seek refugee status in Mexico or pass through to the United States, saying they are fleeing poverty and drug-fueled violence in their countries.

Reuters could not independently verify the number of participants, but images showed a group carrying backpacks and clogging roads near the border, some waving the Honduran flag. […]

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said last month cuts in U.S. support for Central America would hinder efforts to stem illegal immigration as he welcomed China’s growing diplomatic presence in the region as an “opportunity.”

In an interview with Reuters, Hernandez expressed regret that prior U.S. commitments to step up investment in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador had been scaled back since Trump took office.

China is strengthening ties with Central America. In August, El Salvador broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of China, citing economic reasons and following on the heels of Panama in 2017.

Honduras is one of a dwindling number of countries that still has formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan. [more]

Trump threatens to cut U.S. aid to Honduras over immigrant caravan

Guatemalan police officers watch as Honduran migrants, part of a caravan trying to reach the U.S., arrive in Esquipulas city in Guatemala, 15 October 2018. Photo: Jorge Cabrera / REUTERS

By Amy Guthrie
14 October 2018

MEXICO CITY (Associated Press) – Hundreds more Hondurans have joined a caravan of migrants moving toward the country's border with Guatemala in a desperate attempt to flee poverty and seek new lives in the United States.

Dunia Montoya, a volunteer assisting the migrants, said Sunday that the group had grown to an estimated 1,600 people from an initial 160 who first gathered early Friday in a northern Honduras city.

Caravan participants planned to spend Sunday night at a community center in the town of Ocotepeque before attempting to cross into Guatemala on Monday.

Montoya said many in the group might not be allowed to enter Guatemala because they lack official identification documents.

The migration began to swell after local media coverage of the initial group whose members had agreed to depart together Friday from a bus station in San Pedro Sula, one of the most dangerous cities in Honduras.

Hundreds more soon joined the ranks, wagering a mass exit could improve their chances for getting over borders. Many had already planned to leave Honduras and also felt traveling in numbers could lessen chances of falling victim to robbery and assault that often plague migrants.

Families arrived with infants in their arms and toddlers in strollers. They packed light, most carrying little more than a backpack. […]

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened in April 2018 to withdraw foreign aid from Honduras and countries that allowed transit for a similar caravan that set out from the Central American country earlier this year. That caravan dwindled as the group approached the U.S. border, with some giving up along the way and others splitting off to try to cross on their own.

Frustration with poverty is a common explanation by migrants for participating in the latest caravan. About 65 percent of Honduras' people are poor and many get by on the equivalent of a dollar or two a day.

The country of 9.4 million people has also led the world for homicide rates in recent years.

Roberto Castro, one of the travelers in the caravan, said via telephone that he is a 26-year-old bus driver and construction worker, when there is work. These days, there is none, he said.

Most of the migrants are on foot, walking shoulder-to-shoulder, 15 deep, at the edges of roads. Trucks with empty cargo holds have stopped intermittently to pick some up and get them as far along as possible. Other Hondurans handed out bottled water and food in a show of support. [more]

Migrant caravan swells in Honduras as group nears Guatemala



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