Guatemala + 3 more

ACAPS Briefing Note: Guatemala - Migrant Caravan (29 October 2018)

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Since 13 October, several thousand migrants have left Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to form two large caravans and multiple smaller groups travelling by foot towards the United States border. Protection concerns, as well as, urgent food, water and shelter needs, have been reported. Guatemalan and Mexican authorities are attempting to block migrants’ progress or return them to their countries of origin. The caravan has become a politicised issue. The caravan’s intention to continue, combined with the determination of the US to stop migrants, is likely to create negative outcomes and conditions for migrants.

Anticipated scope and scale

The number of migrants leaving their homes and following the caravan’s path is growing every day. The upcoming US mid-term elections, in which immigration is a highly politicised issue, mean the migrants are unlikely to be admitted to the US. Hundreds may instead seek asylum in Mexico and others may return to their countries of origin. Those who do make it to the US face an uncertain future, but protection concerns are likely to continue as migrants travel through or remain in Mexico.

Key priorities

+ 7’000 people on the move
Shelter and food Needs for the displaced
Protection interventions Required

Humanitarian constraints

Access to the areas affected is largely unrestrained. Humanitarian actors are most likely to face bureaucratic issues, as the caravan has become politically significant and access may be impeded.

Limitations Estimates on the number of migrants in each caravan vary widely, and few have been verified. Although the caravans have received significant media attention, it is very difficult to determine to which caravan section each report refers.