Guatemala + 7 more

Guatemala: DTM Baseline assessment of irregular migration flows and mobility monitoring in border crossing points within the context of COVID-19, Round 7 - July 2021

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In the case of Guatemala, a considerable number of people were reported to have left the country for Mexico or the United States in search of vaccination against COVID-19, given the crisis and the lack of access to vaccines for the population in their country of origin, according to a report by the authorities of the Guatemalan Tourism Institute (INGUAT)[1]. Although there is no official information on whether these movements were regular or irregular, in some border towns in Mexico there were reported cases of deportation of people traveling without documentation while trying to access this service.

The detection of extraregional migrants in transit through Guatemala to North America from the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia continues to increase, according to information sources from the Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM) and the National Civil Police (PNC), based on border patrols carried out in the country's migration corridors, mainly in the borders of San Marcos, Huehuetenango and Petén.

In July, security controls were established by the National Civil Police (PNC) in various locations throughout the country to identify and contain the entry and transit of irregular migrants, causing the detention of buses[2] and heavy-duty vehicles[3] transporting migrants from Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Brazil and Chile in inhumane conditions and without complying with the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In Huehuetenango there was a case of aggression against police officers by illegal migrant smugglers in San Mateo Ixtatán, a municipality near the border town of Gracias a Dios, while police officers were patrolling the area.[4]

According to key informants, most migrants in transit through Guatemala enter the country through blind crossings at the borders of El Corinto in Izabal, and El Florido and Agua Caliente located in Chiquimula, in small mixed groups of various age groups. These persons transit in an irregular condition, evading migration control posts established by the Guatemalan Government at these borders, which consist of the review of personal identification and proof of the COVID-19 test. It should be noted that the issuance of certifications for the COVID-19 has been established as a business under deception and scams with false tests in border localities, while sanitary measures are in place to spread the pandemic.

[1] La Prensa Libre. Inguat recognizes increase in Guatemalans leaving for Mexico or the U.S. to be vaccinated against covid-19. 05 July 2021. available at: www.prensalibre.com/guatemala/comunitario/inguat-reconoce-incremento-de-salida-de-guatemaltecos-rumbo-a-mexico-o-ee-uu-para-vacunarse-contra-el-covid-19-breaking/

[2] PNC Guatemala, July 06 2021. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/PoliciaNacionalCivildeGuatemala/posts/4306103959411355

[3] PNC Guatemala, July 17 2021. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/308379499183841/posts/4336685519686532/

[4] Soy 502. "VIDEO: "Los Polleros", smugglers assault the police at Huehuetenango", 22 July 2021. Available at: https://www.soy502.com/articulo/video-buscan-agresores-agentes-pnc-huehuetenango-32419