Honduras

Rapid Response Fund (RRF): Honduras Migrant Caravan (RRF07/2020)

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Since September 1, 2020, news of a migrant caravan (which refers to a considerable number of migrants who take refuge in the protection offered by traveling in a group in their journey to the United States) circulated on social networks, the caravan left from San Pedro Sula Bus Station the 30th of September.

The local press did not mention the event, but this event was highlighted by the international press. According to OCHA reports, between 3,500-4,000 people were in this group.

On the same day, the Guatemalan government deported 50 people. Despite the efforts of civil society organizations[1]to demand respect for the human rights of migrants in this new exodus, Guatemala issued a new “Early Warning in Border Zones” protocol, which empowers the civilian population to monitor and report migrants, exacerbating xenophobia, discrimination, and abuses.

In addition, on October 1, the president of Guatemala decreed a State of Prevention in all border departments from the Petén to the Pacific and ordered security forces to detain the Honduran migrants, return them to the border, and turn them over to the authorities in Honduras. Guatemala justifies these measures due to the current health emergency of COVID-19; however, behind this is its alignment with the anti-immigration policy of the United States, in part expressed in the Safe Third Country agreements, which included the immediate militarization, repression, and criminalization of the migrant caravan.

[1]Such as the Franciscan Network of Migrants, Pop Noj and Volunteers of Casa Peregrina de Guatemala, Pastoral de Movilidad Humana (PMH), FONAMIH and Radio Progreso de Honduras in Central America and Mexico