Up to 8,000 U.S.-bound migrants enter Guatemala from Honduras
CHIQUIMULA, Guatemala -- An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 U.S.-bound migrants have entered Guatemala from Honduras this weekend, a spokesman for Guatemala's official immigration agency, Alejandra Mena, told CNN.
Thousands of people are joining the U.S.-bound groups to flee a life of poverty and violence. Two devastating hurricanes struck the region late last year, exacerbating the economic strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Guatemala's Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Honduran authorities to do more to "contain the massive departure of its inhabitants" in a statement issued Saturday.
While not responding directly to Guatemala's request, the National Institute of Migration in Honduras said on social media it has reinforced three border points between the two countries with immigration inspectors.
CNN crews on Saturday observed a large group of people pushing past a cordon of Guatemalan soldiers to gain access to highways traveling to Mexico. Authorities estimated nearly 3,500 people made it pass the cordon.
Last October, the first major U.S.-bound migrant caravan since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic left San Pedro Sula, Honduras and crossed into Guatemala with an estimated 1,500 to 2,800 people.
Crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border plunged during 2020 lockdowns. Apprehensions in the month of April hit the lowest mark in years, with approximately 17,100.
Since then, apprehensions have steadily climbed, with roughly 70,000 each in the months of October, November and December, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics.