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Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala deploying troops to curb migration towards the United States

Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021. 10:39 am CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Honduran and Guatemalan officials say they did not agree with the United States to deploy troops to their borders to curb migration to the United States, but, according to AP, they are still moving their troops.

Yesterday the US government said it had reached an agreement with Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala to deploy their troops in an effort to stem the migration wave after a record number of over 170,000 migrants tried to make their way to the US during March. 

AP said that according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Mexico would keep 10,000 troops deployed at its borders while Honduras would deploy 7,000 police and soldiers to its border and Guatemala 1,500 police and soldiers to its border with Honduras. The Guatemalan and Honduran troops movement is in response to the caravans of migrants organized in Honduras during March.

Psaki said the agreement was part of a series of bilateral agreements between the United States and the Central American governments.

AP reported that on Monday the Mexico Foreign Affairs ministry said that Mexico would maintain the federal forces deployed at its border “with the objective of enforcing its own immigration legislation, to attends to migrants, mainly unaccompanied minors, and to combat the trafficking of people.”

Honduras Foreign Affairs Minister Lisandro Rosales said on Monday that while Honduras maintains forces by its border with Guatemala and cooperates with Guatemalan forces on immigration, crime, and other illegal activities, it had not committed to put soldiers at the border though there is “a clear commitment by the Honduran government to avoid this kind of migration that generates death and mourning for Honduran families.”

However, according to AP, Honduran Defense Secretary Fredy Santiago Díaz Zelaya, who was part of a Honduran delegation that met with US officials last week in Washington, said the Honduran military was considering how many troops to send to the border to help in migration control to assist the police and immigration authorities. Díaz Zelaya said that Honduras would do that “in response to this request that comes from the great nation to the north (the United States) to be able to help on the issue of immigration.”

Likewise in Guatemala, the government said they had not reached any such agreement with the United States, but the presidential spokeswoman Patricia Letona said that the government had on its own initiative been beefing up security at the border since last year and that they have also been working to contain the pandemic.

Over the last few weeks, there have been several international reports that Mexican authorities have been detaining or rescuing illegal immigrants, and that Guatemalan and Honduran authorities have been breaking up caravans of Honduran migrants headed to the United States.

 

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