US-bound migrant caravan in tense standoff at border between Mexico, Guatemala

338

Tecun Uman, Guatemala

A large caravan of Central Americans was preparing to cross the Guatemalan border into Mexico on Monday, posing a potential challenge to the Mexican government’s pledge to help the United States contain mass movements of migrants.
The migrants were massed on a bridge connecting the two countries early on Monday morning in what appeared to be a tense standoff with Mexican migration officials and soldiers.
U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to punish Mexico and Central American countries economically if they fail to curb migrant flows, resulting in a series of agreements aimed at taking pressure off the United States in absorbing the numbers.
Migrants crossed into Mexico in small groups during the weekend after Mexican security officials blocked an effort by some Central Americans to force their way through the border.
The bulk of at least 2,000 migrants remained in the Guatemalan border town of Tecun Uman, opposite the Mexican town of Ciudad Hidalgo, with some saying they planned to set off for Mexico en masse early on Monday, believing that they stood a better chance of making progress in a large caravan.
Mexico has offered migrants work in the south, but those who do not accept it or seek asylum will not be issued safe conduct passes to the United States, the interior ministry said.—AP