Guatemala Takes a Hard Line Against Migrants—With US Support

Long before Trump, Washington was exporting control of migratory routes, along with repressive policing, to Mexico and Central America.

Jeff Abbott writes in The Nation magazine about the response of Guatemalan authorities to the recent ‘caravan’ of Honduran refugees and of how the US is increasingly placing its borders, and its border forces, far from the United States itself.

On January 18, hundreds of Guatemalan soldiers armed with batons and wooden poles, backed by the Guatemalan National Civilian Police, violently confronted and dispersed thousands of Honduran migrants and asylum seekers who had formed a caravan in the hope of reaching the United States.

As the tear gas cleared, the estimated 8,000 Hondurans—fleeing poverty, the destruction caused by two consecutive hurricanes, and both state and gang violence—were pushed off the highway in Vado Hondo, Chiquimula, in eastern Guatemala. Thousands were forced to return to Honduras. Some managed to slip through the police lines but were later detained along Guatemala’s border with Mexico.

Guatemala’s violent disbanding of the first caravan of 2021 was widely denounced by migrant rights advocates, but it was praised by the US State Department, with Michael Kozak, the acting assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, tweeting his support of the violent eviction on the final day of the Trump administration. Days later, on January 22, US Ambassador William Popp held a joint press conference with Guatemala’s foreign minister, Pedro Brolo, and Mexico’s ambassador to Guatemala, Romeo Ruíz Armento, to declare that the three countries will not tolerate migrant caravans.

You can read the full article, ‘Guatemala Takes a Hard Line Against Migrants—With US Support’, with links, here.

Categories: Corruption, Environment, Guatemala, Human Rights, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Land, Migration, Military, Poverty, Resource Extraction, Violence

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