Migrants unable to cross the Mexican-Guatemalan border painted messages addressed to US President Donald Trump onto giant American flags in the Guatemalan border town of Tecun Uman on Wednesday, appealing for help and safe passage.
“Above all, it is a message addressed to [US] President Donald Trump, and to the President of Mexico, is an expression that we want peace, we don’t want conflict. We don’t want what happened days ago to happen again. Let’s forget the things that happened,” said migrant Bladimir Funes.
At least 100 migrants decided to make their way back to Honduras as hopes to cross the border dwindle. The Mexican government also flew at least 200 migrants who were detained after crossing the border back to Guatemala, while others were sent back by bus.
“The Mexican government has to give in, because in the end people are asking them [to enter] in a good way, we are not doing things for evil [motives], we have faith in God that we have to go through, they have to give us permission to pass,” said remaining Honduran migrant Raul Ortega.
Footage shows a 19-year old intoxicated migrant being taken care of by others. He is said to have tried to kill himself after losing his father and brother in the crowd as they tried to cross the border.
Washington applauded the Mexican authorities’ crackdown on the migrants and their enforcement of the border with critics arguing this situation would favour people smugglers. A caravan of about 4,000 migrants arrived at the Mexican-Guatemalan border on Sunday, where clashes between the Mexican National Guard (GN) and migrants trying to force their entry broke out, leading the GN to close the border and more security forces to be dispatched to the area.
Since Sunday some migrants have tried to reach Mexico illegally in small groups by crossing the Suchiate River but many were intercepted and sent back to the Guatemalan side.