Guatemala declares emergency measures as rumored new caravan

Guatemala City — Guatemala President Alejandro Jamatei proclaimed a “state of prevention” along the border with Honduras on Monday in reports that a new immigrant caravan could be formed in Honduras.

The urgent legislation limits field gatherings and demonstrations without permission and is valid for two weeks in five states in Guatemala along the border with Honduras.

The government justified the restrictions in a statement, stating that “a group of people could endanger Guatemalan life, freedom, security, health, access to justice, peace and development.”

Guatemala issued a similar decree in January to thwart previous caravans, claiming that it represents a public health risk in the coronavirus pandemic.

In a previous attempt in January, Guatemalan police and soldiers fired tear gas and used batons and shields to block a group of about 2,000 Honduras migrants with obstacles.

Primarily Honduras immigrant caravans have attempted to cross Guatemala and Mexico to reach the US border, but none have been successful since 2019.

Recently, the number of immigrants trying to cross the US-Mexico border has skyrocketed. US officials reported more than 100,000 encounters at the southern border in February. This is the highest since the 4th consecutive month of 2019.

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