‘This is a moment of crisis’: White House leans on Mexico to shut down migrant caravan as thousands set up camp at Guatemalan border in overnight standoff and wail ‘we are hungry!’

Saturday, October 20, 2018
By Paul Martin

Migrant caravan crisis mounting after a day of chaos on Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala on Friday
Some groups broke through police lines and are now traveling north through Mexico toward the US
But most of the 4,000 migrants remain contained at the border with Mexico pledging to process them
Thousands set up camp on the international bridge that they earlier stormed and clashed with police on
Wails of hunger on the bridge amid the increasing squalor as migrants plead to be let into Mexico
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rushes to Mexico City to meet with his counterpart and discuss a plan
Says that Mexico must make its ‘sovereign decision’ on how to handle the influx of Central Americans
Another large caravan of roughly 1,000 Hondurans recently crossed into El Salvador heading north

20 October 2018

Mexico faces a mounting crisis at its southern border, where thousands of migrants remain crowded and pressing for entry after some groups managed to break through.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rushed to Mexico City on Friday to confer with his counterpart, and declared the situation is reaching ‘a moment of crisis’ and posing ‘a challenge for American sovereignty.’

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray Caso insisted Mexico would not cave to pressure to detain the migrants, saying: ‘Mexico’s migration policy is for Mexico to decide.’

As night fell at the border with Guatemala, many migrants prepared to camp out on the bridge over the Suchiate River, which had earlier been the scene of chaos and violent clashes with riot police.

‘We’re staying here until they open this fence,’ said Adonai Sanchez, 36, who was traveling with his three nephews, aged two, three and 14, as they set up camp on the bridge.

In the twilight dusk, the migrants’ frustration turned to despair as women clutching small children took up the rows in front of the gate pleading with the Mexican federal police.

Some migrants yelled ‘We are hungry!’ Others wailed that they had children while others set up tarps to prepare for the night sleeping on the increasingly dirty and befouled bridge.

‘Please, it is night. Let us pass,’ Alba Luz Giron Ramirez, a former shop employee and mother of three, pleaded to the officers.

Giron said they had come from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and that gangs had killed her brother and threatened her.

‘We want them to give us permission to go to Mexico,’ her 5-year-old son Ramon said in a child’s voice. ‘We wouldn’t stay.’

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