They tried to force the blockade imposed by the military on a border bridge, and there were clashes
Hundreds of migrants from Honduras and other Central American countries entered the Suchiate River and crossed the border between Guatemala and Mexico forcing the National Guard blockade imposed at the Rodolfo Robles bridge connecting Tecun Uman with Ciudad Hidalgo. The caravan, made up of at least 2,000 people, including women, children and the elderly, left Honduras on 15 January last and, through a delegation, had asked to be allowed to enter Mexico and then freely continue their journey towards the border with the United States. The Mexican authorities had responded by closing the Rodolfo Robles bridge, deploying military forces and agents in riot gear. After several hours of tension and stalemate, the migrants forced the blocks en masse and crossed the border fording the river at a shallow spot.
The Mexican National Guard soldiers intervened with riot shields trying to prevent the migrants from climbing the banks, but it seems that some of them have succeeded and have therefore entered the country. Many of them remained on the side of the river that belongs to Honduras. There were several clashes: the BBC says that the police used tear gas and that some migrants responded by throwing stones.
The administration of Donald Trump – elected also thanks to the promise to build a wall at the border to separate the United States from Mexico – has worsened the situation of the migrants, increasing controls at the crossing points: the long waits in dangerous Mexican cities convince many to try to enter illegally by crossing desert areas or fording the rivers. Last July, Guatemala and the United States signed an agreement that obliges migrants who pass through Guatemala to go north to seek protection there first. The agreement served to limit US asylum applications from Central America.