Guatemala announces emergency measures due to rumors of a new convoy

Guatemala announces emergency measures due to rumors of a new convoy

Guatemala City (AFP) – Guatemalan President Alejandro Giamatti on Monday issued a decree on a “precautionary situation” along the country’s border with Honduras, amid news of a possible new migrant convoy in Honduras.

The emergency decree will limit unauthorized outdoor meetings and demonstrations, and will be in effect for two weeks in Guatemala’s five provinces along the border with Honduras.

The government justified the restrictions in a statement saying that “groups of people could endanger the lives of Guatemalans, their freedom, security and health, and access to justice, peace and development.”

Guatemala issued a similar decree in January to thwart an earlier convoy, arguing it poses a public health risk amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In the previous attempt in January, Guatemalan police and soldiers fired tear gas and carried batons and shields to stop a group of about 2,000 Honduran migrants at a roadblock.

Several caravans of Honduran migrants have attempted to cross Guatemala and Mexico to reach the US border, but none have been successful since 2019.

The number of immigrants trying to cross the border between the United States and Mexico has increased recently. US authorities reported more than 100,000 clashes on the southern border in February, the highest level in four consecutive months in 2019.

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