Guatemala has promised to break up a caravan of about 2,000 migrants that set out from neighbouring Honduras.
The migrants who left Honduras this week are hopeful that they would reach the United States.
While disclosing this on Friday October 1, 2020, Guatemala President, Alejandro Giammattei, stated that the migrants represent a health threat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first Honduran migrants entered Guatemala on foot on Thursday and Giammattei promised to detain and send them back to the border.
“The order has been given to detain all those who entered illegally, and return them to the border of their country,” Giammattei said in a broadcast address to the nation.
“We will not allow any foreigner who has used illegal means to enter the country, to think that they have the right to come and infect us and put us at serious risk,” he said.
Giammattei also issued an order that would suspend some constitutional rights in the provinces they were expected to pass through, apparently in order to facilitate detaining them.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday also questioned the timing of the caravan, saying its departure from Honduras had been timed to provoke ahead of US presidential elections on November 3.
“It is very weird, very strange,” Lopez Obrador told a news conference.
“It’s a matter that I believe is linked to the US election,” he said, without providing any evidence for his claim.