A new, second migrant caravan began its journey on Sunday towards the United States. Approximately 1,000 Honduran nationals are making their way on foot through Guatemala and headed to the Mexican border thus imitating the previous caravan that has pushed across the bridge linking the towns of Tecun Uman and Ciudad Hidalgo, in Guatemala and Mexico, respectively. 

The first caravan left Honduras on October 13 and pushed its way into Mexico over the weekend, despite being met by riot police and military. Several Mexican police offers were injured when young men among the migrants threw rocks and bottles. Nearly 900 Honduran nationals have applied for asylum, according to Mexican authorities. Approximately 3000 migrants entered Mexico illegally or to apply for asylum. At least 1000 are waiting on the bridge connecting Mexico and Guatemala, apparently waiting to apply for legal admission. According to the foreign ministry of Honduras, several hundred of its citizens have been voluntarily repatriated. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said on Saturday that 2000 Hondurans had returned home. According to Mexican media, 700 migrants decided to return home under the “Safe Return Plan” implemented by Guatemala and Honduras.

The crowd of men, women and children left the border town of Esquipulas on Sunday, where they had spent the night, after having crossed into Guatemala at Agua Caliente on Guatemala’s border with Honduras. Photos on Twitter show that the migrants are carrying little more than small backpacks, while others are carrying infants in their arms. They are on their way to Guatemala City, walking on the side of the highway to the national capital while drivers shout greetings and encouragement. 

In Guatemala, the Red Cross, churches, and private citizens offered assistance to migrants as they passed through the country. Red Cross spokesman Andrés Lemus told local media that the organization had given assistance to at least 1,556 Hondurans. This included free telephone callos, first aid and hospitalization.

On Sunday at Mexico's Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Monsignor Jorge Antonio Palencia Ramirez called on Christians to pray for the Central American migrants who have arrived in Mexico. "We pray for our brothers and sisters who are on our borders so that they may find mercy, smiles and our heart, dear Mexicans." Reminding his listeners of their baptismal mandate to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the churchman invited his listeners to draw closer to the Lord and ask themselves if they are making good choices. "We ask whether a life submerged in narcotrafficking can lead to goodness, whether lives filled with violence can come to a halt and ask for peace. And with respect to our brethren from Central America, that in instead of asking for them to leave our country, why don't we ask Jesus 'What should we do for them? How do we help them?"



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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