Honduran migrant group treks north as US calls for tighter borders


Thousands of Hondurans fleeing poverty and violence move in a caravan toward the United States, in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras October 14, 2018.

About 1,300 people from Honduras began a journey from to the USA border on Saturday, just days after the US asked that nation's president to stop mass migration, Reuters news reported.

The migrant caravan set off from the city of San Pedro Sula on Friday, the day after the U.S. vice-president, Mike Pence, urged the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to persuade their citizens to stay home. Once in Mexico, they plan to request refugee status to either remain in that country or get a visa to pass through to the US border.

In April, media attention on a similar group of migrants, dubbed a "caravan", prompted Trump to press for tougher border security and demand such groups be refused entry.

Hernandez told Pence he would like more certainty about what to expect from the United States, because the funds requested by the Trump administration are below allocations from previous years. "There's no work in Honduras, and you live in fear that they're going to kill you or your children", Barahona said.

This new massed movement of migrants fleeing Central America mirrors a similar caravan in April that was assembled by a US -based group known as Pueblo Sin Fronteras or "People Without Borders".

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"There is no work and so much violence that you can get killed walking down the street", Javier Solis, 25, said.

Bartolo Fuentes, the organizer, told the news agency that the group plans to march through Guatemala and into Mexico.

More than 64 percent of Honduran households are in poverty, according to the report. Numerous migrants are fleeing a poor economy and some of the highest crime rates in the world.

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence met with the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in Washington, Reuters reported.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez lamented that the USA had been cutting its funding, and voiced concerns over the reunification of migrant families illegally crossing the American border.

Reuters also reported that he asked for the U.S.to reunite migrant children with their parents.