TEGUCIGALPA, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — Central American leaders said on Monday that it was important to identify the organizers of a migrant caravan heading north towards the United States.
Meeting in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, the presidents of Honduras and Guatemala, Juan Orlando Hernandez and Jimmy Morales, agreed to condemn the organizers for encouraging undocumented migrants, including many women and children, to embark on the arduous journey.
“We have showed solidarity with our brothers who are in this irregular caravan, but it is necessary for us to condemn those who organize this kind of migration under such inhumane conditions,” said Morales.
They recommended the countries that form Central America’s Northern Triangle — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — along with Mexico and the United States investigate who is behind the move.
More than a thousand migrants set off from northern Honduras in mid-October, crossing Guatemala and entering Mexico in a bid to reach the U.S. border.
Traveling on foot and occasionally hitching a ride aboard trucks and trailers, the migrants say they are fleeing poverty and violence.
At one point, the migrant caravan ballooned to nearly 7,000 people as others joined in, but hundreds have since turned back due to exhaustion and other factors.
Honduran President Hernandez said the migrants “were tricked into embarking on this irregular crossing, which was organized for political ends.”
Hernandez also announced his government plans to spend millions in infrastructure over the next three years to generate more jobs and opportunities for the people.
U.S. President Donald Trump has deployed military troops to the border region to help seal the border.
Washington has added pressure on the Mexican government to stop the migrants from arriving at the U.S. border, either making them remain in Mexico or give up and head home.
Apart from grilling Mexico, Trump has threatened to cut off or reduce U.S. aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador as the three countries failed to stop people from the exodus.
The caravan has splintered into at least three groups taking different routes north. They are not expected to reach the border until sometime in December, though their attempt to get to the United States has become a factor in the country’s midterm elections scheduled for Tuesday.
Republican candidates backed by the Trump administration are using the caravan to justify stronger border control measures and anti-immigrant polices.