President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off aid to Honduras if its government does not stop a large ‘caravan’ of migrants headed toward the United States.
A group estimated at 1,600 to 2,000 people hoping to arrive in the U.S. marched from Honduras into Guatemala Monday, fleeing violence and poverty in their home country. The group twice pushed past police sent to stop them - first at the border, then at the Guatemalan town of Esquipulas.
Mexico’s immigration authority warned later that day that only migrants who meet entry requirements would be allowed into that country.
The march started with fewer than 200 members in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula one of the world’s most dangerous places. Singing the Honduran national anthem, praying and chanting, “Yes we can,” the ranks of the march swelled as it crossed the country.
Just a day earlier, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence had urged the governments of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala to persuade their citizens to stay home.
The U.S. provided about $127 million in aid to Honduras in 2016, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development, a year when the country’s GDP totaled about $22 billion, according to the World Bank.
In April, Trump threatened to withdraw aid from the Central American country after a similar caravan of about 1,000 set out from that nation in the direction of the U.S.