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Guatemalan migrants cross the Suchiate river in Mexico Guatemalan migrants cross the Suchiate river in Mexico  (ANSA)

Mexico and Guatemala protest US migrant agreement

The Mexican and Guatemalan Governments are protesting against a move which will see would be asylum seekers being sent to Guatemala, as their applications are being considered by US Immigration Authorities.

By James Blears

Guatemala was obliged to sign an agreement with the United States last year, after the Administration of President Donald Trump warned its Government that aid could be suspended. Members of migrant caravans from Central American nations who pass through Guatemala into Mexico and onwards to the Borderline with the US can be sent back to Guatemala,  to formally apply and await the result there. 

Very few who are undergoing this process stand much of chance of being accepted. But now the US State Department says that this measure could also apply to some Mexicans.  The Mexican Foreign Ministry is criticizing that development. So far, it`s also steadfastly refused to become a so called third nation safe haven.

The Guatemalan Agreement was signed by then President Jimmy Morales.  President Elect Alejandro Giammattei, who`s due to be inaugurated this month, says he`s going to thoroughly review that deal. This is likely to cause problems with the US.  Nevertheless, Guatemalan Authorities insist that they simply don't have the money or facilities to cope with wave after influx of asylum seeking migrants, who could be with them for quite some time. Honduras and El Salvador have also signed similar agreements.

Mexico itself faced possible sanctions, but significantly reduced undocumented migration by sending thousands of National Guard to its Southern and Northern Frontiers. Whereas caravan after caravan of migrants used to reach Mexico City and camp out in a soccer stadium before moving northwards, none now make it this far.

07 January 2020, 17:44