San Pedro Sula (Honduras) (AFP) – Just under 1,000 people have gathered in Hondura’s second city and are forming a caravan for migrants that will soon travel to the United States, a human rights activist told AFP.
Thousands of Central American migrants brave the risk of extortion, kidnapping, and even murder as they flee poverty and gang violence in their home countries to achieve the American dream, much to the annoyance of President Donald Trump.
“We are currently close to 1,000 people, but there are buses from different parts of the country,” Bartolo Fuentes, journalist, human rights defender and former legislator, told AFP on Tuesday evening.
The government accused him of having organized the first such caravan in October 2018, an accusation that he rejects.
Men, women and children gathered in parks and at the central subway station in the city of San Pedro Sula, around 180 kilometers north of the capital Tegucigalpa, under a light drizzle.
According to Fuentes, migrants “mainly from rural areas” were made aware of the caravan via social media, which was then picked up by television stations.
“There is no job for anyone here. I studied … but for nothing, because there are many graduates who have the diploma in their arms but cannot find a job,” 28-year-old Yoly Sabillon told AFP.
Before joining the caravan, she left her three children aged three, seven and 13 with her mother.
More than 2,000 Hondurans participated in the original caravan that led north through Guatemala and then through Mexico.
At least three more caravans formed in the first months of 2019, causing Trump to face punitive measures against central American governments if they didn’t stem the tide.
Trump sent 6.00 soldiers to the southern border with Mexico and warned of an “invasion” of “gang members” and “criminals”.
Around 30,000 Honduran migrants are waiting in Mexico for a response to their American asylum applications.