The Latest: Caravan moves back from Guatemala-Mexico gate

TECUN UMAN, Guatemala (AP) — The Latest on a caravan of Central American migrants hoping to reach the United States (all times local):

8:50 a.m.

Organizers of a caravan of migrants trying to cross into Mexico and ultimately the U.S. appear intent on avoiding a repeat of a rush on the border with Guatemala that ended when Mexican security forces with riot shields and pepper spray drove them back.

Some women and children made their way toward the front of the caravan Saturday, while men were at the back.

They have also moved about 30 feet (9 meters) back from the gate that separates them from Mexican police to establish a buffer zone. They had broken through the gate Friday but police drove nearly all of them back.

About 1,000 migrants now remain on the bridge between Guatemala and Mexico.

Selvin Flores, a 35-year-old shopkeeper from the Honduran city of Nacaome, says people who “were causing disorder” have been expelled from the group and handed over to Guatemalan police. He says the remaining migrants “do not want misunderstandings.”

Flores has three children and says that he sometimes skips meals to ensure that they eat.

He said he wants to reach the U.S. to work and save money before returning to Honduras. He says it’s painful for him to leave his country but he did it “out of necessity.”

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7:30 a.m.

Thousands of Central American migrants participating in a caravan heading toward the United States woke up on a bridge that divides the borders of Guatemala and Mexico.

The migrants have no fresh supplies of water or food and slept amid garbage that has piled up at the crossing. Without bathrooms, a foul odor wafted through the air.

Jose Yanez woke up at 5 a.m. and said that his back hurt.

The 25-year-old farmer had no blanket to fend off the chill, but vowed to continue on.

“From here, we’re going on. From here, there’s no turning back,” he said.

He said that he makes 150 lempiras a day, or about $6, and has no work benefits.

On the Mexican side of the border, a group of about 30 migrants sang the national anthem of Honduras.

Categories: International News