Freddy Rivas, second right, of Tocoa, Honduras, sits with his sons Josue, left, and Elkin, center, and his brother Mario, as they wait with scores of other migrants hoping to join a caravan to travel to the U.S. border, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

Mexico braces for new caravan of Central American migrants

This caravan is being called the ‘mother of call caravans’

Mexico is bracing for the possible arrival of the “mother of all caravans,” even as doubts arise over whether the group of Central American migrants will be all that big.

Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero has said a caravan of migrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala could be forming.

“We have information that a new caravan is forming in Honduras, that they’re calling ‘the mother of all caravans,’ and they are thinking it could have more than 20,000 people,” Sanchez Cordero said Wednesday.

But a WhatsApp group calling for people to gather Saturday in El Salvador to set off for Guatemala only has about 206 members.

Activist Irineo Mujica, who has accompanied several caravans in Mexico, said reports about “the mother of all caravans” were false, claiming “this is information that (U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen) Nielsen is using to create fear.”

READ MORE: New migrant caravan sets out from Honduras for U.S.

His group, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said in a statement there was no evidence the new caravan would be that large, noting “there has never been a caravan of the size that Sanchez Cordero mentioned.” Indeed, past caravans hit very serious logistical hurdles at 7,000-strong.

She and others suspect the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump may be trying to fan fears of a big caravan to turn the U.S. national agenda back to the immigration issue.

Honduran activist Bartolo Fuentes, who accompanied a large caravan last year, dismissed the new reports as “part of the U.S. government’s plans, something made up to justify their actions.”

A caravan of about 2,500 Central Americans and Cubans is currently making its way through Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas. The largest of last year’s caravans in Mexico contained about 7,000 people at its peak, though some estimates ran as high as 10,000 at some points.

Mexico appears to be both tiring of the caravans and eager not to anger the United States. It has stopped granting migrants humanitarian visas at the border, and towns along the well-travelled route to Mexico City sometimes no longer allow caravans to spend the night.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday that Mexico is doing its part to fight immigrant smuggling.

“We are going to do everything we can to help. We don’t in any way want a confrontation with the U.S. government,” he said. “It is legitimate that they are displeased and they voice these concerns.”

READ MORE: Tired and angry, migrant caravan splinters in Mexican state

Sanchez Cordero has pledged to form a police line of “containment” around Mexico’s narrow Tehuantepec Isthmus to stop migrants from continuing north to the U.S. border.

The containment belt would consist of federal police and immigration agents, but such highway blockades and checkpoints have not stopped large and determined groups of migrants in the past.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Gord Bamford Foundation Charity Golf Classic returns to Lacombe G&C

Golf classic is the primary source of fundraising for the Gord Bamford Foundation

Lacombe rider captures Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Competition Championship

Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Competition showcases the top cutting horses in the world

PHOTOS: Ellis Bird Farm celebrates 20 years of the Blue Feather Award

Bluebird Festival draws large numbers to serene conservation area

Buccaneers give up lead, lose 49-35 to Wolfpack

Central Alberta had 21-10 lead at half time

WATCH: Lacombe AUPE members picket against Bill 9

Union members say their constitutional rights have been ignored

Anglican Church to review governance structure after same-sex marriage change fails

Some say the current system to change doctrine gives too much voting power to a smaller class of bishops

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

Asylum figures show overall slower rate of irregular crossings into Canada

Between January and June 2019, a total of 6,707 asylum seekers crossed irregularly into Canada

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Most Read