Guatemala authorizes the use of force as migrants mobilize for the caravan bound for the United States By Reuters

2/2 © Reuters. Hondurans are part of a new migrant caravan that will go to the United States in San Pedro Sula 2/2

By Sofia Menchú GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Guatemala declared emergency powers on Thursday as the first groups of migrants made their way to its border ahead of a larger caravan leaving Honduras on Friday morning for the United States. This week’s caravan would be the first of the year and comes six days before US President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Wednesday. Guatemala’s “State of Prevention” limits public demonstrations and allows authorities to forcibly disperse any public gathering, group or demonstration. It will be valid for 15 days in seven of the Guatemalan provinces through which migrants normally travel en route to the Mexican border. The Honduran and Guatemalan authorities have also announced that they will deploy thousands of soldiers to detain the migrants. In online forums, Central Americans have discussed plans to flee to the United States as the region reels from economic crises, high rates of violence and the devastating consequences of two major hurricanes that struck in November. On Wednesday night, hundreds of migrants left Honduras ahead of the caravan scheduled for Friday. “We are heading to the United States because it is impossible to live in Honduras,” one man, who declined to give his name, told a local Honduran television station. “There is no work or security,” he added, as he walked to the border with Guatemala with a child perched on his shoulders.

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