Hundreds of Honduran migrants en route to US

From left Vice President Oscar Ortiz of El Salvador Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez Mexico Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Vice President Mike Pence Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen Mexi

President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off aid to Honduras if its government does not stop a large "caravan" of migrants headed toward the United States.

A caravan of Honduran migrants fleeing their home and seeking a new life in the United States were stopped mid-journey by Guatemalan police at the Honduras-Guatemalan border on October 15, 2018.

Earlier this year, another caravan of migrants made a similar journey from the Mexico-Guatemala border.

The migrants plan to seek refugee status in Mexico or pass through to the United States, saying they are fleeing poverty and drug-fuelled violence in their countries.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez lamented that the USA had been cutting its funding, and voiced concerns over the reunification of migrant families illegally crossing the American border.

The Trump administration announced in May that it would stop granting protections by January 2020 to the 57,000 Hondurans now living in the USA legally.

Frank said the caravan's rapid growth underscores "how desperate the Honduran people are - that they'd begin walking toward refuge in the United States with only a day pack full of belongings".

The march comes days after Vice President Mike Pence met with the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Hernandez said last month that cuts in US support for Central America would hinder efforts to stem illegal immigration, and welcomed China's growing diplomatic presence in the region as an "opportunity".

Honduras is one of a dwindling number of countries that still has formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Thousands of migrants have fled Honduras and other Central American nations in an effort to escape the poverty and violence that has engulfed their homelands.

The march started with fewer than 200 members in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula one of the world's most risky places.

The migrants, carrying backpacks and bottles of water, eventually pushed past the Guatemalan officers.

Guatemala said in a statement on Sunday that it did not promote or endorse 'irregular migration'. Guatemalan police initially blocked migrants from reaching a customs booth, Reuters images showed. It was not clear how long the standoff lasted, but the group was ultimately able to cross, said march organizer Bartolo Fuentes, a former Honduran lawmaker.

But U.S. officials - and President Trump - warned the marchers.



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