Feb 1, 2021
The economic collapse touched off by COVID-19 and the damage wrought by two massive hurricanes in fall of 2020 made the situation for many in Honduras unliveable. The country was already in a disastrous economic situation driven by a century of U.S. domination. This has prompted new groups of people to attempt to cross through Guatemala and Mexico, hoping to reach the U.S. These migrants often travel in big groups because it is much safer to be together.
To reach the U.S., they have to get by the police and armies of all three countries.
In early December, the Honduran government set up checkpoints and blocked people from assembling, even turning around a bus with 50 people in it.
Despite these efforts, about 7,000 Hondurans made it to the Honduran border with Guatemala. But there they met a blockade of Guatemalan soldiers and police, who attacked them on January 17 with full riot gear, batons, shields, and tear gas, trying to drive them back to Honduras.
As many as 2,400 still made it through Guatemala and attempted to cross into southern Mexico. But there they faced Mexican cops and soldiers, who pushed hundreds of migrants back into Guatemala, shipped others to Mexican detention centers, and returned some all the way to Honduras.
The armies and police of all three of these countries have long acted as arms of the United States, and this gauntlet of brutality is the true face of U.S. policy. It has been this way ever since increasing numbers of desperate Central Americans started trying to migrate to the U.S. in 2014. And from one administration to the next, whatever the debates about the wall, or about Biden’s supposedly more “humane” refugee policy, this policy has continued.