Mexico uses drones to guard the southern border

In view of the possible arrival of migrants from Honduras
The Mexican National Guard is keeping out of the way after migrants from Mexico and Guatemala were detained after trying to cross into the US at the US-Mexico border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

PHOTO/REUTERS  -   The Mexican National Guard is keeping out of the way after migrants from Mexico and Guatemala were detained after trying to cross into the US at the US-Mexico border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

On Sunday, Mexico showed that it can use drones to monitor the southern border by land and air, in view of the possible arrival of Honduran migrants, who have been divided in recent hours after the caravan of some 2,000 members from Honduras broke up. 

On Saturday, according to Guatemalan authorities, the vast majority of Honduran migrants decided to return to their country, but others continued their journey to the United States on an individual basis. 

On Sunday, during a tour of the Suchiate River bank and the Rodolfo Robles International Bridge, Francisco Garduño, commissioner of the National Institute of Migration (INM), said the border is guarded by drones, which fly over the new roads that human traffickers discover or transit. 

In addition, he said that the presence of the National Guard, the Mexican Navy and dozens of migration agents who maintain restrictions on the Guatemalan people who do not have documents to enter the country, continues. In this regard, Garduño said that the migration agents "will be there long enough to contain the caravan of migrants". 

Regarding the arrival of Honduran migrants, the official said they are on their way, "but have not yet entered Mexican territory," and if they do arrive, they will see if they will be given facilities, since Mexico has always allowed the entry of migrants "as long as it is orderly, safe and regular". He announced that in the last few hours they have managed to arrest 235 Central American migrants, but he does not know if they are members of the caravan.

Unos policías pasan por delante de un grupo de migrantes hondureños, que forman parte de una caravana de migrantes con destino a los Estados Unidos, frente a un refugio para migrantes en el municipio de San Marcos (Guatemala), el 3 de octubre de 2020.
PHOTO/AFP - Police officers pass a group of Honduran migrants, who are part of a migrant caravan bound for the United States, in front of a migrants' shelter in the municipality of San Marcos (Guatemala), on 3 October 2020.

Over the weekend, Mexican authorities have implemented containment efforts to prevent the entry of people crossing the Suchiate River on rafts from Guatemala into the Mexican state of Chiapas. 

Filters and migration checkpoints were also installed on the Ciudad Hidalgo-Tapachula road section, to secure migrants travelling on public transport without papers.

Divided Caravan 

For his part, Mario Bucaro Flores, Guatemalan ambassador to Mexico, reported that the migrant caravan that was formed in Honduras is divided and the small groups have already been returned to their country. He made it clear that in the event of a new migrant caravan, Guatemala is ready to work together with Mexico as sister countries

On Friday, Mexico began to reinforce its southern border with the deployment of hundreds of migration agents, the National Guard and the Armed Forces.

Mexico's National Institute of Migration (Inami) said the agents were installed at the border points of Ciudad Hidalgo and Tenosique, in the states of Chiapas and Tabasco. 

The day before, the Inami confirmed that any person who uses its facilities and areas of entry into the country must comply with health protocols, since the federal penal codes and those of the states of Chiapas and Tabasco provide for sentences of 5 to 10 years in prison for anyone who endangers the health of another. 

Migration in Mexico has been on the rise since October 2018, when caravans of thousands of Central American migrants began entering the country on their way to the United States.