Migrants in a mass caravan are chanting that “one way or another, we will pass” as they move toward a bridge on the Guatemala-Mexico border.
The caravan of disorganized women, men and children headed toward the border post Friday morning.
They got as far as a closed metal gate where two military jeeps were parked and Guatemalan police in riot gear looked on silently.
The migrants also chanted: “We are not smugglers, we are immigrants.”
Dozens of Mexican federal police officers were on the bridge, with hundreds of others behind.
Mexico’s ambassador to Guatemala said his country had decided to enforce a policy of “metered entry” in the face of the thousands clamoring to cross.
Thousands of migrants traveling in a caravan briefly moved toward a border crossing on the Mexico-Guatemala frontier before turning around.
They stopped about two blocks from the crossing before heading back, saying they would wait another hour or so. Some of them talked among themselves.
The border post is guarded by a heavy security force and tall metal gates. Dozens of Mexican federal police officers are on the border bridge, with hundreds more behind them.
Guatemala has closed its border gate and is standing guard with dozens of troops and two armored jeeps.
Mexico’s ambassador to Guatemala says his country has decided to enforce a policy of “metered entry” since thousands of migrants are clamoring to cross.
The migrants hope to enter Mexico and cross the country to reach the United States.
Jose Porfirio Orellana is a 47-year-old acorn and bean farmer from Yoro province in Honduras.
Orellana says “the economy in Honduras is terrible, there is nothing there.”
Participants in a 3,000-strong migrant caravan heading toward the United States have gathered in a park to wait a few more hours for members of the group who are still arriving.
The migrants have agreed that they will begin their journey to the border crossing between Guatemala and Mexico around 11 a.m. local time.
Some plan to make a valley-like formation, with men walking to the sides and women and children walking in the middle. Others intend to cross the Suchiate River on a raft.
The exhausted travelers are mostly from Honduras, but migrants from other Central American countries have joined the caravan.
Jonathan Guzman, a 22-year-old from El Salvador, said he had dreams of working in construction in Los Angeles.
“It’s the third time that I’m trying to cross,” he said.
As the sun rose, a military helicopter could be seen overhead, foreshadowing the difficulties that migrants will have as they try to reach the U.S.