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Mexico defends soldiers who fired tear gas at migrants at border




Mexico City Jan . 22, 2020 The Mexican government has defended the country’s National Guard, whose soldiers fired tear gas at hundreds of migrants trying to cross from Guatemala into Mexico in order to travel to the U.S. Interior Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero said late on Tuesday that the soldiers had not exercised “repression”.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that they had been pelted with stones but had nevertheless acted correctly, and that there had been no injuries. About 3,300 mostly Honduran migrants reached the border on the weekend in a caravan that had taken off from northern Honduras earlier in the week. Mexico refused to let them travel to the U.S.

The two countries agreed in June to stem migration, and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government deployed thousands of soldiers for the purpose. Some 1,400 of the migrants decided to seek asylum or residence permits in Mexico, according to the government. About 1,000 asked to be repatriated to their countries, including 110 who have already been flown home.

Another 400 stayed in Guatemala. About 500 of the migrants tried to cross illegally into Mexico by wading across the River Suchiate, where the water level was low.

Some 400 of them were detained, while others turned back, and some managed to enter Mexico. Mexico has offered migrants jobs, but the majority of them want to reach the U.S. “Few countries in the world receive migrants with the amount of options that Mexico is offering them,” Sanchez Cordero said.


Edited by: Emmanuel Yashim

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