Guatemalan Security Forces Battle Migrants as Biden’s Caravan Pushes Toward America
Violent clashes with soldiers and law enforcement seen at Guatemala's southern border
Security forces in Guatemala are struggling to contain the violence as a huge migrant caravan marches through the country as it makes its way toward America following Joe Biden's open borders promises.
Guatemalan soldiers and law enforcement used tear gas and batons to push back thousands of migrants attempting to rush the border as they make their way into Mexico and on to the United States.
Forces lined up three or four rows deep to create a blockade to the migrants’ progress as they charged toward the border gates.
A video released by Guatemala's government shows rows of Guatemalan security forces becoming overwhelmed by the caravan as they attempt to create a human barricade.
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Migrants can be seen throwing rocks and other objects while charging at police branding sticks and weapons.
Migrants in the caravan were seen turning violent as authorities attempted to block their passage.
Another video tweeted by journalist Jody García shows a surge of people pushing their way through the barricade of security forces only to be surrounded and pushed back.
Police appeared to use batons and tear gas to overwhelm the crowd and force them back.
⚠️🚨Esto está pasando en Vado Hondo, Chiquimula. La #CaravanaMigrante intentó romper el cordón que les impedía el paso y el @Ejercito_GT respondió con macanazos y bombas lacrimógenas.— Jody García (@JodyReporta) January 17, 2021
The New York Times reports the soldiers and police officers barricaded a road between the Honduras-Guatemala border and the city of Chiquimula.
Shortly after sunrise on Sunday, the group attempted to push their way through the security forces.
“Fortunately, our security forces managed to contain this pitched battle,” said Guillermo Díaz, director-general of the Guatemalan Migration Institute in the Times article.
“We managed to calm everything in a very complicated situation.”
“We are talking about national security here,” he added.
Officials estimate as many as 7,000 migrants may have pushed their way into Guatemala over the weekend.
An unnamed senior Biden transition team member told NBC News that the migrants should not come to the U.S. for now, Breitbart reported.
“The situation at the border isn’t going to be transformed overnight,” the unnamed transition official told NBC News.
“There’s help on the way, but now is not the time to make the journey.”
For now, President Donald Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Title 42 coronavirus protection protocols are still in place ensuring that nearly all migrants crossing the border illegally are returned to Mexico.
The senior Biden transition official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said those who have been waiting at the border, along with other vulnerable populations, will be a priority for processing and entry, rather than those who have recently arrived.
The official said migrants attempting to cross into the U.S. to claim asylum in the first few weeks of the new administration “need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the United States immediately.”