Guatemalan authorities detained the organiser of a migrant caravan from Honduras hoping to reach the US after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut off aid to both countries if they don't stop them.
The organiser of a migrant caravan from Honduras was detained on Tuesday in Guatemala as the US government threatened to withdraw aid from both countries and El Salvador if the flow of migrants north to the United States was not stopped.
Up to 3,000 migrants, according to organisers' estimates, crossed from Honduras into Guatemala on a trek northward, after a standoff on Monday with police in riot gear.
Over the border, Guatemalan police officers detained Bartolo Fuentes, a former Honduran lawmaker, from the middle of the large crowd that he and three other organisers had led from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, since the weekend.
The moves followed comments by the US President Donald Trump that indicated his administration would halt aid if the Central American governments did not act, his latest effort to demonstrate his tough stance on immigration.
We have today informed the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that if they allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States, with the intention of entering our country illegally, all payments made to them will STOP (END)!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2018
Security officials at the Honduran border with Guatemala in Agua Caliente blocked the road to prevent another much smaller group getting through, television images from the border showed.
The Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez condemned the treatment of the migrants as inhumane.
The migrants in the group making its way north plan to seek refugee status in Mexico or pass through to the United States, saying they are fleeing poverty and violence.
Widespread violence and poverty prompt thousands of Central Americans, mainly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, to make the arduous journey north toward Mexico and the United States in search of a better life.