By Sofia Menchu
CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico (Reuters) – A group of Honduran migrants entered southern Mexico on Friday, joining more than 1,000 people who departed Central America in recent days headed to the United States and putting to the test Mexico’s vows to guarantee the safe and orderly flow of people.
The cohort crossed into southern Chiapas state before dawn without needing wrist bands that migration officials the day before told migrants to wear until they could register with authorities, several migrants and an official told Reuters.
“The road today was open … They didn’t give us bracelets or anything, they just let us pass through Mexico migration,” said Marco Antonio Cortez, 37, a baker from Honduras traveling with his wife and children, ages 2 and 9.
A migration official at the entry point, who asked not to be named because she was not authorized to speak to media, said that at least 1,000 people crossed from Guatemala into Mexico by around 5 a.m., without needing wrist bands.
The group proceeded on foot alongside cars on a highway, accompanied by federal police officers.
Mexico’s migration institute did not respond to a request for comment.
Groups of migrants departed from El Salvador and Honduras earlier in the week, the latest in a string of caravans of people largely fleeing poverty and violence.
The caravans have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with U.S. President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a wall at the southern border with Mexico.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is pursuing a “humanitarian” approach to the problem, vowing to stem the flow of people by finding jobs for the migrants. In exchange, he wants Trump to help spur economic development in the region.
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Susan Thomas)