Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

CARAVAN CRISIS: Trump Threatens to Cut Honduras Aid Over 'Growing' Migrant Caravan

CARAVAN CRISIS: Trump Threatens to Cut Honduras Aid Over 'Growing' Migrant Caravan

U.S. President Donald Trump warned his Honduran counterpart on Tuesday that he must stop a caravan of thousands of migrants that left his country over the weekend, bound for the United States.

Guatemalan police officers watch as Honduran migrants, part of a caravan trying to reach the US, arrive in Esquipulas city in Guatemala, October 15, 2018.

Back in April, a "caravan" of immigrants marching across Central America toward the United States border drew the attention of President Trump.

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Pence told Central American leaders at the conference last week that the USA would provide more support for efforts to improve economic opportunity and social conditions if they would do the same.

"If you do more, I'm here to say on behalf of the president of the United States and the American people, we'll do more", he said.

The Trump administration announced in May that it would stop granting protections by January 2020 to the 57,000 Hondurans now living in the US legally.

It was not clear how Honduras would be able to exercise control over people who had already left the country.

"To the people of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador: You are our neighbors", Pence said at a regional security event in Washington.

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The caravan is one of many that have been organized since about 2008 to help people from Latin America flee violence and corruption by seeking asylum in the US or Mexico.

Honduras is one of a dwindling number of countries that still has formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Hundreds of Hondurans have headed toward the American border fleeing poverty and violence, Reuters reported on Sunday, days after Washington pushed Latin American presidents for tighter borders.

Many in the caravan traveled light, with just backpacks and bottles of water.

The group more than doubled in size from Saturday, when some 1,300 people set off from northern Honduras in what has been dubbed "March of the Migrant", an organizer said.

The government said it will act to stop the caravan from crossing into Guatemala.

Bartolo Fuentes, the organizer, told the news agency that the group plans to march through Guatemala and into Mexico.

"Rows of Guatemalan police in black uniforms, some wearing helmets and shields, initially blocked migrants from reaching a customs booth, Reuters images showed".

Trump campaigned for president in 2016 on promises to toughen US immigration policies and build a wall along the 2,000-mile border with Mexico.

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