Freddy Rivas, second right, of Tocoa, Honduras, sits with his sons Josue, left, and Elkin, center, and his brother Mario, as they wait with scores of other migrants hoping to join a caravan to travel to the U.S. border, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

Mexico braces for new caravan of Central American migrants

This caravan is being called the ‘mother of call caravans’

Mexico is bracing for the possible arrival of the “mother of all caravans,” even as doubts arise over whether the group of Central American migrants will be all that big.

Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero has said a caravan of migrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala could be forming.

“We have information that a new caravan is forming in Honduras, that they’re calling ‘the mother of all caravans,’ and they are thinking it could have more than 20,000 people,” Sanchez Cordero said Wednesday.

But a WhatsApp group calling for people to gather Saturday in El Salvador to set off for Guatemala only has about 206 members.

Activist Irineo Mujica, who has accompanied several caravans in Mexico, said reports about “the mother of all caravans” were false, claiming “this is information that (U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen) Nielsen is using to create fear.”

READ MORE: New migrant caravan sets out from Honduras for U.S.

His group, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said in a statement there was no evidence the new caravan would be that large, noting “there has never been a caravan of the size that Sanchez Cordero mentioned.” Indeed, past caravans hit very serious logistical hurdles at 7,000-strong.

She and others suspect the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump may be trying to fan fears of a big caravan to turn the U.S. national agenda back to the immigration issue.

Honduran activist Bartolo Fuentes, who accompanied a large caravan last year, dismissed the new reports as “part of the U.S. government’s plans, something made up to justify their actions.”

A caravan of about 2,500 Central Americans and Cubans is currently making its way through Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas. The largest of last year’s caravans in Mexico contained about 7,000 people at its peak, though some estimates ran as high as 10,000 at some points.

Mexico appears to be both tiring of the caravans and eager not to anger the United States. It has stopped granting migrants humanitarian visas at the border, and towns along the well-travelled route to Mexico City sometimes no longer allow caravans to spend the night.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday that Mexico is doing its part to fight immigrant smuggling.

“We are going to do everything we can to help. We don’t in any way want a confrontation with the U.S. government,” he said. “It is legitimate that they are displeased and they voice these concerns.”

READ MORE: Tired and angry, migrant caravan splinters in Mexican state

Sanchez Cordero has pledged to form a police line of “containment” around Mexico’s narrow Tehuantepec Isthmus to stop migrants from continuing north to the U.S. border.

The containment belt would consist of federal police and immigration agents, but such highway blockades and checkpoints have not stopped large and determined groups of migrants in the past.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Yettis warned to not get a big head after massive first win

The Yettis won over the Olds Stingers 23-1 at the home opener, April 23

Strathcona County RCMP charge Eckville man for firearms, drugs

RCMP found the suspects at a high risk traffic stop on April 11 as a result of a 911 complaint

Sylvan Lake Town Council approves a 2019 supplementary tax

The Town expects to see roughly $40,000 in revenue from the supplementary tax in 2019.

Alberta’s 47 legislature newbies meet under the dome for orientation day

Most new members are with the United Conservatives, who won a majority government

Annual Home and Lifestyle Show coming to Sylvan Lake

The inaugural event will showcase local businesses at the NexSource Centre’s curling rink on May 11

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

Calgary woman killed in B.C. highway crash

Crash closed highway for hours

Assessment says Alberta woman facing animal abuse charges fit to stand trial

April Dawn Irving, 59, is charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Provinces, Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Oil and gas company confirms death of one of its employees in Yoho avalanche

Dana Coffield died when he was skiing in the Rocky Mountains

Cenovus CEO estimates production curtailments will deliver billions to taxpayers

The curtailment program started Jan. 1 was designed to keep 325,000 barrels per day off the market

Robbery in Leduc County estimated at $40,000

Leduc RCMP investigate break and enter and theft of firearms

Most Read