Migrant convoy swells to 5000, heads to US

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Thousands of people travelling across Central America en route to the United States (US) are now stuck on Mexico's southern border after a failed attempt to enter the country.

Multiple migrants, federal police and journalists were wounded.

Olivin Castellanos, 58, a truck driver and mason from Villanueva, Honduras, said he took a raft across the river after Mexico blocked the bridge.

Erika Guevara-Rosas of Amnesty International said in a statement: "These families deserve dignity and respect to ensure that no-one is illegally returned to situations where they could risk serious harm due to violence".

Some 5,000 Central American migrants traveling in the caravan left the border at Ciudad Hidalgo at dawn. "I can do this", he said, pointing to the asphalt under his feet. As the afternoon drew on, a tropical storm, Vicente, formed nearby off the Pacific coast.

"We're running away from violence, and we arrive here and they just hit us more", Marta Ornelas Cazares, 28, said.

Earlier Friday, Mexico's ambassador to Guatemala said his country meant to enforce what he called a policy of orderly entry in the face of the thousands trying to cross.

"We made it in record time", he said.

Shortly afterwards, Guatemala's government tweeted that Hernandez would meet Morales on Saturday in Guatemala City to implement a strategy for returning the Honduran migrants.

Nieto added, "Mexico does not permit and will not permit entry into its territory in an irregular fashion, much less in a violent fashion", the network noted.

The president, without elaborating further, blamed the Democrats for the caravan on Twitter last week, blaming them for "weak laws".

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Its slow procession north has prompted US President Donald Trump to threaten to cut aid to Central American nations and to send troops to the US border if Mexico fails to stop the surge.

Such a move would cause chaos on the crossing, one of the world's busiest, and badly disrupt trade.

"The more the USA border has become militarized, the more migration has become the realm of organized criminal elements in Mexico, the more expensive it is for Central Americans, the more unsafe it is for Central Americans and the more that we're going to see these caravans that are a form of protection for Central Americans as they cross through Mexico", Oglesby said. I call on the United States and Mexico to help us, because I am not a woman who needs handouts. "They're not coming into this country".

Hundreds of Central American migrants bedded down overnight on a bridge separating Guatemala and Mexico, many squeezed against a metal border gate, as efforts to halt a trek north by a caravan of thousands of people gathered pace under USA pressure.

Trump also informed that if necessary, he would deploy the United States military to its Southern border with Mexico to halt the migrants.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with top officials in Mexico City on Friday night to discuss the caravan and other matters. But as of this moment, I thank Mexico.

Some migrants have tried to avoid the border checkpoint in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, by crossing the Suchiate river. Also, not having them all concentrated at the Guatemalan border will likely make it easier to find shelter for them while their cases are processed.

Central American migrants walking to the US start their day departing Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018.

The migrants who remained told CNN they joined the caravan because they had no other choice, noting that they were desperate for work.

"We thought the caravan was passive but there were unruly people, I was disappointed", said Gonzalo Martinez, a 37-year-old farmer, as he boarded a bus in Tecun Uman, Guatemala to take him back to Honduras.

Even though images of security officers beating up immigrants trying to cross the border made the news worldwide, Navarrete said they were given the order to never harm them and carry out only defense actions.

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