A group of migrants traveling through Central America attempted to cross into Mexico from Guatemala on Monday, January 20. Around 2000 people have been gathered in Tecún Umán (Guatemala) since being denied access into Mexico on Saturday, January 18, and tried to enter Mexico near Ciudad Hidalgo (Chiapas state) by crossing the Suchiate River. However, a security cordon formed by Mexican National Guard officers prevented most of the migrants from crossing the border. Mexico's National Migration Institute (INM) said that 402 people were detained, while some were able to break the cordon and flee into the country. Some migrants threw stones at National Guard personnel during the attempted crossing, who responded by firing tear gas at the crowd. According to the INM, five officers were injured in the altercations.
Migrants remain gathered in Tecún Umán and may attempt to cross the river again in the coming weeks. It is possible tensions may increase along the border and escalate clashes between migrants and security forces.
According to Guatemalan officials, at least 4000 migrants have entered the country since January 15 in an attempt to walk to the US border. Mexican officials said that almost 1100 people were received at the border in Chiapas and Tabasco states on January 19. Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said that his government will not allow groups to enter the country illegally and deployed 20,000 National Guard members to northern and southern borders to block migrants.
Individuals in Chiapas state, and along the southern border, are advised to keep abreast of the situation, anticipate a heightened security presence, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.