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Police break up refugee caravan in Guatemala

POLICE and soldiers broke up a refugee caravan in Guatemala today after a two-day standoff.

Thousands of refugees from Honduras burst through the Guatemalan border en route to the United States on Friday night, fleeing poverty, hurricane damage and violence.

Guatemalan police blocked their route and its president called on Honduras to stop the exodus, saying it was a major coronavirus risk. Guatemala currently requires a negative Covid-19 test for legal entry.

On Monday authorities offered buses back to Honduras for refugees who would take them, but then sent in police to clear the roads. Marchers scattered but many remain in the area.

Guatemala Foreign Secretary Pedro Brolo Vila said he was “totally surprised” that Honduras had not co-operated to stop the refugee caravan crossing the border.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called for dialogue with refugees and said he hoped the incoming US Joe Biden administration would stop the immediate pushbacks imposed by President Donald Trump.

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