US-bound migrants enter Guatemala, others clash at border

A new group of migrants bound for the United States set off from El Salvador and crossed into Guatemala on Sunday, following thousands of other Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence who have taken similar journeys in recent weeks.

The group of more than 300 Salvadorans left the capital San Salvador on Sunday. A larger group of mostly Hondurans, estimated to number between 3,500 and 7,000, who left their country in mid-October and are now in southern Mexico, has become a key issue in US congressional elections.

A third group broke through a gate at the Guatemala border with Mexico in Tecun Uman on Sunday, and clashed with police. Local first responders said that security forces used rubber bullets against the migrants, and that one person, Honduran Henry Adalid, 26, was killed.

Six police officers were injured, said Beatriz Marroquin, the director of health for the Retalhuleu region.

Mexico’s Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete told reporters on Sunday evening that federal police did not have any weapons, even to fire plastic bullets.

He said that some of the migrants had guns while others had Molotov cocktails, and this information had been passed on to other Central American governments.

Guatemala’s government said in a statement that it regrets that the migrants didn’t take the opportunity of dialogue and instead threw stones and glass bottles at police.

US President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans have sought to make immigration a major issue ahead of November 6 elections, in which the party is battling to keep control of Congress.

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