Ahead of the US midterm elections, President Donald Trump, his Republican Party and conservative media have been directing voters’ attention to the “impending invasion” of Honduran migrants.
The irony, though, is that the migrants themselves have faced greater threats to their health and safety while on this excursion than they themselves pose for the health and safety of Americans.
Henry Diaz, a 26-year-old Honduran, was shot in the head with a rubber bullet, causing a deep head wound. He died on the way to a local hospital.
Diaz was among more than 1,000 migrants and refugees, most of them from Honduras, who attempted to force their way through the Tecun Uman crossing on Sunday. Police also used tear gas; more than 100 people were wounded.
The group at the Mexican border on Sunday are attempting to catch up to the initial wave of now more than 7,000 migrants and refugees who began their journey north more than two weeks ago. The group has been dubbed a migrant caravan.
Santo Avila, a 29-year-old labourer from Palestina, a rural community in eastern Honduras, told Al Jazeera the confrontation was a setback for the group.
“We advanced maybe 10 percent, but we have been set back 100 percent,” said Avila, while sitting on the bridge over the Suchiate River between Guatemala and Mexico.
“If the Mexican government does not let us through then we will have to return to Honduras where we will continue to suffer from extreme poverty and be threatened by the government,” he said. “We want to maintain the peace and find the support of the [Mexican] government in order to find opportunity.“