Freddy Rivas, second right, of Tocoa, Honduras, sits with his sons Josue, left, and Elkin, center, and his brother Mario, as they wait with scores of other migrants hoping to join a caravan to travel to the U.S. border, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

Mexico braces for new caravan of Central American migrants

This caravan is being called the ‘mother of call caravans’

Mexico is bracing for the possible arrival of the “mother of all caravans,” even as doubts arise over whether the group of Central American migrants will be all that big.

Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero has said a caravan of migrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala could be forming.

“We have information that a new caravan is forming in Honduras, that they’re calling ‘the mother of all caravans,’ and they are thinking it could have more than 20,000 people,” Sanchez Cordero said Wednesday.

But a WhatsApp group calling for people to gather Saturday in El Salvador to set off for Guatemala only has about 206 members.

Activist Irineo Mujica, who has accompanied several caravans in Mexico, said reports about “the mother of all caravans” were false, claiming “this is information that (U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen) Nielsen is using to create fear.”

READ MORE: New migrant caravan sets out from Honduras for U.S.

His group, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said in a statement there was no evidence the new caravan would be that large, noting “there has never been a caravan of the size that Sanchez Cordero mentioned.” Indeed, past caravans hit very serious logistical hurdles at 7,000-strong.

She and others suspect the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump may be trying to fan fears of a big caravan to turn the U.S. national agenda back to the immigration issue.

Honduran activist Bartolo Fuentes, who accompanied a large caravan last year, dismissed the new reports as “part of the U.S. government’s plans, something made up to justify their actions.”

A caravan of about 2,500 Central Americans and Cubans is currently making its way through Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas. The largest of last year’s caravans in Mexico contained about 7,000 people at its peak, though some estimates ran as high as 10,000 at some points.

Mexico appears to be both tiring of the caravans and eager not to anger the United States. It has stopped granting migrants humanitarian visas at the border, and towns along the well-travelled route to Mexico City sometimes no longer allow caravans to spend the night.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday that Mexico is doing its part to fight immigrant smuggling.

“We are going to do everything we can to help. We don’t in any way want a confrontation with the U.S. government,” he said. “It is legitimate that they are displeased and they voice these concerns.”

READ MORE: Tired and angry, migrant caravan splinters in Mexican state

Sanchez Cordero has pledged to form a police line of “containment” around Mexico’s narrow Tehuantepec Isthmus to stop migrants from continuing north to the U.S. border.

The containment belt would consist of federal police and immigration agents, but such highway blockades and checkpoints have not stopped large and determined groups of migrants in the past.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

Hazelton RCMP officer pleads not guilty to assault

A trial date for Const. Eric Unrau will be set on Apr. 23

Blackwater Gold Project receives a thumbs up from the Environmental Assessment Agency

The $1.8 billion project will provide approximately 2,000 jobs

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select sailings

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries will be available on the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Elizabeth May’s B.C. wedding will be a ‘low carbon affair’ on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Verdict scheduled in Giesbrecht murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court justice will render his decision May 24

Most Read