Complete ‘mayhem’ erupts at Mexico border over migrant crisis

Anti-government protesters participate in a march in Guatemala City Guatemala

The march of the migrant has swollen now to 4,000 people, mostly Hondurans.

Still, the idea that Mexico could close its porous southern border - or that the United States would choke off the lucrative trade and other traffic between the two nations - strained the imagination.

On Saturday, Mexican agents unlocked a small side gate and allowed a group of about 40 migrants through for processing. And local media report that growing numbers of migrants have reached the Guatemalan city of Tecun Uman, across the winding Suchiate River from Mexico. About 50 managed to push their way through before officers unleashed pepper spray and the rest retreated.

The soft-spoken 25-year-old said he was travelling with three friends who chose to remain in the caravan, but that for him, the fear of being deported once he reached Mexico was too much.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in Mexico City on Friday meeting with Mexican officials, said the violence was evidence that the caravan was "an organised effort to come through and violate the sovereignty of Mexico".

Thousands of would-be migrants are stranded on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, after Mexican police blocked their bid to reach the US.

It said the smugglers never crossed the border while they helped migrants over the wall in four places.

Cristian, who is among the informal leaders of the caravan, estimated about 30 percent of the migrants want to apply for refugee status in Mexico.

Mexican police wearing anti-riot gear were waiting on the Mexican side. (JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)What have officials been saying? Others prepared to cross the river in rafts, the traditional way migrants enter.

Mexican television footage shows hundreds of migrants pushing through Guatemalan border posts and streaming onto a bridge connecting Mexico and Guatemala.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said late Friday that "Mexico does not permit and will not permit entry into its territory in an irregular fashion, much less in a violent fashion".

A federal police helicopter circled overhead while observers from the national Human Rights Commission were sent to various points along the 900-kilometer (550 miles) border.

Mexico's ambassador to Guatemala says his country has made a decision to enforce a policy of "metered entry" since thousands of migrants are clamoring to cross.

Hernandez said on Twitter he had asked Guatemalan authorities "to contract land transportation for those who wish to return - and airlift in the special cases of women, children, the elderly and the sick - and we will continue with this operation as long as necessary".

President Donald Trump at a Make America Great Again rally in Mesa, Arizona, on October 19, 2018.

"He's making a political calculation", said Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico's incoming foreign minister, about Trump's posting on Twitter, in a reference to USA midterm elections in November.

"We are about law and order and borders and jobs, and they are about allowing crime to enter our country with open borders".

Domingo Mateo, 68, from Honduras recalled how he traveled north with about a dozen Central Americans so they could watch one another's backs. "It's not going to happen", Trump told the press in Arizona.

"So as of this moment, I thank Mexico. These are tough, tough people and I don't want them in our country". One migrant said: 'One way or another, we will pass'. Espina worked as a coffee picker in a small village called La Entrada, making only pennies, he said, and had hoped to find work in the US.

"Only God on high can stop us", Escobar said.

Even with additional border security personnel, it is unlikely that Mexico could detain the thousands of migrants who appear likely to cross into the country in the coming days. They might as well turn back.

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