Hondurans, who are part of a new caravan of migrants travelling towards the US, wait for a lift in Cofradia, Honduras, January 14 2019. Picture: REUTERS/GEORGE CABRERA
Hondurans, who are part of a new caravan of migrants travelling towards the US, wait for a lift in Cofradia, Honduras, January 14 2019. Picture: REUTERS/GEORGE CABRERA

San Pedro Sula, Honduras — Hundreds of Hondurans have set out on a trek to the US, forming another caravan that US President Donald Trump cited on Tuesday to justify building a wall on the border with Mexico.

“A big new Caravan is heading up to our Southern Border from Honduras,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “Only a Wall, or Steel Barrier, will keep our Country safe! Stop playing political games and end the Shutdown!”

As the procession left the town of San Pedro Sula under a steady rain on Monday night, one of the migrants summed up their plight: “We are leaving because there is crime and no work,” said Juan Garcia, 52.

More than 500 people set out from the centre of San Pedro Sula, which is 180km  north of the capital Tegucigalpa.

It was from the same transport hub that about 2,000 Hondurans left on October 13 in the first of a series of US-bound caravans. That and other migrant flows from El Salvador and Guatemala came to total some 13,000 people.

More than half turned around and went home, eventually. Hundreds — down from much larger numbers late in 2018  — remain at the Mexican border with the US, held back by tougher border policies under Trump and support among his base for his proposed border wall.

Trump has refused to sign off on budgets for swaths of government departments in a showdown with Democrats over funding for his border wall project, leading to the longest government shutdown in US history.

The president has made the migrant caravans one of his main targets as part of his broader anti-immigration drive in mid-term elections in November 2018.

AFP