Caravan of hope

Thousands of people are making their way from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala towards the United States border, on foot.

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Carrying belongings in backpacks and sleeping wherever they can, the migrants have travelled hundreds of miles.

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They say they are fleeing violence and poverty in the hope of a better life for themselves and their children.

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The Mexican authorities tried to stop the caravan at a bridge between Mexico and Guatemala - but many continued regardless - some swimming across the Suchiate River.

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Others decided they had had enough and returned home on transport organised by the Honduran authorities.

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An estimated 10% of the population of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have fled danger, forced gang recruitment and dismal economic opportunities.

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The region has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The UN reported murder rates in 2015 in Honduras standing at 63.75 deaths per 100,000 and El Salvador at 108.64 deaths

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Donald Trump is accused of using the caravan to rouse Republican voters ahead of November’s mid-term elections. He called the caravan a “national emergency” when it was still a thousand miles from the US and warned that aid could be cut to countries allowing the caravan to pass through towards the US.

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US President Donald Trump on Twitter

I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S.
Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!

Mr Trump used similar language in April to drum up support for his border security and immigration policies when another Central American convoy headed for the US.

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And according to international law, the US cannot deport asylum seekers without first determining the validity of their claim.

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Jari Dixon, a Honduras opposition politician on Twitter

They are not seeking the American dream. They are fleeing the Honduran nightmare.