2nd, smaller caravan heads through Guatemala towards Mexican border
Much larger group pauses in southern Mexico, still 1,100 kilometres from U.S.
A second caravan of Central American migrants is making its way north today.
Casa del Migrante, a migrant shelter in Guatemala City, said more than 1,000 people who set out from Honduras were moving through Guatemala toward the Mexican border. Some local media said more than 2,000 are part of it.
At the same time, the first, much larger caravan of migrants, which left Honduras Oct. 12, has paused in southern Mexico on its planned journey toward the United States.
U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to begin cutting millions of dollars in aid to Central America and called the caravan in Mexico a national emergency as he seeks to boost his Republican Party's chances in the Nov. 6 congressional elections.
The first caravan, which has been estimated to comprise 7,000 to 10,000 mostly Honduran migrants fleeing violence and poverty in their homelands, is currently in the Mexican town of Huixtla in Chiapas state, about 50 km north of the Guatemalan border.
Migrant Alexander Fernandez said the group planned to move again early on Wednesday morning.
Mobile medical clinic
A mobile medical clinic truck has pulled into the main square of Huixtla to treat the migrants. Portable toilets have been set up in one corner of the plaza.
The caravan is so large that a few hundred of the migrants camped out on a basketball court outside of town. There are no bathrooms there, and little donated food.
The caravan is resting today out of respect for a Honduran migrant who fell from a vehicle yesterday and died.
Huixtla municipal worker Daniel Lopez said the town is offering some food and water as well as basic painkillers and rehydration liquids.
He said some children are running high temperatures.
Two migrant deaths
Trump and fellow Republicans have sought to make the caravan and immigration issues in the election, which will determine whether their party keeps control of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
Again on Tuesday, Trump suggested that there are Middle Easterners in the caravan. "There could very well be," he told reporters in the Oval Office. Asked if he has proof, he said, "I have very good information." Pressed on the matter again a few minutes later, Trump conceded, "There is no proof of anything. But there could very well be."
At a campaign rally in Houston Monday night, Trump falsely accused Democrats of "encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders and overwhelm our nation."
He added: "We need a wall built fast."
Honduran authorities say that at least two men have died so far on Mexican roads during the advance of the caravan. One of the men fell off a truck in Mexico, and the other died trying to get onto a truck in Guatemala, authorities said.
The caravan in Mexico is still more than 1,800 km from the U.S. border.
Mexico, which has refused Trump's demands that it pay for a border wall between the countries, tries to walk a fine line between showing solidarity with the Central American migrants and responding to Washington's demands to control its borders.
Mexico hopes to disperse the convoy long before it can reach the border, telling migrants to register with authorities in order to submit applications for asylum in Mexico.
That process can last weeks, and migrants are supposed to stay where they register while applications are processed. If they violate those rules, they face deportation.
With files from The Associated Press and CBC News