Image provided by the daily La Jornada shows Mexican National Guards stationing along the bank of the Suchiate River to prevent Central American migrants from breaking through on Jan. 20, 2020. Hundreds of undocumented Central American migrants on Monday tried to force their way across Mexico's southern border with Guatemala. (Victor Camacho/La Jornada/Handout via Xinhua)
MEXICO CITY, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of undocumented Central American migrants on Monday tried to force their way across Mexico's southern border with Guatemala.
Mexican television broadcasts showed the migrants, members of a caravan that set out from Honduras last week, scrambling across the seasonally shallow Suchiate River that runs between Mexico and Guatemala.
Unarmed Mexican National Guard troops stationed along the riverbank tried to prevent the caravan from breaking through, though local media said scores of migrants managed to make it across.
The incident took place around 11 a.m. local time, after Mexican immigration officials rejected caravan organizers' demands they be allowed entry so they could continue their journey toward the United States unhindered.
A statement issued by the National Immigration Institute (INM) was read to the migrants amassed at the border-crossing point between Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas and Tecun Uman, in Guatemala, by local INM official Carmen de los Santos.
The law does not allow for the free passage of migrants simply because they are headed to another destination, the INM said.
De los Santos then invited the migrants to apply for entry on an individual basis.
On Saturday, the caravan had attempted to rush the border via a bridge over the Suchiate that connects the two towns, but again National Guard troops prevented it.
A migrant caravan of hundreds, including children, set out from the north Honduran town of San Pedro Sula before daybreak on Wednesday, in a bid to reach the U.S. border. Along the way, the caravan grew as Central Americans from El Salvador and Guatemala joined the effort, according to Mexican officials.
At the end of 2018 and in 2019, waves of migrant caravans succeeded in crossing into Mexico and amassing at the U.S. border, raising tensions between Mexico and the United States.
The two countries later agreed to bolster border security to promote the orderly entry of migrants.