Thousands of Honduran migrants who left their country in a caravan heading north to the US on Sunday resumed their journey after fulfilling Mexico's migration requirements to ensure that the US southern neighbor did not deport them if they had entered that country illegally.
According to officials with Mexico's Civil Protection service, more than 3,000 migrants are en route along the 40-kilometer (25-mile) stretch between Ciudad Hidalso and Tapachula, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, where they announced that they intend to spend Sunday night.
A force of more than 600 state and federal police have set up a roadblock some 5 km outside Tapachula, apparently with the aim of halting the massive caravan before it reaches the city.
Mexico's Foreign Relations Secretariat reported that as of Oct. 19 around 4,500 Central American migrants had arrived at the country's southern border and had been provided with ongoing humanitarian aid.
Mexico said that 640 of the migrants had been referred to the National Migration Institute after expressing their aim to request asylum and 500 had said they wanted to return to Honduras.
The ministry said that 900 migrants tried to enter Mexico "informally" - that is, illegally - most of them by swimming the Suchiate River, and they had been "rescued" by Mexican authorities and would be repatriated to their countries of origin.
In all, more than 2,000 members of the caravan, which departed Honduras on Oct. 13, have decided to voluntarily return to their country, according to Honduran Deputy Foreign Minister Nelly Jerez.
The migrants abandoned their trek in Guatemala and at the Mexican border and they were given aid and basic amenities and guaranteed a safe and orderly return to their communities.
Meanwhile, the charge d'affaires at the US Embassy in Honduras, Heide Fulton, on Sunday advised the Honduran caravan members to return to their country, calling their journey to the US border "incredibly dangerous."
"Please return to #Honduras. This trip is incredibly dangerous and @POTUS has said that those who attempt to enter the US illegally will be arrested and deported. The Migrant Attention Centers are ready to help you," she said on Twitter, referring to US President Donald Trump and the centers set up in Honduras to help migrants.