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Mexican authorities must guarantee that no one at risk of danger in Honduras is deported and that caravan members are informed of their right to seek asylum, said Amnesty International today in response to news that several members of the caravan were transferred to a migration detention center rather than to a shelter.

“Mexican authorities must at all times avoid detaining children and separating families; they should also attend to the urgent humanitarian needs, avoid using force at all costs and identify those people who are fleeing violence and are in need of international protection,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Thousands of members of a caravan of people from Honduras and Central America began to cross the bridge that divides Guatemala and Mexico yesterday. Several people were wounded during the crossing and tear gas was briefly used by federal police. Thousands of people spent the night on the bridge without proper shelter, food or protection. Several caravan members were transported to a detention center in the city of Tapachula, which is commonly the place where deportation buses depart from.

“Returning people who fear for their lives due to violence or persecution in Honduras would violate international law. The Mexican government should put the human rights of the caravan members at the heart of the response, and not let the US Trump Administration´s pressure  prevent it from fulfilling its international obligations,” said Guevara-Rosas

Amnesty International recently published a report that found that 75% of a group of people surveyed by Amnesty International detained by Mexican migrations authorities were not informed of their right to seek asylum in Mexico.

In addition, the Guatemalan and Honduran authorities have prevented people from crossing the border in response to the arrival of many more persons.

“The governments of Guatemala and Honduras must ensure the right to freedom of movement rather than focusing on a police response and the use of force and ensure proper protection and assistance for these people.”

Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights outlines that: “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own.”