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The Latest: Central America leaders want probe of caravans

November 5, 2018
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U.S.-bound Central American migrants begin their morning trek with a free ride in the back of a truck as they leave Cordoba, Veracruz state, Mexico, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. A big group of Central Americans pushed on toward Mexico City from a coastal state Monday, planning to exit a part of the country that has long been treacherous for migrants seeking to get to the United States. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Latest on the caravans of Central American migrants making their way through Mexico (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The presidents of Guatemala and Honduras are calling for an investigation to identify the organizers of a caravan of migrants who are nearing the Mexican capital on a journey they hope will take them to the United States.

The two countries have been under intense pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to clamp down on the caravans.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said Monday that “thousands” of his countrymen have returned to Honduras. Mexico’s Interior Ministry said over the weekend it has helped transport around 500 migrants who asked for assistance returning to their countries of origin.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales went further, calling for an investigation of people who “promote or participate” in the caravan, saying those people “should be judged based on international laws.”

Most of the migrants interviewed in recent days say they joined the march spontaneously in hopes of safety in numbers.

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9:45 a.m.

Officials in Mexico City say hundreds of migrants have arrived in the capital from the caravan that set out from Central America more than three weeks ago.

Nashieli Ramirez, ombudsman for the city’s human rights commission, said more than 500 migrants arrived Sunday at the Jesus Martinez stadium on the eastern side of the city, where they were served hot meals and supplied with blankets to spend the night.

City officials are preparing to soon receive as many as 5,000 migrants at the stadium, which has capacity to seat 6,000. Ramirez said the migrants may stay as long as necessary.

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7:10 a.m.

A large group of Central American migrants has resumed its trek toward Mexico City, planning to join several hundreds who have already arrived in the Mexican capital in hopes of finding some way to reach the U.S. border.

It’s an ambitious jump from the city of Cordoba, where many spent the night. The capital is nearly 180 miles (300 kilometers) ahead — a long distance for people alternately hitchhiking and walking.

The day didn’t start easily; migrants briefly blocked traffic on the busy highway to beseech passing truckers for a ride. None agreed.

Among the group is 42-year-old Yuri Juarez, who says he closed his internet cafe in Villanueva, Guatemala, after gang members extorted him, robbed his customers and then stole his computers.

He say she knows there’s a “very low” chance of asylum in the U.S. But he says he’s got no way to work anymore back home.

Mexico’s Interior Ministry estimated over the weekend that there are more than 5,000 migrants in total currently moving through southern Mexico via the caravans or in smaller groups. The ministry said 2,793 migrants have applied for refugee status in Mexico in recent weeks and around 500 have asked for help to return to their home countries.

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