First Blood: Caravan Member Dead After Clash at Mexican Border


A member of a second caravan trying to make its way from Central America to the U.S. border has been killed after clashes that were caught on video, news reports state.

“Several hundred migrants tried to cross the Suchiate River from Guatemala to Mexico en masse on Monday, but were met by ranks of Mexican federal police who blocked them from entering,” according to The Associated Press.

“The standoff on the riverbank follow a more violent confrontation that occurred on the nearby bridge over the river the night before, when migrants tossed rocks and used sticks against Mexico police. One migrant was killed Sunday night by a head wound, but the cause was unclear.”

The migrants had originally planned to use a bridge to cross the border, a tactic that had ended in confrontation on Sunday. Instead, they decided to take a cue from the other caravan group, which had crossed at a river by wading with rafts.

When they moved toward the river, however, the migrants found conditions had changed.

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“But since that crossing, the Mexican Navy has begun patrolling the Suchiate River and Mexican police have taken up positions on the riverbank, insisting migrants register before entering and show travel documents that many do not have,” the AP reported.

“A Mexican helicopter hovered above a mass of several hundred migrants who had waded across the chest-high river Monday, apparently using the downdraft from its rotors to discourage them.”

That turned attention back to the bridge.

“Earlier Monday, about 600 migrants had gathered on the bridge, where Mexican federal police had blocked one end. The migrants had gasoline bombs made of soft-drink bottles, and improvised PVC tubes to launch fireworks or other projectiles,” the AP reported.

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“On Sunday, the migrants broke through border barriers on the Guatemalan side of the bridge, only to confront Mexican police, who blocked them from entering Mexico.

“Guatemala’s Interior Ministry said the second group had wounded Guatemalan police and used children as human shields, and Guatemalan firefighters confirmed that a 26-year-old Honduran had been killed from a blow to the head.”

Mexico Interior Secretary Alfonso Navarrete Prida said the illegal migrants would be turned back, the AP reported.

“The Mexican government rejects the acts of violence on the border with Guatemala, and reiterates that the only way to enter Mexico is to obey immigration laws,” Navarrete Prida said, according to the AP.

There were no reports of Navarrete Prida being struck down by lightning in the aftermath of that remark about obedience to immigration laws, we are duty-bound to report.

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Indeed, that’s the interesting part of this whole thing: Mexico actually defended its borders and nobody seemed to mind. Agence France-Presse posted a video on YouTube showing some of the confrontation.

“Navarrete Prida said Mexican federal police and immigration agents were attacked with rocks, glass bottles and fireworks when migrants broke through a gate on the Mexican side of the border, but were prevented from entering,” the AP reported. “Navarrete (Prida) said some of the attackers carried guns and firebombs. There was no evidence that the first caravan had come with weapons.”

There’s an added bit of irony here: Generally speaking, if one is seeking asylum, the procedure is to apply at the first country one sets foot in that isn’t one’s own. In this case, that would be Guatemala or, failing that, Mexico. Instead, the migrants had no intention of seeking asylum — which should tell you all you need to know about just what the true aims of these caravans are.

Yet, Mexico can defend itself against border incursions like this. So can other countries. Just not the United States. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

It does, in the perverse logic of the caravan’s supporters. This isn’t about asylum. This is about scoring political points and making a statement.

Now, that statement has cost the life of one of the caravan’s members. Rest assured that American liberals won’t take any responsibility for it.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture