Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei criticized the United States on Thursday for sending back migrants infected with the novel coronavirus to his Central American country and straining its weak health system.
Strict coronavirus lockdowns in Guatemala and El Salvador have so battered local economies that hundreds of families are flying white flags outside their homes or waving them in the street: not in surrender, but to seek food and assistance.
The United States has returned at least 1,000 unaccompanied migrant children to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras since early March despite risks of violence and discrimination that have worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations children's agency UNICEF said on Thursday.
Guatemala's indigenous Maya towns are spurning returned migrants, threatening some with burning their homes or lynching as fear spreads about more than 100 deportees from the United States who tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said on Sunday a total of 50 migrants deported by the United States to Guatemala have tested positive for coronavirus, including 14 sent to the Central American nation on a Tuesday flight.
Thirty-two Guatemalan migrants on a deportation flight from the United States earlier this week have now tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Central American nation's health ministry.
is a collection of country and region web sites providing local news and information to a worldwide audience.
Use InsideWorld’s headlines available on this site to access the latest stories. Or sign up today.