President Donald Trump has threatened to cut financial aid to Honduras over a large group of migrants heading towards the US border.
In a Tweet posted on Tuesday, Mr Trump said the country’s president was told funds would be cut “immediately” if the group was not stopped and returned. The US President also warned Honduras’s neighbours, Guatemala and El Salvador, that their governments could face their funds being cut if they allowed the migrants to pass through their countries on their way north.
Honduras has a long history of poverty and corruption. It also has one of the highest murder rates in the world. About 160 people originally set off on Friday from San Pedro Sula, a notorious Honduran crime hotspot. The group grew rapidly in size to over 1,500 migrants the weekend.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Honduras foreign ministry urged its citizens against joining the caravan, dismissing it as a political ploy “to disrupt the governability, stability and peace of our countries”.
Honduras, which has a population of about nine million, has endemic problems with gang violence, drug wars and corruption.
According to the World Bank, more than 60% of the population lives in poverty, with one in five people living in extreme poverty.
The country is led by President Juan Orlando Hernandez – who was re-elected in November 2017 in a contested vote which led to election violence and protests.