Jan 21, 2020 12:32 UTC
  • Children go missing as US-bound refugees clash with Mexican forces

Mexican forces have fired tear gas at hundreds of Central American refugees as they tried to force their way through the Mexico-Guatemala border after the Mexican government rejected their request to transit toward the United States.

The refugees waded across a river into Mexico in a chaotic scramble that saw mothers separated from their young children.

Witnesses said several children went missing amid the chaos as the refugees scattered to avoid being detained by Mexican officials.

According to Mexico's National Migration Institute (INM), the mostly Honduran refugees were part of a group of several thousand people that had set off last week from Honduras, fleeing violence and poverty in their homeland.

The Honduran Ambassador to Mexico said that Mexican authorities have some 1,300 Hondurans in migration centers and will start deporting them back home on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to punish Mexico and Central American countries economically if they fail to curb the refugee flows.