Guatemala-Baseline assessment of migration flows and migrants presence within the context of COVID-19 report- #4 (April, 2021)




Walter Arreaga
Period Covered
Apr 01 2021
Apr 30 2021
  • Flow Monitoring Survey
  • Flow Monitoring
  • Event Tracking

The entry and transit of migrants through Guatemala is increasingly controlledas evidenced through specific actions such as detention at the borders and control actions along the highways to identify irregular migrants attempting to transit through the country. The actions used to contain irregular migration flows include empowering the security forces, in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, to ask persons travelling through national territory to state their destination and show documents reflecting their itinerary. 

The requirement to submit a negative PCR test to enter the country prevents many migrants from entering Guatemala in a regular manner due to the high cost of the test. Therefore, many migrants choose to cross the border through irregular border crossings. It is important to mention that cases of false tests have been identified in border locations. 

Furthermore, it should be noted that a warning was issued about a new migrant caravan in April. However, this caravan was not created. Nevertheless, containment actions were established by the Government of Guatemala through the Army and the National Civil Police Force (PNC) in the departments of Guatemala bordering with Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico. There is ongoing pressure regarding irregular migration in Guatemala and the topic has been addressed as a national security situation, in view of the potential entry of migrants. Therefore, violations of the human rights of this population group are becoming increasingly visible.  

A high-level meeting with authorities of the Government of Guatemala and the US Government was held in April. During the meeting, the importance of the rule of law in Guatemala was highlighted, which should focus on creating employment, providing access to health care and education, etc., which are essential in order to ensure dignified living conditions in the country.1