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Migrants making their way to the U.S. claim extortion from Guatemalan police

The police threatened the migrants with returning them to the border if they did not pay

January 19, 2022 6:41am

Updated: January 20, 2022 12:55pm

Undocumented migrants crossing Guatemala to make their way to the U.S. claim that Guatemalan police agents demanded money from them in exchange for not returning them to the border, according to a local newspaper in the country, Prensa Libre.

A group of Venezuelan migrants taking refuge in Chiquimula claimed that agents of the National Civil Police (PNC for its name in Spanish) threatened to return them to the Honduran border if they did not give them money.

The migrants said that this was unjust since they barely have enough money for food. They claimed that the demands from the police just added another obstacle on their way to reach "the American dream."

 "My name is Karen, and I am Venezuelan. Imagine that we left our country a long time ago with the notion of someday having something because in our country we make US$3 a month... We tell them the truth that we have no money, let them check our bags, let them check our wallets because we don't really lie to them that we have no money," said one of the Venezuelan migrants.

Karen embarked on her journey two years ago, and since then, she has been taken back to the border several times after failing to give money to police agents.