By Rebecca Galemba, for The Washington Post
Late last month, President Trump threatened to impose trade tariffs if Mexico didn’t help stop Central American migrants from reaching the U.S. border. In response, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador pledged to send 6,000 Mexican National Guard troops to his country’s southern border with Guatemala. The goal: prevent migrants from entering Mexico in the hope of later crossing into the United States.
But the Mexico-Guatemala border is over 500 miles long, geographically diverse and relatively easy to cross — at least at the geopolitical line. My field work at the Mexico-Guatemala border suggests that stationing more military there won’t deter migration. Rather, it is likely to make migrants easier targets for crime, encourage official corruption and perhaps prompt more migration from the borderlands.
Here are five things you need to know about why it is challenging to stem migration at Mexico’s southern border.