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Guatemalan activists protest migrant asylum pact with US

Migrants from Honduras wait outside the Migrant's House shelter in Guatemala City, Friday, July 26, 2019. The Trump administration signed an agreement with Guatemala Friday that will restrict asylum applications to the U.S. from Central America. (AP Photo/ Oliver de Ros)

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemalan activist groups are protesting an agreement that President Jimmy Morales signed with Washington to require migrants passing through the Central American country to seek asylum there, rather than pushing on to the U.S.

Human rights activist Brenda Hernández is one of the organizers of a protest march planned for Saturday. She says Guatemala can barely take care of its own people, much less shelter vulnerable migrants.

In her words, “Guatemala doesn’t have the capacity to be a safe country for migrants that aren’t desired in the United States.”

Jordán Rodas is Guatemala’s state attorney for human rights and he says the accord violates the Vienna Convention because Guatemala signed under duress.

Guatemala’s top court has said the agreement must be approved by the country’s congress to be enforceable.

Sonny Figueroa, The Associated Press