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Fence Along Mexico-Guatemala Border-Fiction!

Wall Along Mexico-Guatemala Border-Fiction! 

Summary of eRumor:
Images claiming to show a wall along the Mexico-Guatemala border have sparked questions about why Mexico opposes a wall along the U.S. border while maintaining a massive wall at the Mexico-Guatemala border.
The Truth:
There’s no wall or fence along the Mexico-Guatemala border, and by all accounts it’s easy to pass between the sparsely populated regions of the two countries undetected.
This rumor began circulating after President Donald Trump signed an executive order laying the ground work for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border in the first week of his presidency. Photos that allegedly showed a massive, well-maintained wall at the Mexico-Guatemala border questioned why Trump had been called “racist” for proposing to build a wall even though Mexican leaders had apparently adopted that same strategy at the Mexico-Guatemala border:

Mexico-Guatemala border fence
This image shows a section of the U.S.-Mexico border, not the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Mexico-Guatemala border fence
This image shows a section of the Israel-Egypt border, not the Mexico-Guatemala border.

But these images don’t actually show the Mexico-Guatemala border. The first photo was taken at the U.S.-Mexico border by photographer Matt Clark of Defenders of Wildlife in 2013 to document how the 640 mile section of border fence impacts wildlife habitats along the U.S.-Mexico border. The second image shows a border fence that Israel erected along its border with Egypt in 2013. Neither of these photos actually shows the Mexico-Guatemala border.
And, according to a report by the Washington Office on Latin America (WHOLA), there’s little, if any, border fencing to be found along the “porous” Mexico-Guatemala border. These regions are sparsely populated an separated only by narrow rivers in the southwest and north, and by dense vegetation in other areas:

A key reason for the porosity is a lack of population density. Mexico’s southern border states account for less than 5 percent of its population, and Guatemala’s border states are about 20 percent. With the exception of the area around the Pacific coastal highway—which is near Mexico’s southernmost and Guatemala’s westernmost point—most of these states’ populations live far from the border area. The border is either a narrow river—the Suchiate in the southwest, the Usumacinta further north—or just a straight line over land that is often uninhabited and covered by dense vegetation.

As a result, crossing the border is trivially easy, and Mexico has chosen to focus its border security controls further from the line, in the border states’ interior.

The porous Mexico-Guatemala border, combined with Mexico’s lax border patrol, has been a major contributing factor to waves upon waves of Central American migrants making their way through Mexico and crossing over into America’s southwest in recent years, WHOLA reports:

As would be expected of a sparsely populated zone, Mexico and Guatemala maintain only ten official border crossings. The Chiapas Border Police, a small force, claims that an additional 45 informal vehicle crossings exist between Chiapas and Guatemala. A 2010 State Department cablereports that in all, “only 125 Mexican immigration officials monitor the 577 mile border with Guatemala.”

In between the official crossings, the border is still easily traversed: the walls, sensors, and constant patrols that characterize the U.S.-Mexico border zone are absent here. Only in its remotest desert territories does the U.S.-Mexico border at all resemble the lack of fortification that characterizes most of the Mexico-Guatemala borderline.

So, claims that a wall runs along the Mexico-Guatemala border are “fiction.”