Coordinators of a caravan of several thousand Central American migrants moving through southern Mexico urged its members to rest Sunday. At first the migrants vowed to press on anyway but later changed their minds amid reports that a child had been abducted.

The migrants said they would stay and hold a meeting Sunday in Tapanatepec. Late Saturday night, groups of migrants were running through the town’s streets saying a migrant’s child had been snatched. Something similar led to a panic at an earlier stop, but was not confirmed.

A family walks among other migrants in the Central American migrant caravan that slowly making its way toward the U.S. border, outside Arriaga, Mexico, before dawn on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
A family walks among other migrants in the Central American migrant caravan that slowly making its way toward the U.S. border, outside Arriaga, Mexico, before dawn on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

After being delayed for a couple hours when federal police halted their exit from the town of Arriaga Saturday morning, most of the migrants arrived in Tapanatepec in the searing heat. Dozens headed down to the Novillero river below the central square to bathe, wash clothing and cool off. Others lined up at a medical aid station mostly for attention to their battered feet.

Mexican federal police in riot gear block the highway to keep a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants from advancing on their way to the U.S. border, outside Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Mexican federal police in riot gear block the highway to keep a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants from advancing on their way to the U.S. border, outside Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

For the first time an arm of the federal government seemed to be directly helping the migrants advance rather than trying to diminish the caravan. In this case Grupo Beta, Mexico’s migrant protection agency, gave rides to stragglers and passed out water.

Lenny embraces her son Steven, 1, while bathing after walking with a Central American caravan of migrants in Tapanatepec, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. On Saturday, more than a hundred federal police dressed in riot gear blocked a rural highway in southern Mexico shortly before dawn to encourage the migrants to apply for refugee status in Mexico rather than continuing the long, arduous journey north. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Lenny embraces her son Steven, 1, while bathing after walking with a Central American caravan of migrants in Tapanatepec, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. On Saturday, more than a hundred federal police dressed in riot gear blocked a rural highway in southern Mexico shortly before dawn to encourage the migrants to apply for refugee status in Mexico rather than continuing the long, arduous journey north. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

At the caravan’s regular evening meeting in the town square, its coordinators tried to force a little chivalry.

Migrants hitch rides on passing truck as they continue on their journey after Mexican police briefly blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Migrants hitch rides on passing truck as they continue on their journey after Mexican police briefly blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Many of the migrants have depended on hitchhiking to move between towns rather than walking the entire way. When trucks stop it’s usually young men who sprint to reach them first. Women carrying children or pushing strollers are at a disadvantage.

A migrant from Bolivia tries to put a flower on his dog
A migrant from Bolivia tries to put a flower on his dog “Nena,” who he has been traveling with for almost two months since meeting her in Nicaragua, as a caravan of thousands of Central Americans waits on the highway after Mexican police blocked the road, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

On Saturday night, a nun scolded the men and urged the women to be more aggressive in pursuing the rides. She said the church would help arrange five trucks to transport only women with children on the next trek to Niltepec about 33 miles (54 kms) away.

Weary Central American migrants wait on a path away from the the roadside after Mexican police in riot gear briefly blocked the highway to keep them from advancing, outside Arriaga, Chiapas state, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Migrants declined to accept a deal offered by the Mexican government allowing them to apply for refugee status if they halted their journey in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. Eventually police let them pass, with the agreement that the dialogue with authorities would continue at their next stop. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Weary Central American migrants wait on a path away from the the roadside after Mexican police in riot gear briefly blocked the highway to keep them from advancing, outside Arriaga, Chiapas state, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Migrants declined to accept a deal offered by the Mexican government allowing them to apply for refugee status if they halted their journey in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. Eventually police let them pass, with the agreement that the dialogue with authorities would continue at their next stop. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“To me it’s bad because there has to be equality because we are all struggling on this path,” said Hector Alvarado. The 25-year-old from Atlantida, Honduras said he had to quit school and leave his wife and 2-year-old daughter to try to make a living in the U.S.

Migrant women, one carrying a child, rest on a highway before dawn, after Mexican police blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Migrant women, one carrying a child, rest on a highway before dawn, after Mexican police blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Rosa Bonilla is travelling with a 10-year-old daughter and a son who will turn 2 this year. The single mother conceded that she never beat the men to the trucks that stopped, but said some men looked out for the mothers and made sure they got on.

A man climbs onto the undercarriage of a moving truck, as Central American migrants hitch rides amidst a walking caravan of thousands, outside Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A man climbs onto the undercarriage of a moving truck, as Central American migrants hitch rides amidst a walking caravan of thousands, outside Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“I don’t agree that it should only be women with children,” she said. She argued that husbands should be allowed on because they help protect the women.

In this Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 photo, a migrant with his bandaged foot sleeps after walking with a caravan of Central American migrants that slowly is making its way toward the U.S. border, in Arriaga, Mexico. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 photo, a migrant with his bandaged foot sleeps after walking with a caravan of Central American migrants that slowly is making its way toward the U.S. border, in Arriaga, Mexico. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

“If we go alone anything could happen,” she said.

The Mexican government seems torn between stopping the migrants from traveling toward the U.S. border or burnishing its international human rights image.

A woman pushes two children in a single stroller as migrants advance after Mexican police briefly blockaded the road, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A woman pushes two children in a single stroller as migrants advance after Mexican police briefly blockaded the road, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

On Saturday, more than a hundred federal police dressed in riot gear blocked a rural highway in southern Mexico shortly before dawn to encourage the migrants to apply for refugee status in Mexico rather than continuing the long, arduous journey north. U.S. President Donald Trump has urged Mexico to prevent the caravan from reaching the border.

A young man rests on the side of the highway as others walk past, after Mexican police briefly blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A young man rests on the side of the highway as others walk past, after Mexican police briefly blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Police let the caravan proceed after representatives from Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission convinced them that a rural stretch of highway without shade, toilets or water was no place for migrants to entertain an offer of asylum. Many members of the caravan have been travelling for more than two weeks, since a group first formed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

A man shields his face from the sun with a Honduran flag, as Mexico's federal police briefly blocked the highway in an attempt to stop a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields had blocked the caravan from advancing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A man shields his face from the sun with a Honduran flag, as Mexico’s federal police briefly blocked the highway in an attempt to stop a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields had blocked the caravan from advancing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Not long after the caravan resumed its advance Saturday, government officials lent them a hand.

Migrants rest on a highway before dawn, after Mexican police blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Migrants rest on a highway before dawn, after Mexican police blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Martin Rojas, an agent from Mexico’s migrant protection agency Grupo Beta, said he and his fellow agents planned to use agency pickup trucks to help stragglers catch up with the caravan.

A young man rests on the side of the highway after Mexican police blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A young man rests on the side of the highway after Mexican police blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan of Central American migrants from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“There are people fainting, there are wounded,” said Rojas, who spoke to The Associated Press after dropping off a group of women and children in Tapanatepec, where the caravan planned to spend the night. Rojas transported the group to their destination after spotting them on a highway trudging through temperatures approaching 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

Migrants wave the flags of Honduras and Mexico as they stand stalled after Mexican police blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Migrants wave the flags of Honduras and Mexico as they stand stalled after Mexican police blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

The caravan still must travel 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) to reach the nearest U.S. border crossing at McAllen, Texas. The trip could be twice as long if the 4,000 or so migrants head for the Tijuana-San Diego frontier, as another caravan did earlier this year. Only about 200 in that group made it to the border.

Migrants rest on a highway before dawn, after Mexican police blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Migrants rest on a highway before dawn, after Mexican police blockaded the road to keep them from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields briefly blocked the caravan from continuing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Most of the migrants in the caravan appeared determined to reach the U.S., despite an offer of refuge in Mexico.

Migrants walk along the road after Mexico's federal police briefly blocked the highway in an attempt to stop a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields had blocked the caravan from advancing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Migrants walk along the road after Mexico’s federal police briefly blocked the highway in an attempt to stop a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields had blocked the caravan from advancing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto launched a program on Friday dubbed “You are home,” which promises shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs to Central Americans who agree to stay in the southern Mexico states of Chiapas or Oaxaca, far from the U.S. border.

Migrants walk along the road after Mexico's federal police briefly blocked the highway in an attempt to stop a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields had blocked the caravan from advancing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Migrants walk along the road after Mexico’s federal police briefly blocked the highway in an attempt to stop a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields had blocked the caravan from advancing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Mexico’s Interior Ministry said that temporary identity numbers have been issued to 111 migrants under the program. The IDs, called CURPs, authorize the migrants to stay and work in Mexico, and the ministry said pregnant women, children and the elderly were among those who had joined the program and were now being attended at shelters.

Mexican federal police drive away past Central Americans continuing on their journey, after police removed the blockade that had briefly halted a thousands-strong migrant caravan outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas state, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields had blocked the caravan from advancing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Mexican federal police drive away past Central Americans continuing on their journey, after police removed the blockade that had briefly halted a thousands-strong migrant caravan outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas state, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields had blocked the caravan from advancing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

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Source: The Associated Press

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