Mexican authorities intercept 652 migrants in refrigerated containers

The 652 migrants found in Mexico were transported in refrigerated trucks.

The 652 migrants found in Mexico were transported in refrigerated trucks.

Photo: Alfredo Peña / EFE

Mexican authorities intercepted 652 Central American immigrants, 355 of them minors, while they were traveling crowded together in three refrigerated trailers on a highway in Tamaulipas, a state bordering Texas. Many of these minors were traveling alone, authorities reported this Friday.

Of the total of migrants, 564 were from Guatemala, 39 from Honduras, 20 from El Salvador, 28 from Nicaragua and one from Belize.

This is the largest number of migrants detained in the country. Most will be deported.

Of these, 197 were minors who traveled unaccompanied, as detailed in a statement from the State Coordination Group for the Construction of Peace in Tamaulipas, in which state and federal authorities participate.

The discovery occurred on Thursday around 8:00 pm at an Army checkpoint located on the highway that runs from Ciudad Victoria to Monterrey, Nuevo León. According to the first investigations, the migrants traveled from Puebla to Monterrey.

Authorities detained four people allegedly involved in the event. While personnel from the Mexican Red Cross came to give medical assistance to those who requested it.

Now, the authorities of the National Migration Institute (INM) and the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) are working to determine the immigration status of the intercepted persons, as well as the legal situation of the four detainees.

The region has registered in recent months historical migratory flow with 147,000 undocumented persons detected in the United States from January to August, triple that of 2020, and a record of 212,000 undocumented persons detained in July alone by the Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP, in English).

In September, a group of at least 550 Haitians was intercepted at a military checkpoint known as “La Coma,” on a highway a few kilometers from the municipal seat of San Fernando, Tamaulipas. And this Tuesday a total of 103 Central American migrants, including 38 minors, were detained by INM agents at a checkpoint in the state of Tabasco, southeastern Mexico, according to the immigration institution itself.

On the other side of the border Border Patrol agents found five migrants wounded by gunshot wounds on the banks of the Rio Grande on Monday, in another incident that recalls the dangers faced by thousands of families who try to cross the border irregularly.

The undocumented are easy prey for violence and organized crime. The pro-immigrant group Human Rights First has evidence of at least 6,356 migrants who have been kidnapped, abused or attacked since January of this year.

With information from Efe and Reform.


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