Mexican officials find 175 migrants in trucks near southern border

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican authorities found 175 migrants, mostly from Guatemala, crammed into a truck trailer in the southern state of Chiapas, the National Institute for Migration (INM) said on Friday. This was Mexico’s latest mass smuggling incident in the country.

Immigration officials heard screams and pops from inside the vehicle when it was stopped at a checkpoint in Chiapas, INM said in a statement.

Although the driver refused to open the back door of the truck, the faces of the migrants could be seen through the vents in the compartment, INM said.

Images released by the institute showed people standing close together inside the truck before descending one by one with the help of INM agents.

Most migrants came from Guatemala, others from Ecuador, El Salvador and Honduras. One person was from the Dominican Republic and one from Pakistan.

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The group included 28 unaccompanied minors from Guatemala and two from El Salvador.

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Latin America often pay smugglers to clandestinely pass through Mexico on their way to the United States. A group discovered earlier this year included more than 300 people in a truck trailer in the eastern state of Veracruz.

US Homeland Security official Blas Nunez-Neto said last week encounters with migrants at the US-Mexico border have fallen by 70% since the end of COVID-era border restrictions, known as Title 42, on May 11 .

Still, the number of US-bound migrants traversing the dangerous jungle between Panama and Colombia has skyrocketed this year, Panamanian data shows, underscoring the challenge the US faces in trying to stem rising migration to contain

(Reporting by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Daina Beth Solomon and Alistair Bell)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.


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