MEXICO CITY–Mexican authorities detained 652 migrants, including some 350 children, traveling in three refrigerated double-trailer trucks near the U.S. southern border, officials said Friday.
Officials said that most children went without a guardian or parent. The majority of migrants came from Guatemala.
Four men who were alleged to be in charge of large groups were taken into federal custody and interrogated at Mexican federal prosecutors.
The incident is one of the largest single detentions for migrants, according to a Mexican official. In March, immigration authorities found 329 people in three trucks. This year, authorities detained groups of more than 100 migrants at least on four occasions.
” This has not been done before in the past few years as far as my memory can recall,” Luis Alberto Rodriguez (security spokesman for Tamaulipas) said. According to Rodriguez, children as young at 3 years were being killed.
The arrest comes as apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border for the fiscal year 2021 reached 1. 47 million through August, U.S. Border Patrol numbers show, on track to breach the record of 1. 64 million apprehensions in 2000. September is the end of fiscal years. 30.
Many migrants come from further afield. This includes tens of thousands of Haitians who left the island country years ago. They are now moving again due to tightening Chilean immigration regulations and the economic hardship caused by the pandemic.
Most migrants flee poverty and unemployment in the midst of high crime, political instability, and a pandemic. These migrants are often moved by mafias that control the routes and often bribe officials. Many migrants pay thousands to cross the border.
“[This] demonstrates the sophistication and disregard of human-smuggling network operating in the region and their disregard for safety of migrants. It also shows how they can take advantage of desperate and vulnerable people to offer them the opportunity to cross the border to the United States,” stated Maureen Meyer of Washington Office on Latin America, an immigration specialist.
On Friday in Mexico City, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Mexican officials met to discuss a new security strategy that included cooperation with Mexican authorities on the pursuit of people who are smuggling through Mexico.
The migrants who were found in three trucks from Tamaulipas were taken to shelters in Ciudad Victoria or Tampico. The state social services will handle families and children. The state social services will determine if they can be returned to their homeland.
” The children are peaceful. The state official, Mr. Rodriguez said that the children seem unaware of their situation and the difficulties they’re going through.
Write to Juan Montes at email@example.com
Corrections & Amplifications
Three refrigerated double trailer trucks were used by the migrants to transport them. In an earlier version, this article misrepresented that they traveled in three double-trailer trucks. This article was corrected on October 9, )
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