Last Sunday night, the Mexican National Institute of Migration (INM) rescued 343 migrants who had been abandoned by the driver in the bed of a truck in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Most of the passengers came from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Ecuador; among them were 103 unaccompanied minors, 212 adults and 28 people traveling as a family. The rapid action of Mexican officials made it possible to avoid a tragedy that could have been major and that reveals the extent to which trucks have become the new favorite form of transportation for those migrants who want to reach the US quickly and without being detected.
Authorities found the truck parked on the side of the Cosamaloapan-La Tinaja highway. The driver had escaped and inside the box, which had ceiling and floor fans, screams could be heard. After opening the doors, hundreds of desperate migrants left inside, where they traveled enduring extreme temperatures and overcrowding. According to the INM, the traffickers had placed colored bracelets on the migrants to identify them. The floor of the trailer, according to images released by the authorities, was full of plastic bottles, articles of clothing and garbage that the migrants accumulated after several days of travel.
The unaccompanied minors and the rescued families have been placed under the guardianship of the System for the Integral Development of the Family (SDIF) of the state of Veracruz, while the adults will be processed by the local immigration authorities and will probably be deported to their homes. countries of origin. Through the monitoring of security cameras installed on highways and tolls, the authorities are trying to identify and locate the driver of the truck that left the migrants abandoned to their fate, as well as the criminal group specialized in human trafficking to which he belonged. .
The implementation of Title 42 in the US, the controversial measure that has allowed the deportation of millions of migrants to prevent the spread of Covid-19, as well as the reinforcement of controls on the Mexican side, have modified the migratory dynamics in the region in the last years. If before they opted for the formation of large caravans to protect themselves from the many dangers on the road, now many choose to pay people traffickers to transport them in large trucks with which they can travel long distances without being detected by the authorities. However, this practice carries many risks.
At the end of 2021, 55 migrants died and more than 100 were injured after the trailer they were traveling in suffered an accident in Chiapas. On June 27, 2022, on the outskirts of the Texas town of San Antonio, the deadliest tragedy in US history in terms of human trafficking occurred: the authorities found an abandoned truck in which there were 53 dead migrants and 85 alive, but on the brink of dehydration. The Mexican authorities have initiated a trial against six alleged traffickers identified in this case. In recent years, the finding of migrants crammed into trailers has multiplied, often with fatal consequences.
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