Mexico intercepts over 500 migrants in two days

By Brendan O’Boyle

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican authorities on Sunday said they intercepted over 500 migrants in two days in the eastern state of Veracruz as authorities crack down on the transportation of migrants toward the United States in unsafe conditions.

Authorities found 206 migrants abandoned in a tractor-trailer on Saturday in the town of Puente Nacional, Veracruz, a source at the National Migration Institute (INM) said.

The town’s mayor Roberto Montiel wrote on Facebook that “over 180” migrants were found, including women and children, with some of the migrants presenting signs of dehydration.

Earlier on Sunday, the INM reported in a statement that authorities had intercepted 303 migrants in two operations on Friday morning in Veracruz.

In the first, authorities found 107 migrants without regular migration status, including 20 unaccompanied minors, in a tractor trailer after it was pulled over on the highway.

Six people were arrested for alleged roles in transporting the migrants, who hailed from Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, the INM’s statement said.

Also on Friday, authorities found 196 migrants, including 19 unaccompanied minors, packed into an improperly parked tractor-trailer detected on a road close to the city of Fortin de las Flores.

Five of the migrants were adults from Guatemala and another five adults from India, the INM statement said, without providing further details on the other migrants’ nationalities.

The precarious smuggling of migrants en route to the United States has ended in notable tragedies in recent years.

Fifty-five people were killed in December 2021 after a truck carrying an estimated 166 migrants crashed in Mexico’s southern Chiapas state.

In June 2022, fifty-three migrants died in a sweltering tractor trailer in Texas in the deadliest migrant-trafficking incident on record in the United States.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Boyle; editing by Diane Craft)