By Brendan O'Boyle
MEXICO CITY, (Reuters) – Mexican authorities said on Sunday that they had intercepted more than 500 migrants over two days in Veracruz in the east of the country. Authorities are cracking down on migrants being transported to the United States under unsafe conditions.
Sources at the National Migration Institute reported that 206 migrants were found abandoned in a trailer in Puente Nacional in Veracruz on Saturday.
Roberto Montiel, the mayor of the town, wrote on Facebook about "over 180" migrants, which included women and children. Some of them showed signs of dehydration.
In a press release issued earlier on Sunday, INM said that the authorities intercepted 303 migrants during two operations Friday morning in Veracruz.
First, the authorities discovered 107 migrants with no regular immigration status, 20 of whom were unaccompanied minors in a tractor-trailer that was stopped on the highway.
The INM released a statement that said six people had been arrested on suspicion of transporting migrants from Cuba, El Salvador Guatemala Honduras and Nicaragua.
On Friday, authorities also found 196 migrants in a tractor-trailer that was improperly parked on a highway near Fortin de las Flores. This included 19 minors who were unaccompanied.
The INM did not provide any further information on the nationalities of the other migrants.
In recent years, the precarious smuggling migrant traffickers on their way to the United States ended with tragic outcomes.
In December 2021, a truck carrying 166 migrants was involved in a crash in the southern state of Chiapas in Mexico. Fifty-five were killed.
In Texas, 53 migrants were killed in a hot tractor trailer on June 20, 2022. This was the worst migrant trafficking incident in US history.