134 Migrants Found In Locked Tractor Trailer In Mexico

By Jorge Valencia
Published: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 4:51pm

Mexican police and military found more than 100 Central American migrants struggling to break out of a cramped tractor trailer in the coastal state of Veracruz on Thursday, according to a statement. 

Authorities found 134 migrants — from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — as some of them were trying to break the tractor trailer’s lock from inside, a joint statement from several federal agencies said. Seventy-one of the people found were under age.

Some of the people were dehydrated and were treated for minor injuries. The tractor trailer was found on Federal Highway 180, which follows Mexico’s Gulf Coast. 

The Mexican government’s recent crackdown on migrants, initiated after President Donald Trump threatened to implement tariffs against the country’s exports to the U.S., has pushed many to risky routes and means of transportation, sometimes involving smugglers who pack dozens of people into truck trailers intended for cargo. 

Others ride on top of rattling trains through remote stretches of southern Mexico. A 19-year-old woman was killed as she tried to board the train in the state of Tabasco, the Associated Press reported. About 40 migrants traveling atop a train were detained by authorities on Thursday, the Associated Press reported

Detained migrants who are eligible to apply for asylum in Mexico are often deported without being informed of their rights, said Maria Jose Lazcano, a Guadalajara-based migrant rights advocate who co-authors an annual report on migration through Mexico. 

“We've heard of a lot of cases that this happens,” Lascano said. “They arrest them, or they detain them, and then they don't even ask if their lives are at risk, and they just deport them to their countries of origin.”

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