178 smug­gled Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grants res­cued in Mex­ico

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Scores of Cen­tral Amer­i­cans be­ing smug­gled to the United States were res­cued Satur­day from an aban­doned truck in Mex­ico, a near-tragedy with chill­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties to a deadly in­ci­dent last week in which 10 would-be mi­grants to the US per­ished. Au­thor­i­ties said a to­tal of 178 peo­ple were found in the trac­tor-trailer truck in the town of Tan­tima in Mex­ico’s Ver­acruz state.

Of­fi­cials said oc­cu­pants of the truck on Satur­day nar­rowly averted tragedy, re­al­iz­ing at some point that they had been aban­doned by the traf­fick­ers. A few man­aged to es­cape the ve­hi­cle and en­list the aid of lo­cal res­i­dents who gave them food and wa­ter. The Cen­tral Amer­i­cans were then trans­ported by po­lice to a mi­gra­tion cen­ter, where they were given med­i­cal as­sis­tance be­fore au­thor­i­ties be­gan the process of re­turn­ing them to their coun­tries of ori­gin.

A Mex­i­can mil­i­tary source told AFP that most of the mi­grants were adults, although there were also a hand­ful of mi­nors found in the truck. Their res­cue comes less than a week af­ter the hor­rific suf­fo­ca­tion deaths of 10 mi­grants who were trapped in an 18 wheel truck and dis­cov­ered last Sun­day in a Wal­mart park­ing lot in San An­to­nio, Texas.

Au­thor­i­ties said as many as 200 mi­grants may have been crammed into the trailer found in Texas, many of whom had to be hos­pi­tal­ized. Some sur­vivors fled the park­ing lot in wait­ing cars, ac­cord­ing to wit­ness ac­counts. US Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary John Kelly in a state­ment called the “sense­less” mi­grant deaths the re­sult of a hu­man traf­fick­ing “network of abuse and death.”“These smug­glers have no re­gard for hu­man life and seek only prof­its,” said Kelly, a re­tired mil­i­tary gen­eral who has been to Mex­ico twice to dis­cuss im­mi­gra­tion, hu­man traf­fick­ing and the sprawl­ing cross-bor­der drug trade.

Of­fi­cials in the United States say fewer mi­grants are mak­ing the per­ilous over­land jour­ney to Amer­ica from Cen­tral Amer­i­can and Mex­ico in re­cent months, in large part be­cause of harsh, anti-im­mi­grant rhetoric from US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who came to power in Jan­uary. Mi­grants from Cen­tral Amer­ica and Mex­ico will­ing to make the dan­ger­ous trip risk be­ing vic­tim­ized by thieves, crim­i­nal gangs and un­scrupu­lous traf­fick­ers who some­times take their money and aban­don them in des­per­ate con­di­tions on ei­ther side of the US bor­der.

Ver­acruz and the sur­round­ing area has be­come one of the most dan­ger­ous re­gions for un­doc­u­mented mi­grants mak­ing their way to the United States, ac­cord­ing to rights groups, in part be­cause of drug car­tels like the no­to­ri­ous Ze­tas, which of­ten charges a fee be­fore al­low­ing trav­el­ers safe pas­sage. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.