Mexican authorities recently stumbled across two semi-trucks packed with 513 illegal immigrants, bound for the American border. Police in Chiapas, Mexico, detected the illicit cargo with x-ray scanning equipment and discovered hundreds of people in dilapidated conditions were inside the trucks.
Human smuggling operation busted near Guatemalan border
Mexican authorities busted a small human smuggling operation near the border of Mexico and Guatemala, in the state of Chiapas. While two semi-trucks were driving through police checkpoints near Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, X-ray scanning equipment discovered that there were hundreds of people crammed into the cargo trailers, according to MSNBC. Between the two trucks there were 513 people who were hungry, dehydrated and holding on for dear life to the cargo ropes that had been strung between the walls for them to keep themselves upright.
Immigrants from more than five different countries
The people crammed in the back of the trucks were from a number of countries. The majority of the people in the trucks were from Guatemala, but there were also 47 El Salvadorans, 32 Ecuadorans, six from Nepal, one from Japan, one from China and 12 from India. Most were male, but there were 32 females and four children. Four smugglers were apprehended when they tried to flee, and their human cargo is in the care of Mexican authorities, according to CNN. The trucks only had air holes drilled into the top of the trailers, and and the Chiapas attorney general says the smugglers demanded $7,000 per person. The trucks were en route to Puebla, where the people would be transferred to different trucks headed for the United States. In January, a truck containing 219 migrants was discovered in the same region.
Mexico main conduit for immigration to the U.S.
Many illegal immigrants travel through Mexico to get to the United States. Mexican authorities connected with the case, according to the BBC, said that this was the biggest find in recent memory. Illegal immigrants often have to enlist the help of human smugglers, known as coyotes or coyotaje, who get them across the U.S. border for a fee. Migrants have little recourse in the event of injury and can be subject to abuse. In August of last year, according to the Christian Science Monitor, 72 migrants were slaughtered by the Zetas drug cartel and more than 10,000 were kidnapped by gangs between April and September last year as well.
Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2011/0518/More-than-500-migrants-found-crammed-in-trailers-in-Mexico
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