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Mexican authorities on Wednesday found more than 250 undocumented migrants who were riding in a truck’s severely overcrowded trailer near the Guatemalan border.
The discovery was made at around 11 am Wednesday on the highway linking Tuxtla Gutierrez to Chiapa de Corzo, where National Guard officers noticed the migrants’ presence during an inspection.
The 254 foreigners were attempting to travel from San Cristobal de las Casas, a city in Chiapas state, to Mexico City.
Authorities stopped the truck at a checkpoint just outside the small city of Chiapa de Corzo, only a few kilometers from the site where 56 United States-bound undocumented migrants traveling in similar conditions died in a 2021 highway crash.
Authorities on Wednesday arrested the driver of the truck and another suspect who allegedly had charged the migrants for transporting them to the United States-Mexico border.
Although the migrants have not yet been identified, more men than women were removed from the trailer and most of them were young people.
The detained migrants were transferred by National Institute of Migration agents and National Guard troops to the migrant station in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas’ capital.
Authorities have not yet revealed their nationalities.
The US Customs and Border Protection agency intercepted more than 2.76 million undocumented migrants in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2022, a number that eclipsed the previous annual record – set in fiscal year 2021 – by over 1 million.
Mexico, for its part, received 118,478 asylum requests from migrants in 2022, the second-highest total after the 131,448 petitions in 2021, according to figures from the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar).