Mexican Authorites Find 513 Undocumented Migrants Hidden In Trucks
May 18, 2011 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Mexican authorities Tuesday found 513 undocumented migrants inside two tractor trailers in the southern state of Chiapas.
Chiapas state police found the largest group of migrants in recent years by using X-ray equipment on the trucks at a checkpoint in the outskirts of city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Police arrested four people accused of smuggling the undocumented migrants as they attempted to flee the scene.
“It is the largest rescue of migrants traveling in inhuman conditions,” said a spokesman from the attorney general’s office to AFP.
The migrants, who were allegedly being smuggled to the United States, included women and children. 410 of the migrants were from Guatemala, 47 from El Salvador, 32 from Ecuador, 12 from India, six from Nepal, three from China and one each from Japan.
It is believed that the migrants paid $7,000 per person to the alleged traffickers to take them into the US.
According to official figures some 300,000 undocumented migrants, mostly from Central America, cross Mexico’s 620 mile border with Guatemala and Belize every year. At least 11,300 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico from April to September 2010, according to the most recent report from the country’s independent National Human Rights Commission (CNDH, in Spanish).
In January, Chiapas state authorities found 219 migrants hidden in a trailer truck.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- During a concert in Mexico City, U2 frontman Bono criticized the United States for allowing weapons to land in the hands of drug cartels.
- U.S. federal authorities arrested an immigration agent Tuesday on charges of theft of government property.
- The Cuban government has agreed to allow all private businesses to hire employees, something previously restricted to a limited number of occupations, state media said Tuesday.
- The Homeland Security Department said Tuesday refugees who came to the United States after an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010 can stay another 18 months.
- Former Puerto Rico Senator Jorge De Castro Font was sentenced to 60 months in prison for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion.
- Guatemalan soldiers searched Tuesday for the culprits of a massacre in a remote province after the country’s president declared a state of siege there, a sign that Guatemala is escalating its own war against drug traffickers as violence spills over from Mexico.
- An 8-year-old Salvadoran girl who reported she was raped by immigrant smugglers in Mexico has been reunited with family in the United States after a tense struggle with authorities who were trying to deport her, an attorney for her grandmother said.
- A Nicaraguan court has again postponed a hearing for American Jason Puracal, who is accused of laundering money for organized crime.
- With just eight months on the job, Colombia’s ambassador to Venezuela has resigned after acknowledging that he had had previous business dealings with a Colombian construction firm now linked to a major corruption scandal.
- Ecuador’s Central Bank President Diego Borja said Tuesday that the Andean country will continue taking actions to confront any possible effects from the global financial crisis.
- The eight workers who were trapped Tuesday in a collapse at a coal mine in the southwestern Colombian province of Valle del Cauca were rescued after 10 tense hours below ground, government officials said.
- Despite some roadblocks in Colombia’s plan to sell a portion of state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol to help pay for recovery from torrential rains and floods, the country’s finance minister said Tuesday the sale remains on track to start before the end of this year.
- Argentine and Brazilian officials plan to meet next week to discuss a bid to resolve a trade dispute between the two countries.
- Chilean President Sebastian Piñera hopes to boost competition in financial industries and raise energy productivity through a package of microeconomic reforms.
- Uruguay is raising reserve requirements along with Brazil and China, as accelerating inflation undermines economic growth in the country.
Image: eduardo.robles @ Flickr.