Mexican authorities have rescued 123 migrants from South and Central America — including 34 children – after they were found trapped inside a locked trailer.
The mass of human cargo was found Wednesday in Matehuala, a city in the central state of San Luis Potosi after a local resident heard cries for help coming from the container, Mexico’s immigration agency said.
Most of the rescued migrants came from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador, as well as four from Ecuador and one Cuban national, officials said.
They were given food and medical assistance, and provided with temporary accommodations, according to Mexico’s National Immigration Institute.
Officials did not say how the migrants came to be stuck in the trailer nor where they were heading, but such groups of migrants escaping crime and poverty in their homelands typically hope to make their way to the US.
The same day police in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, arrested three alleged human smugglers – two of them just 16 years old — after finding 11 Guatemalan migrants trapped in a house, according to the Chihuahua state security department.
The twin migrant rescues in Mexico came as a 7,000-person caravan of asylum seekers — the largest in a year — was making its way through southern Mexico toward the US border.
On Wednesday, some 3,000 migrants blocked a highway near the southern town of Huixtla in Chiapas, saying they feared they would be attacked by gangs seeking payment for safe passage.
The migrants’ protest continued into Thursday in hopes of pressuring Mexican authorities to give them temporary papers allowing them to make their way to the US border.
US Customs and Border authorities have detained more than 2.2 million migrants along the southern border since October 2022.
The continued influx of asylum seekers has triggered migrant crises in big cities like New York City and Chicago, prompting local leaders to call on the Biden Administration to provide additional federal resources to assist with the new arrivals.
With Post wires
With Post wires