mexico finds over 50 adolescent migrants from guatemala crammed into truck
Federal Mexican agents on Thursday spotted a crowded truck transporting nearly 70 migrants from Guatemala, mostly unaccompanied children, at a checkpoint in Mexico’s northern Chihuahua state, which borders the US, the National Institute of Migration (INM) said in a statement.
Out of 67 migrants crammed into the truck’s trailer, 57 were Guatemalan adolescents, including 43 boys and 14 girls. The remaining were eight men and a woman and her daughter. All of the adolescents were considered unaccompanied minors, implying they had no parents or relatives with them.
While the truck driver was detained, the minors and the family will be handed over to state authorities for the protection of children and teenagers, the INM said.
Children are regularly smuggled through Mexico to rejoin parents or relatives who have already emigrated to the US. Earlier this month, Mexican authorities found three unaccompanied Salvadoran children – three sisters aged 1, 6, and 9 – stranded on an islet on the Rio Grande, which straddles the US-Mexico border.
The eldest child was holding her infant sister in her arms when discovered by the Mexican immigration agents, according to authorities. The three sisters were eventually placed in the care of Mexico’s System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF), the country’s immigration institute informed.
Rio Grande crossing dividing the US and Mexico is considered one of the last obstacles migrants need to face before reaching the US, often after painful journeys.
According to US Customs and Border Protection, the month of December witnessed a near-record number of apprehensions at the border. But this figure fell in January owing to new migrant restrictions imposed by US President Joe Biden.