MEXICO CITY-- A tractor-trailer carrying more than 100 migrants crashed in southern Mexico on Thursday afternoon resulting in the death of at least 55 people, according to Mexican authorities.
The crash happened in the state of Chiapas, not far from Mexico's border with Guatemala. Authorities stated the victims seemed mainly Central American migrants. Dozens of bodies were moved to the side of a primary roadway and covered in bedsheets, towels and body bags.
Mexican officials said 55 people lost their lives. Luis Manuel García Moreno, the state director of civil protection, stated lots more were injured and taken to regional hospitals. Nineteen of the dead were minors. The youngest was 3 years old. Video footage showed the trailer on its side with more bodies and debris within.
According to a list assembled by the state civil defense force, the majority of the victims were Guatemalans. There were also 3 Dominicans, one Honduran, one Salvadoran, one Ecuadoran and one Mexican.Survivors described being tossed into the air when the trailer lost control around a bend in the roadway.
" The turn grabbed us and since of the weight of individuals inside, on the turn, all of us went flying," Celso Pacheco, a Guatemalan man, informed El Universal.
Countless migrants transit through Mexico hidden in tractor-trailers like the one that crashed Thursday to prevent checkpoints set up by Mexico's nationwide guard and migration firm. They are usually bound for the U.S. border.
As the Biden administration has come under pressure since of the variety of migrants arriving at the southern U.S. border, it has leaned on Mexico to stop those circulations. In recent months, the number of migrant apprehensions in Mexico has risen to record levels. By the end of October, Mexico had actually captured 228,000 migrants in 2021, the highest annual number in history.
That crackdown has pressed smugglers to look for ways to prevent detection, including the use of tractor-trailers. In November, Mexican authorities discovered 600 migrants packed into 2 trailers in the state of Veracruz. Those trailers are less noticable than the commercial buses or trains that migrants once took in greater numbers They are usually the very same 18-wheelers that stream throughout Mexico daily, carrying products to the United States. The smugglers frequently charge more than $10,000 per migrant.
President Biden promised a more gentle approach to U.S. migration policy, but his administration has already faced 2 crises on the U.S.-Mexico border. In the wake of Thursday's accident, the presidents of Mexico and Guatemala used their acknowledgements.
“I deeply regret the tragedy caused by the overturning of a trailer in Chiapas carrying Central American migrants. It is very painful. I offer a hug to the families of the victims,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said.
“I deeply regret the tragedy in the State of Chiapas and I sympathize with the families of the victims to whom we offer all the necessary consular assistance, including repatriations,” said Guatemala’s president, Alejandro Giammattei.
The Biden administration has teamed up with Mexico on a variety of policies aimed to prevent migration to the United States. Under Title 42, the United States is expelling migrants to Mexico before they can look for asylum or other protections. Mexico then regularly buses those migrants back to the Guatemala border, leaving some migrants to try the hazardous journey again.
Beginning today, the Biden administration is likewise executing a Trump-era program, called the Migrant Protection Protocols, which forces some migrants to wait in Mexico for their asylum cases to be processed in the United States. A federal judge in August advised the administration to renegotiate the reinstatement of that program with Mexico.