Sunday, June 16, 2024

144 migrants found in cargo train wagon in Coahuila

During a joint rescue operation in the northern state of Coahuila, 144 migrants were released from a sealed wagon of a cargo train on Sunday.

The humanitarian rescue took place near a crossroads known as “Hermanas” in the municipality of Escobedo, just north of the city of Monclova.

The group included 13 unaccompanied children. (@INAMI_mx/X)

The operation was carried out by Mexican Migration Institute (INM) agents in cooperation with the Defense Ministry (Sedena), the National Guard (GN) and Coahuila state authorities. The private railroad consortium Ferromex also participated in a supporting role as the train was located on its property.

In a press release, INM reported that the migrants were provided medical treatment on site after which their immigration status was reviewed. The INM found that none of the migrants had proper documentation.

The 144 migrants were from seven countries: Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Fifty-two of the migrants comprised family units, while the other 94 — including 13 unaccompanied children — were categorized as traveling alone.

The children were turned over to state social services authorities (DIF) while the remainder of the rescued people were taken to local INM facilities.

This is at least the third such operation in Mexico this year, after a total of 787 migrants were rescued in two separate incidents in January.

Sixty-one migrants were freed from a residential property in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas after they were reportedly abducted from a bus traveling on the Reynosa-Matamoros highway and stripped of their valuables. They were being held for ransom until they were released from captivity, although no details of the rescue operation were provided.

The 61 victims were provided with medical attention and also received legal advice ahead of a review of their migratory status.

Two weeks later, 726 mostly Central American migrants — including 75 unaccompanied minors — were found by INM, Sedena and the GN in an abandoned warehouse in the central state of Tlaxcala after an anonymous tip was phoned in to authorities.

Six men were also arrested and turned over to the Tlaxcala Attorney General’s Office.

Migrants traveling through Mexico are increasingly vulnerable to kidnapping for ransom by criminal gangs and human traffickers.

With reports from Excelsior and El Universal

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