Friday, June 14, 2024

726 migrants rescued from warehouse in Tlaxcala

Federal authorities rescued 726 mostly Central American migrants from an abandoned warehouse in Cuaxomulco, Tlaxcala, on Sunday, where they were believed to have been held by human traffickers.

The group was made up of migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Ecuador, including 75 unaccompanied minors, according to a statement by the National Immigration Institute (INM).

Paramedics treated the group for dehydration and shock but found them to be in stable health. (Alaín Hernández/Cuartoscuro)

They were discovered thanks to an anonymous caller to an emergency number, who reported seeing two trucks driving into an abandoned urban warehouse. This prompted a rescue operation coordinated by the INM, the Defense Ministry (Sedena) and the National Guard (GN).

During the operation, security forces arrested four alleged human traffickers who had been guarding the warehouse, according to the INM. The Tlaxcala state government later said that a total of six men had been arrested and transferred to the state Attorney General’s Office.

The group of rescued migrants was found to include 75 unaccompanied children and adolescents, 108 single women, 399 single men, and 144 members of 45 households. The single adults were moved to a nearby center for immigration processing, while the minors and families were transferred to a local branch of the National System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF).

According to local media reports, the migrants confirmed that they had been taken to the warehouse aboard two trucks, and left there while waiting for onward transport.

Paramedics treated the group for dehydration and shock but found them to be in stable health. One woman who was eight months pregnant was transferred to a hospital for gynecological care.

Several criminal groups involved in human trafficking and sex trafficking operate in Tlaxcala, according to local media reports. These include the Hernández Velásquez family – a clan that has been active since at least 2001 in forcing migrant women into prostitution in the United States.

Migrants traveling through Mexico are increasingly vulnerable to kidnapping for ransom by criminal gangs. This is the third group of migrants to be rescued so far this year, after two smaller groups were rescued in Tamaulipas in early January.

With reports from Infobae and Reforma

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