Two transit vans collided on the Palenque-Playas de Catazajá highway in Chiapas early on Tuesday, killing 12 people and leaving three others injured, all of whom were presumed to be migrants.
Seven bodies were recovered from one of the transit vans and five from the other. Photos published by the state’s Civil Protection office show that both vehicles caught fire and were burned out.
The state Attorney General’s Office said the victims appeared to be Central Americans but identification work is still being carried out. The three injured people, the office confirmed, were Honduran. One of the injured was a minor, identified by authorities as Kevin “N,” who had second-degree burns. He was transferred to Palenque General Hospital with the other two injured people.
The Palenque-Playas de Catazajá highway remained closed to traffic for several hours.
Criminal gangs dedicated to human trafficking are common in the area, TV Azteca reported. Known as polleros, they transport migrants from the southern Guatemala border to Mexico City or the United States border by vehicle for hefty sums.