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Migrants in Caravan 2020 at the southern border last week. Migrants in Caravan 2020 at the southern border last week.

Migrant-smuggling networks believed widespread in Mexico

They charge as much as 200,000 pesos to lead migrants to the US

The National Immigration Institute (INM) is investigating 20 internationally active migrant-smuggling networks believed to be operating in Mexico.

“These criminal networks take advantage of people’s transport needs to charge them amounts that can rise above 200,000 pesos (US $10,600) per person,” the institute said in a press release issued on Sunday.

The networks provide transportation and shelter for the primarily Central American migrants to reach their destination, most often the United States, offering up to five attempts.

The office said that it is committed to fighting such cases of people smuggling, as well as maintaining a safe, ordered and stable migration system.

The first migrant caravan of the year reached the Mexico-Guatemala border on January 20. Around 3,000 mainly Honduran migrants were stopped at the international bridge at Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas.

Migrants cling to a truck as they attempt to head into Mexico.
Migrants cling to a truck as they attempt to head into Mexico.

The National Guard then used batons and tear gas to repel hundreds of migrants who crossed the Suchiate River in an attempt to enter the country.

President López Obrador said days later that the migrants had been rounded up to protect them from criminal gangs.

Despite the government’s efforts to hold the migrants back at the border, as many as 1,000 crossed into Mexico on Thursday, marching over seven kilometers toward Tapachula, Chiapas, before being blocked by National Guard troops who fired tear gas at them.

As many as 1,000 migrants entered the country legally on the weekend and were taken to migration facilities. Although their cases for asylum or employment are being evaluated, authorities said that the majority of them will be deported.

As of Monday, the immigration institute had deported more than 2,000 migrants from the so-called Caravan 2020 in nine days.

And according to reports yesterday, immigration agents will be busy once again at the end of the week. The self-designated Devil’s Caravan is expected to bring more migrants Friday from El Salvador.

Source: El Sol de México (sp)

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