Monday, May 20, 2024

Truck accident in Chiapas kills 10 Cuban migrants, injures 17

Ten Cuban migrants died and 17 more were injured when an overloaded truck overturned in Chiapas early Sunday morning.

The accident happened on the Pijijiapan-Tonalá highway, which is frequently used by migrants traveling north from the Guatemalan border towards the United States. The dead were all women, one of them a minor.

The driver of the overloaded vehicle was reportedly speeding before he lost control of the unit. He immediately fled the accident. (@INAMI_mx/X)

According to a statement by Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM), “the driver was speeding, lost control of the unit and overturned.” The driver then fled.

Photos of the accident scene show that the truck was a wooden-backed Ford model not designed to carry people, and was also missing license plates. The vehicle was almost entirely destroyed on impact.

Of the 27 Cuban migrants traveling in the truck, 17 survived but were seriously injured. They were transferred to hospitals in Pijijiapan and Huixtla for treatment, and Cuban authorities are being kept informed of their condition.

The newspaper El Universal reported that the migrants had spent several days in Tapachula trying to obtain Mexican humanitarian visas before boarding the truck north. The human smugglers who facilitated the journey have not been identified by authorities.

It was the second fatal accident in three days involving migrants being transported through Chiapas in overloaded trucks. On Thursday, two people died when a dump truck carrying 52 migrants of various nationalities also lost control and overturned in the municipality of Mezcalapa.

In December 2021, 55 migrants were killed and more than 100 injured in similar circumstances when a tractor-trailer overturned in Chiapas. Investigations into the accident uncovered a network of human smugglers who allegedly charged migrants 60,000 pesos (US $2,860) each to transport them to the U.S. border.

With reports from CNN, Reuters and El Universal

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