Mexican Federal Police rescued 150 Central American migrants abandoned by human smugglers inside a cargo truck in Veracruz Monday night.
Federal Police patrolling the Veracruz-Puebla Highway at kilometer 299 observed a cargo truck parked on the side of the roadway. Upon closer inspection, they heard cries for help and later discovered approximately 150 migrants locked inside, according to local reports.
Many of the migrants were dehydrated due to poor air circulation inside the cargo area and a lack of drinking water. The region where the migrants were rescued has experienced daytime temperatures near 90° F. Of the 150, 51 were children ranging from 9 months to 16 years of age, according to authorities. The migrants reportedly said the driver pulled over and abandoned the truck when he spotted a Federal Police patrol. The migrants reportedly crossed into Mexico in the southern state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala and each paid the human smuggler $60,000 to $70,000 pesos ($3,135-$3,657 USD). The migrants were transported to a detention center where members of the Mexican Red Cross provided medical attention and food. Authorities advised that they would most likely be deported via military or police escort to the Guatemalan border.
Mexico continues to see a sharp increase in Central American migrants entering the country to reach the U.S. border and request asylum. This practice triggered human smuggling organizations into action. The asylum tactic is expected to result in approximately 900,000 migrants entering the U.S. in 2019, per estimates by the Department of Homeland Security.
The migration has caused a humanitarian crisis where human smuggling organizations place migrants at extreme risk while hurriedly transporting them through Mexico to avoid detection. Breitbart News recently reported on a fatal crash that killed 23 and injured 33 in Chiapas. The migrants were packed into a large cargo truck that dove into a ravine.
In early April, human smugglers abandoned 155 migrants on a road in Pueblo, according to local reports.
In February, Mexican authorities arrested a human smuggler transporting 39 migrants in Veracruz who tried to bribe officials with $10,000 pesos ($530 USD).
Breitbart News is told by local contacts that human smuggling organizations make promises of safe passage but instead often hold migrants for ransom.
This Monday, authorities in Ciudad Juárez announced that a total of 14,000 migrants seeking political asylum in the United States have arrived in the city since October 2018. Of these, a total of 9,514 were provided passage into the U.S. to apply for asylum.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)