Two human smugglers were arrested and 228 Central American migrants were apprehended after a tractor-trailer traveling in the Southern Mexican state of Chiapas was stopped by federal and state police.
Federal and state police from the Secretaría de Seguridad y Protección (SSPC) halted a tractor-trailer with Pepsi logos traveling at kilometer 071 in Cintalapa early Monday morning. While conducting an inspection of the Kenworth trailer registered in Veracruz, 228 Central American migrants were discovered packed in the cargo area along with a load of soft drink products, according to local media reports.
While police were talking to the driver identified as Domingo “G.” from Chiapas, they were approached by a second smuggler who attempted to bribe the police with cash and a request to continue north. The second man was identified as Manuel “N.” also from Chiapas.
The 228 migrants, consisted of men, women, and children, were determined to be from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. They were all provided medical checks and first aid before being turned over to the custody of Mexican immigration authorities (INM). The two smugglers were handed over to investigative personnel of the federal prosecutor’s office for pending charges of human smuggling.
The Mexican government recently stepped up border security and enforcement activities against the constant wave of Central American migrants. According to authorities, the migrants boarded the human smugglers’ tractor-trailer in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, and were heading to the southern state of Oaxaca as part of their planned journey to the United States.
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.)