Mexican police rescued 150 migrants locked in a produce truck in sweltering heat. Authorities say smugglers locked the migrants, mostly women and children, in the back of the cargo truck without provisions for days.
The Mexican Public Safety Department said that police pulled over a truck on a Veracruz highway after the driver failed to maintain his lane. Authorities said the truck driver nearly struck the police car before being pulled over, according to the Associated Press.
When the officer pulled the truck over, he heard pounding on the walls of the cargo area and people calling for help, the article stated. When the officer searched the truck, he found more than 150 migrants. Authorities claim the group of migrants included 66 children and 36 women. Smugglers kept the migrants locked in the truck for days without food or water. The migrants came to Mexico from Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, and El Salvador, officials reported.
Mexican authorities have found a multitude of migrants being smuggled in inhumane and unsafe conditions in the back of trucks in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, Breitbart News reported on a tractor-trailer loaded with 228 migrants in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. The article includes a video that illustrates the severity of how the migrants were being hauled on a “Pepsi truck.” Smugglers loaded the 228 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala into the back of the truck in an attempt to move them northward to the U.S.-Mexico border. The group consisted of men, women, and children.
The Daily Mail published a video on July 4 showing 134 migrants being rescued from another tractor-trailer in Veracruz. The smugglers abandoned the trailer, leaving the Central American migrants to die. Fortunately, residents of the town of Ozuluama heard the cries for help and notified authorities.
In June, authorities in Veracruz stopped four semi-trailers carrying 782 migrants on the Acayucan-Isla highway. Of these, 368 were minors including 98 under the age of five, Mexico News Daily reported. The migrants told authorities they paid the smugglers $3,500 USD each to be transported to the U.S.
The increased discovery of the migrant human smuggling loads comes after Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador reached an agreement with U.S. President Donald Trump to step up its efforts to block migrants being smuggled through Mexico to the U.S.
Authorities recently reported the discovery of a “industrial-scale migrant smuggling ring” operating in Mexico. The ring uses trucks disguised as freight deliverers for major companies, the Associated Press reported last week. President López Obrador said found one truck loaded with 150 migrants with the logo of Soriana, a major grocer in Mexico. Soriana responded in a statement that the truck did not belong to their delivery fleet and is not owned by their company.
“The company has filed a complaint because it was fake, it was camouflage to transport migrants,” López Obrador told the reporters.
Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard told reporters they found four or five other trucks in June that belonged to the same trucking company as the truck loaded with 150 migrants.
“The risk they are putting people in, half of them are minors,” Ebrard explained. “They are locking them in trailers to cross the entire country. They leave them there for hours, they could die of asphyxia.”