They left the far south of Mexico. Maybe 200 people, including children, were crammed up in the truck. But their journey to the north was roughly interrupted. Thursday afternoon, they flew out of the corner. Presumably because the driver was speeding and the truck was too heavily loaded. 55 people were killed. According to local residents, the driver took off on foot.
Dozens of wounded were taken care of in hospitals in the area. Some slightly injured tried to get out of their feet, for fear of being picked up and sent back to their country of origin.
The accident happened in Chiapa de Corzo, near Tuxtla. The truck had already covered more than 120 kilometers at that time. According to local authorities, he must have passed several checkpoints along the way. At the very least, they suggest that agents have been bribed to let the truck pass.
A list of injured people is circulating on the Internet. Their ages range from 13 to 42, most come from Guatemala. “Often there are Hondurans and Salvadorans,” says Latin America journalist Edwin Koopman in the Ceit Radio 1 Journal. “People who face violence and poverty in those countries, and try to get a better life in Mexico in this way, but mostly in the United States, thats what they are on their way to.”
People smugglers often use trucks to transport migrants. In recent months, full trucks have also been found. In October, 652 people were found in three trucks without ventilation. Half of them were underage. At the end of October, the National Mexican Guard shot a van with thirteen occupants. In addition, two Cuban migrants were killed. And last month, 195 more migrants were found in a hotel without food and drinks.
If they can afford it, many migrants choose trucks because it is extremely dangerous to go on foot. Migrants face robbery, rape, torture, extortion and murder in Mexico. The well-known caravans in which they go together offer some protection. But the Mexican authorities have been stepping up against that in recent months, by dismantling the caravons.
The activist Irineo Mujica, who leads a group of 400 migrants, therefore blames the government for the accident. “The policy to stop caravans kills us, kills us, and leads to these kinds of tragedies,” he says.
“The criminal transport industry is risking the lives of thousands of migrants,” writes journalist Epigmenio Ibarra on Twitter. “You could see yesterdays tragedy coming. The people smugglers are murderers”.
Border more closely guarded
Mexico has recently sent tens of thousands of military to the south. Edwin Koopman: “Mexico is working on order of the United States to close that border on the south side, so that few people get over it and the US is no longer bothered by it.”
It has also become harder to reach the US, Koopman continues. “Under President Trump, a rule has been set that if you want to apply for asylum, you have to wait on the Mexican side before you get in. That was lifted for a while by President Biden, who wanted to pursue a more humane asylum policy. But recently, that was reintroduced by him.”
result, Mexico is no longer just a transit country on its way to the United States. It has now also become a destination for people from the South. This year, more than 228,000 migrants have already been arrested in Mexico. More than 82,000 have been deported. Nearly 120,000 have applied for asylum, and thats a record. But because the migration service cannot cope with the large quantities, the waiting times are going up enormously.