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They hold 359 migrants, including 294 from Guatemala, in a trailer in the Mexican state of Veracruz - Prensa Libre

They hold 359 migrants, including 294 from Guatemala, in a trailer in the Mexican state of Veracruz – Prensa Libre

The National Institute of Migration (INM) reported Sunday that a total of 359 migrants, mostly from Central America, traveling crammed into a tractor and trailer, were arrested in the (eastern) Mexican state of Veracruz.

“At about 3:30 this morning (9:30 a.m. GMT), at a checkpoint on the freeway Coatzacoalcos-Veracruz, Federal Immigration Agents (AFM) detained the transportation unit for routine screening, when they heard noises coming from the back of the vehicle. The National Media Institute shared a statement.

According to the institute, 294 are from Guatemala, 38 are from Nicaragua, 15 are from El Salvador, eight are from Honduras and four are from Ecuador.

The agents opened the back doors of the truck, found the migrants huddled together, and proceeded to get them out of the scene and identify their origins.

The driver and vehicle were provided to the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR).

The statement concluded that “the National Institute of Migration upholds its commitment to safe, orderly and regular migration, with full respect and protection of people’s rights in the context of mobility, without prejudice to their nationality, social, economic or political status.”

The region is seeing a record influx of immigrants into the United States, with its Bureau of Customs and Border Protection detecting more than 1.7 million illegal immigrants at the border with Mexico in fiscal year 2021, which ended on September 30.

While Mexico intercepted more than 252,000 illegal immigrants in the January-November period and deported more than 100,000 in the same period, according to the country’s Interior Ministry’s immigration policy unit.

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The Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance received a record 131,488 refugee requests in 2021. EFE