78 migrants hidden in trailer intercepted in Mexico

April 13th, 2011 - 11:48 am ICT by IANS  

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico), April 13 (IANS/EFE) Mexican police intercepted 78 Central American migrants who were travelling beneath the false bottom panel of a trailer in the southeastern state of Chiapas, authorities said.

The state government said in a communique that the undocumented immigrants - 62 men, 15 woman and one girl - were discovered at a police checkpoint on a highway near Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas.

Authorities said that the immigrants - 54 Guatemalans, 17 Salvadorans and 7 Hondurans - were discovered thanks to an X-ray machine set up at checkpoints that allows police to detect people, firearms, drugs and explosives inside vehicles.

The sources also said that the migrants paid $5,000 each “for the trip from Chiapas to the municipality of Ecatepec, where another group of people smugglers were to take them to (northern Mexico)”.

Authorities arrested the two men driving the trailer.

The drivers confessed that in the past they had “made three trips on which they transported from the border with Guatemala to the central part of the country groups of between 30 and 50 undocumented immigrants”, the communique stated.

The migrants were transferred to the state attorney general’s office, where they were given “medical attention, food, psychological and legal assistance, as well as access to a telephone to be able to communicate with their relatives in their countries of origin”.

–IANS/EFE
rd/mj

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