A total of 59 Central American migrants, including 19 minors, were found in compartments that simulated dry water containers placed in a cargo vehicle in the state of Nuevo León, northern Mexico, the National Institute of Migration (INM) reported on Wednesday.
In a statement, the INM indicated that the migrants came from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua and specified that 33 are adults traveling alone, in addition to 19 minors and 7 more people who were in a family nucleus.
In the note, the institute, dependent on the Ministry of the Interior (Interior), said that agency agents helped the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) in the identification of 59 migrants who were traveling “hidden in compartments that simulated water tanks ( water containers) placed on the bed of a truck”.
The cargo vehicle was located by the FGR in the municipality of Allende, Nuevo León when it was stopped for a routine inspection.
The agents indicated that at first glance, only the upper part of the water tanks placed on the truck bed stood out, while the lower part was covered and prevented seeing the entire structure.
But noises inside led the agents to open the structure, which revealed the water containers where they hid adults, as well as foreign children.
Given the finding, the agents of the Prosecutor’s Office requested the assistance of the INM, whose agents verified that they were migrants with an irregular stay in the country.
The statement specified that the group was made up of 33 adults (7 from Guatemala; 12 from Honduras; 13 from Nicaragua and one from El Salvador), in addition to 19 minors from Honduras and Guatemala; as well as seven more people who made up three family nuclei.
Minors alone and in a family nucleus were placed under the guardianship of the local System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF) and the adults were transferred to immigration offices.
Meanwhile, the driver of the vehicle and two companions remained at the disposal of the Nuevo León Public Ministry.
Human smugglers seek out routes and hideouts for foreigners, sometimes stationing themselves in Mexico’s southern and northern states as a stopover on their journey to the US.
The region is experiencing a record flow to the United States, whose Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office detected more than 1.7 million undocumented immigrants on the border with Mexico in the fiscal year 2021, which ended on September 30.
Mexico deported more than 114,000 foreigners in 2021, according to data from the Migration Policy Unit of the country’s Ministry of the Interior.
In addition, the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar) received a record 131,448 refugee applications in 2021. Of these petitioners, more than 51,000 are Haitians.