MEXICO CITY – Mexican federal police intercepted 71 undocumented Central Americans in the southeastern states of Oaxaca and Veracruz as they were trying to travel north to get to the United States, security authorities said Thursday.
The Federal Public Safety Secretariat, or SSPF, said in a communique that the Central Americans were nabbed in two operations.
The first operation was undertaken on Tuesday, the SSPF said, when police stopped and searched a train that had been making the run from Coatzacoalcos to Tierra Blanca, in Veracruz state.
Police found 50 Central American migrants, most of them Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans, on board and they were turned over to the immigration authorities for processing and virtually certain deportation.
In the second operation, conducted in Oaxaca state on Wednesday, police were dispatched to the train station in the city of Ixtepec, where, according to a tip by a local resident, a group of Central Americans were creating a disturbance.
The SSPF said that federal agents detained 21 undocumented people there who said that they had been waiting for a train to arrive to take them north.
The detainees were turned over to national immigration authorities in the city of Juchitan de Zaragoza, where their legal status will be determined.
Between 300,000 and 400,000 undocumented Central Americans cross into Mexico across the southern border each year intending to traverse the country and get to the United States. About 200,000 of them are detained by Mexican authorities at some point during their journeys, however, and virtually all of them are returned to their countries of origin. EFE