PUEBLA, Mexico – Mexican authorities intercepted 69 undocumented Central American immigrants in the central state of Puebla, the state Attorney General’s Office said.
The 56 Salvadorans, 12 Hondurans and one Guatemalan national were trying to reach the United States, the AG’s office said, adding that the group included five women and two minors.
Police arrested four Mexican citizens on suspicion of migrant trafficking and seized three vehicles, including a tractor-trailer with a hidden compartment for the immigrants.
The migrants were discovered after residents of the town of Tlachichuca reported unusual activity at a home in the area.
Once they found the migrants, police called in paramedics to conduct medical exams, the Puebla AG’s office said in a statement.
The four people arrested in the operation have a history of involvement in migrant trafficking, according to the statement. The suspects and the impounded vehicles were handed over to the federal AG’s office, while the migrants were placed in custody of the INM immigration agency for repatriation.
Large numbers of Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States, although the number of border crossers fell from an estimated 433,000 in 2005 to 140,000 in 2010 due to recent U.S. economic woes.
The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants. EFE