MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities detained 229 migrants from Mexico and Central America who were hiding in safe houses in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas while waiting to cross the border into the United States, officials said on Sunday.
In the operation, Mexican security forces also arrested six individuals, “probably responsible for people trafficking,” said the Tamaulipas Coordination Group, comprised of both federal and state agencies, in a communique.
Authorities located the migrants as a result of several operations undertaken on Friday and Saturday.
Mexican troops, aided by the state prosecutors office (PGJT) and the State Anti-kidnapping Coordinator, raided several houses in the border city of Matamoros in response to an anonymous tip.
In six of the safe houses, authorities found 128 migrants from Guatemala, 86 from Honduras, 11 Salvadorans, three Nicaraguans and one Mexican. Among the group were 109 minors.
“Several undocumented Central Americans said that they arrived in Matamoros in trailers,” and some added that they had paid $4,000 to be transported from southern Mexico, said the Coordination Group.
Authorities added that the alleged people smugglers and the migrants were turned over to the Attorney General’s Office and the National Immigration Institute, respectively.
Thousands of undocumented migrants cross Mexican territory each year heading for the US, a journey on which they are vulnerable to robbery, extortion, kidnapping and even murder by criminal bands, as well as to being abused by corrupt officials.