Mexico rescues 130 Guatemalan migrants from cargo truck

This file photo shows Guatemalan migrants deported from the United States walk on the airport runway upon their arrival at the Air Force Base in Guatemala City on June 21, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities on Monday rescued 130 Guatemalan migrants crammed inside an extremely overcrowded cargo truck in the eastern state of Veracruz.

Among the rescued were 19 unaccompanied minors, 12 families consisting of 28 individuals, and 67 men and 16 women who were traveling on their own, said the National Migration Institute (INM) in a statement.

The migrants were taken to the Acayucan immigration station where they underwent a comprehensive medical examination, received nourishment, and had their immigration status evaluated

Authorities rescued the migrants in the city of Cordoba, along the highway leading to the town of Boca del Rio, after federal immigration agents noticed the "suspicious behavior" of the truck's driver and his companion as they barreled through a stop sign.

ALSO READ: NZ to ease migration rules to lure more skilled workers

INM agents, aided by Veracruz State Police and local police officers, arrested the two suspects and discovered "a massive group of people traveling in poor condition" inside the vehicle.

ALSO READ: Greek migrant tragedy death toll rises, suspects detained

The migrants were taken to the Acayucan immigration station where they underwent a comprehensive medical examination, received nourishment, and had their immigration status evaluated, said the agency.

READ MORE: Spanish charity rescues 117 migrants sailing from Libya

Such rescues and arrests are frequent in Mexico, which lies along the migrant route connecting Central America to the United States.

According to official figures, Mexico deported or repatriated over 106,000 migrants in 2022.