UPDATED 1:40 PM PT – Friday, July 29, 2022
Authorities discovered nearly 100 migrants bound for the US hidden inside an abandoned trailer in Southern Mexico. Ninety-eight migrants, including several children, from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were found on the side of the highway in Veracruz on Wednesday.
Paramedics estimated around 400 people could have been in the trailer at one time, but frantically tried to escape once they started running out of air. Many of the migrants were injured while attempting to get out.
“We were told there were close to 400 immigrants travelling in the trailer,” said Cristobal Cisneros Valencia, Civil Protection Paramedic. “When they started to feel suffocated, they hit the roof of the trailer and most of them jumped out. That is why most of the injuries we treated were ankle and knee fractures with damaged sense of balance. We had to move one person (to a hospital for treatment) because he was unconscious.”
According to border officials, transporting migrants in truck-trailers is one of the most dangerous methods smugglers use. A recent New York Times report noted cartels are earning an estimated $13 billion annually from the illicit practice. Revenue soared from an estimated $500 million back in 2018 as cartels have ramped up their involvement in human smuggling operations over the past few years.
The billions in earnings from those activities exclude revenue from drug smuggling. According to congressional testimony from the Acting Director of US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement last year, cartels are becoming more profitable as they have teams have teams specializing in logistics, transportation, surveillance, stash houses and accounting.
This comes as the Biden administration’s lax border policies encourage migrants to make the journey. Around 1.7 million migrants and unaccompanied child have crossed the border since President Joe Biden took office.