Mexico agents find 269 migrants in trailer near southern border

Many migrants pass through Tuxtla on their journey to escape poverty and violence elsewhere in Latin America.

 Employees of the National Institute of Migration (INM) of Mexico stand at the border between Mexico and the United States, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 7, 2023. (photo credit: REUTERS/JOSE LUIS GONZALEZ)
Employees of the National Institute of Migration (INM) of Mexico stand at the border between Mexico and the United States, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 7, 2023.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JOSE LUIS GONZALEZ)

Mexican authorities have found 269 migrants from Central and South America crowded into a tractor trailer near the country's southern border, Mexico's National Institute of Migration said on Tuesday.

Federal agents spotted the white trailer at an immigration verification point in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez, in the southern state of Chiapas, the institute said in a statement. The driver was arrested by police after attempting to flee.

Many migrants pass through Tuxtla on their journey to escape poverty and violence elsewhere in Latin America. The city has been the site of deadly accidents, including the death of more than 50 mostly Central American migrants a year ago when a trailer overturned while rounding a sharp curve.

Migrants were mostly from Guatemala

Nearly all of the 269 migrants discovered by the authorities were from Guatemala, although there were also three from El Salvador, three from Ecuador and two from Honduras, according to the statement. It added that 20 of the travelers were unaccompanied minors.

 An agent of the National Migration Institute (INM) checks a bus while a member of the National Guard keeps watch as part of the efforts by the Mexican government to cut the flow of U.S.-bound migrants who illegally cross its border with Guatemala in Chiapas state, Mexico October 22, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/JOSE TORRES) An agent of the National Migration Institute (INM) checks a bus while a member of the National Guard keeps watch as part of the efforts by the Mexican government to cut the flow of U.S.-bound migrants who illegally cross its border with Guatemala in Chiapas state, Mexico October 22, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/JOSE TORRES)

The migrants were taken to the immigration institute's offices to determine their status.