At least 53 migrants die in truck crash in Mexico

At least 49 people were killed in a tractor-trailer accident in Tuxtla Gutierrez
A policeman raises his hand to block photographers to avoid taking pictures at the site of a trailer crash that killed at least 49 people, most of them Central American migrants, in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas state, Mexico December 9, 2021. REUTERS / Jacob Garcia

December 10, 2021

By Jacob Garcia

TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Mexico (Reuters) – At least 53 mostly Central American migrants died when the truck carrying them overturned in southern Mexico on Thursday, in one of the worst crashes to hit the country. who risked their lives to the US border.

Luis Manuel Garcia, head of Chiapas’ civil protection agency, said the accident happened when the truck lurched on a sharp bend outside the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez in the state of Chiapas.

The Mexican Attorney General’s office put the death toll at 53.

A Reuters witness heard desperate cries and sobs from survivors as Mexican officials rushed to the scene.

Reuters images showed a white trailer overturned on a highway, with several people lying on tarps on the ground to receive medical attention. The images also show a series of what appear to be the bodies of the crash victims wrapped in white sheets.

A video recording of the aftermath of the incident that was broadcast on social media showed a woman holding a crying baby, both covered in blood. Another video shows a man curled up in agony inside the destroyed trailer, barely moving as helpers pull the body out.

The Chiapas civil protection agency said the dead included men, women and children.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Twitter expressed grief at the “very heartbreaking” incident.

The crash also left dozens injured, who were taken to area hospitals, authorities said.

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America often walk through Mexico to reach the US border, and sometimes cram into large trucks organized by smugglers in extremely dangerous conditions. dangerous.

“This shows us that irregular migration is not the best way,” Kevin Lopez, a spokesman for Guatemala’s presidency, told Milenio television.

He didn’t know how many Guatemalan victims there were.

El Salvador’s foreign minister, Alexandra Hill, said her government was working to see if Salvadorans had died.

Mexico’s National Migration Institute said it would issue humanitarian and housing visas to survivors, and Chiapas Governor Rutilio Escandon said those responsible for the crash would be held accountable.

Officials in Mexico regularly encounter migrants packed in trailers, including 600 two-trucks-mexico-2021-11- 20 were found hidden behind two trucks in eastern Mexico last month.

Mexican authorities in Chiapas have been trying to persuade migrants not to form caravans to trek thousands of miles to the US border, and have begun transporting people from the southern city of Tapachula to the regions. other of the country.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has also advised migrants not to leave their homeland for the US.

Critics say tougher policies lead migrants to seek out people smugglers, putting their lives at risk.

Migration activist Ruben Figueroa said: “(Authorities) create illegal migration that generates billions of dollars in profits.

(Reporting by Jacob Garcia; Additional reporting by Jose Torres, Lizbeth Diaz and Stefanie Eschenbacher; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Richard Pullin) At least 53 migrants die in truck crash in Mexico


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