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Mexican Authorities Find 206 Migrants Drugged in Abandoned Trailer

Mexican Authorities Find 206 Migrants Drugged in Abandoned Trailer

Mexican authorities have thwarted the illegal transportation of over 500 migrants attempting to reach the United States, with one shocking incident involving 206 individuals found forcibly drugged inside an abandoned trailer.

On July 15, authorities discovered the 206 migrants abandoned inside the tractor-trailer in Puente Nacional, Veracruz, according to an official from the National Migration Institute (INM).

The migrants discovered in the airtight compartments of the trailer were from Guatemala and Honduras. The INM stated that these individuals had been “forced to ingest substances to endure their confinement” during the treacherous journey.

The migrants were found “locked in airtight compartments of an abandoned trailer.” The trailer was packed with men, women, and children, all found wearing identification bracelets.

According to a Facebook post by the town’s mayor, Roberto Montiel, “over 180” migrants, including women and children, were found in the tractor-trailer. Some of the migrants displayed signs of dehydration during the discovery.

Authorities reported that 132 of the migrants were traveling together as family units from Guatemala, and an additional three families from Honduras, comprising 12 individuals in total. Moreover, there were 39 solo adult travelers, consisting of four women and 35 men.

Among the passengers, there were 20 minors, specifically 15 boys and five girls, all of whom hailed from Guatemala. Additionally, three adults from Honduras were also traveling alone.

Rescued migrants who were transported in overcrowded conditions in the box of a Torton-type cargo truck are seen during a verification operation, in Fortin de las Flores, Veracruz state, Mexico, in this handout photo released on July 16, 2023. (INM/Handout via Reuters)

Upon the discovery, the migrants revealed the inhumane conditions they endured during the journey, which left them cramped and dehydrated.

The INM transferred the minors and family units to the National System for Integral Family Development (DIF), while adult individuals were taken to INM facilities to undergo immigration procedures.

Investigations revealed that the trailer had been fitted with “airtight material” to evade detection at X-ray security checkpoints along the border.

The alleged traffickers had abandoned the vehicle, and the driver had fled the scene. Authorities handed over the truck to the Attorney General’s Office in Veracruz for further investigation.

This incident is just one of several instances where Mexican authorities have intercepted migrants attempting to cross the border into the United States.

303 Migrants Intercepted

On July 14, the INM reported two other operations in Veracruz, resulting in the interception of 303 migrants. Among them were 20 unaccompanied minors traveling from Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

In the city of Fortin de las Flores, one of the operations found 196 migrants, including 19 unaccompanied minors. Among these migrants were ten adults from Guatemala and five adults from India.

Six individuals were arrested during one of the operations for their alleged involvement in transporting the migrants.

In recent years, the perilous practice of smuggling migrants en route to the United States has resulted in devastating tragedies.

One such incident occurred in December 2021, when a truck carrying approximately 166 migrants crashed in Mexico’s southern Chiapas state, leading to the loss of 55 lives.

In another incident in June 2022, 53 migrants lost their lives inside a sweltering tractor-trailer in Texas, marking the deadliest migrant-trafficking event ever recorded in the United States.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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