Six human smugglers were arrested and 60 Central American migrants were apprehended after an illegal caravan was stopped in Veracruz.
State police from the Secretaría de Seguridad Pública (SSP) halted a suspicious caravan of four vehicles traveling along the Minatitlán-Acayucan Highway earlier this week in the municipality of Texistepec. State police identified six human smugglers and placed them into custody, according to local reports. The smugglers were identified as Ernesto “N,” 18, Olíver and Víctor Alonso “N,” 30, all from Chiapas. The other three smugglers were identified as René “N,” 35, Jorge “N,” 46, and Víctor Manuel “N,” 37, from Veracruz.
Authorities reported that of the 60, 29 were men, nine women, and 22 minors. The smugglers were turned over to the federal attorney general’s office. The 60 were placed into the custody of Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM).
Mexico is seeing a sharp increase in Central American migrants entering the country to reach the U.S. border and request asylum. This practice has triggered human smuggling organizations into action. The flaws in U.S. immigration law created a pull factor, leading to record-setting border apprehension statistics. The asylum tactic is expected to result in approximately 900,000 migrants entering the U.S. in 2019, per estimates by the Department of Homeland Security.
The migration has caused a humanitarian crisis in which human smuggling organizations place migrants at extreme risk while hurriedly transporting them through Mexico to avoid detection. Breitbart News recently reported about a fatal crash that killed 23 migrants and injured 33 in Chiapas. The migrants were packed into a large cargo truck that went into a ravine.
In early April, human smugglers abandoned 155 migrants on a road in Pueblo, according to local reports.
In February, Mexican security authorities arrested a human smuggler transporting 39 migrants in Veracruz who tried to bribe officials with $10,000 pesos ($530 USD).
Breitbart News is told by local contacts that human smuggling organizations make promises of safe passage but instead often hold migrants for ransom.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)