According to officials, at least 53 people were murdered and scores more were wounded in a tragic truck accident in southern Mexico on Thursday, with the majority of the fatalities thought to be Central American migrants.
The disaster, which happened in southern Chiapas state, occurred when a truck carrying more than 100 passengers toppled on Thursday afternoon near Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the state’s capital, according to Luis Manuel Garca Moreno, the state’s director of civil protection services.
After the deaths of 13 migrants in a vehicle accident along the United States-Mexico border in March, this is the bloodiest migrant tragedy in many decades.
In his statement, Mr. Garca stated that, according to witness testimony, the truck was travelling at an excessively high rate of speed when it flipped over while rounding a sharp curve, resulting in the trailer carrying the migrants colliding with a pedestrian bridge and construction equipment nearby.
Photographs and images posted on social media showed more than a dozen dead wrapped in white sheets by the side of the road, beside what seemed to be the mangled remnants of a crashed automobile.
According to the Civil Protection Service’s Facebook page, a further 58 persons had been hurt. The tragedy happened on the roadway that connects the municipality of Chiapa de Corzo with the state capital of Sao Paulo.
The state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, has experienced a significant increase in the number of migrants from Central America in recent years, many of whom are being smuggled through Mexico on their route to the United States border. In the 12 months preceding up to October of this year, an unprecedented 1.7 million migrants, mostly from Mexico and Central America, were apprehended while attempting to enter the United States illegally.
Attempting to cross the border into the United States, whether to seek asylum or to seek economic opportunities, is a dangerous and at times deadly process, with migrants forced to travel through cartel-infested territory in northern Mexico, where they must often pay extortionate fees to smugglers in order to cross.
During their trip north, migrants are typically crammed into trucks or vehicles, and they are routinely subjected to violence as a result of their circumstances. In January, the corpses of 19 persons, the most of whom were migrants, were discovered in a burnt pickup vehicle near the border with the United States. Following the incident, a group of 12 police officers were apprehended in connection with it.
According to the International Organization for Migration, at least 3,575 deaths have been documented on the United States-Mexico border since 2014. This year alone, 650 people were killed while attempting to cross the border into the United States, the highest number recorded since the I.O.M. began documenting deaths on the border in 2014.
Michele Klein-Solomon, the International Organization for Migration’s regional director for Central, North America, and the Caribbean, said in a statement on Wednesday that the growing death toll among migrants in the area was “very worrying.”
According to the International Organization for Migration, at least 750 migrants have died while attempting to cross the border into Mexico since 2014, and hundreds more have just vanished.
The accident on Thursday occurred just a day after the United States re-launched a contentious migrant enforcement programme known as Remain in Mexico, which would force asylum seekers to wait across the border while their cases are decided in U.S. courts. The programme would force asylum seekers to wait across the border while their cases are decided in U.S. courts. Human rights organisations have expressed concern about the programme because of the harsh circumstances that migrants are forced to endure in Mexico.
Thousands of asylum seekers’ lives have been placed in risk by the United States and Mexico as part of the “Remain in Mexico” programme, according to Ari Sawyer, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, in a statement released Thursday.