Migrants travel on the train known as "La Bestia", on September 29, 2023, in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua (Mexico). EFE/ Luis Torres

Mexico intercepted more than 27,000 migrants on trains in 15 days

Mexico City, Oct 6 (EFE).- Mexican authorities convinced more than 27,000 migrants in September and October to get off the freight trains they usually use to reach the United States, the National Migration Institute (INM) reported Friday.

“Between September 18 and October 3, 27,066 migrants were rescued, assisted and dissuaded from getting off the roofs and train containers to protect their lives,” the INM detailed in a statement.

The agency assured that it is trying to comply with the agreements made during the institutional meeting between Mexican and US officials on September 22 in Ciudad Juárez to address the increase in migratory flows in the Mexican rail system.

The INM mentioned that after the meeting, 30 humanitarian rescue points were installed on railroad lines in 14 states, thanks to which they intercepted the migrants.

The operations began after Ferromex announced in September the suspension of 60 freight trains due to the presence of more than 4,000 migrants in cars and on the tracks, and the rush of thousands to refugee care centers at the southern border.

The immigration authorities contracted air and ground transportation services for the migrants who agreed to get off the trains to provide them with assistance or to send them to their country of origin.

They also asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) to make diplomatic efforts so that the governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba and Nicaragua accept the assisted return of their compatriots by air.

In addition, in coordination with the municipal government of the border city of Ciudad Juárez, land is being sought to create an open-door shelter for family groups and minors.

The INM also pointed out that from January 1 to October 3, more than 1.56 million migrants were identified in the country, including 138,251 minors.

According to the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR), Mexico is on track to set a new record for refugee applications this year, with 150,000 expected. EFE