Three dead as smuggling boat capsizes in Mexico: Official | Migration News


Two people, including a child, also drowned after apparently trying to cross the river separating Mexico and Guatemala.

Three people have died after a smugglers’ boat capsized off the coast of eastern Mexico, authorities say.

Four other people were rescued after the eight-meter (25-foot) vessel capsized on Monday off a part of Veracruz state where the Tonala River meets the Gulf of Mexico, according to Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia. Among those rescued was a 12-year-old boy. Four other people were missing following the accident.

Authorities said those who drowned and those rescued were migrants from Honduras.

“They recovered three bodies. The four survivors report that there are four missing,” David Esparza Diaz, head of civil protection for the municipality of Agua Dulce, told AFP.

Also on Monday, a 36-year-old father and his seven-year-old son were found dead in the Suchiate River, which marks the border between Mexico and Guatemala. The couple were from El Salvador, according to Mexico’s national immigration institute. Their bodies were to be handed over to El Salvador on Tuesday.

Every year, tens of thousands of people migrate from Central America to Mexico, often bound for the southern border of the United States. They continue to make the journey despite enhanced border inspections by Mexican authorities along the Guatemalan border.

Increased restrictions force many people to undertake increasingly dangerous journeys, often with the help of smugglers, across waterways or in crowded contraband vehicles.

Monday’s incidents followed the deaths of four people a day earlier carried in the back of a freight truck in San Juan Chamula Township. Sixteen other people were injured when the vehicle was involved in a collision.

In December, a truck carrying migrants overturned on a highway near the town of Tuxtla Gutierrez, killing at least 56 people and highlighting the desperate measures more than 160 passengers were prepared to take.

In recent months, the administration of US President Joe Biden has asked Latin American countries to commit to tightening their immigration controls in preparation for the lifting of a restriction that allowed US authorities to refuse most asylum seekers, citing COVID-19 concerns.

The administration was expected to lift the restriction, known as Title 42, on Monday. However, the decision was blocked by a federal judge following a challenge by officials from several US border states.

This policy has enabled the United States to deport nearly two million asylum seekers since March 2020.

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