More than 1,300 migrants — mostly of Cuban descent — escaped an immigrant detention center in southern Mexico on Thursday, amid complaints of overcrowding and insufficient supplies at the facility.
What are the details?
According to the National Migration Institute, the detainees busted out of the facility following a riot that began inside. Officials said there was no major confrontation with the agents guarding the compound, and more than half the migrants returned on their own accord — while another 600 remain unaccounted for.
The Associated Press reported that federal police carrying riot shields rushed inside the detention center after the mass escape in order to diffuse the situation, "as a crowd of angry Cubans whose relatives were being held at the facility gathered outside."
One family member, Usmoni Velazquez told the AP, "My wife and child have been in there for 27 days in bad conditions. There is overcrowding, insufficient food and there isn't even medicine for them."
The Telegraph reported that migrants claim the Siglo XXI center located in the border city of Tapachula has held upward of 3,000 people at times, but was only built for a capacity of 1,000. Not all of the detainees took part in the mass escape, but purported footage of the chaos was circulated on social media.
The AP called the incident "embarrassing," given that the unrest occurred on the same day Mexico's top human rights official toured the facility.
Reuters reported that late Thursday, roughly 400 migrants boarded a freight train located in Chiapas, which is the same state where the breakout occurred. It is unclear how many, if any, of the train passengers had fled from the Siglo XXI center. According to the outlet, the migrants on the train were "hoping to reach the United States."
Mexico has been under pressure from President Donald Trump and his administration to assist in apprehending and deporting migrants attempting to pass through the country on their way to the U.S.
According to The Independent, Mexico has returned 15,000 migrants over the past month. But the country is being overwhelmed with massive caravans of migrants funneling in from South and Central American countries en route to America.