Mexican officials detained more than 700 illegal migrants, mostly Central Americans, bound for the U.S. via human traffickers in six immigration enforcement operations over the last week, Agence France-Presse reported.
What’s the story?
Authorities found more than 200 in six “safe houses” in the state of Tamaulipas, which sits on the southern border of Texas. More than 100 from this group were minors. The migrants reportedly paid the smugglers up to $4,000 each.
On Saturday, officials found 100 Guatemalans and Hondurans in two buses in the western state of Jalisco. Of those, 41 were children. They paid smugglers between $5,000 and $7,000 each, according to Mexico’s National Migration Institute.
Fifty-three Guatemalans, including 13 minors, were found in a truck in Veracruz.
On Sunday, authorities received a tip that led them to arrest 228 Central Americans and one Mexican in Tamaulipas.
On Monday, officials reported that they stopped three more operations. Authorities detained 40 Hondurans in Veracruz, 43 Central Americans in Tamaulipas, and 41 in Tobasco.
Just over a week ago, Mexican officials detained more than 300 Central Americans trying to get to the U.S.
Last year, the U.S. and Mexico teamed up to fund projects that would improve economies and security and reduce corruption in Central American countries including Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
The collaboration aims to discourage migration.
“We’re taking on what we both recognize as the drivers of mass migration,” Mark Green, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, said last year.
More Central Americans have entered the U.S. illegally than those from Mexico, the Los Angeles Times previously reported.
In 2016, Mexican officials detained more than 200,000 Central Americans at the border.
According to Amnesty International, many migrants risk their lives, and some die, trying to flee from the violence in their home countries.