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  • Students form a human chain during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policies, and to call for unity, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico Feb. 17, 2017.

    Students form a human chain during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policies, and to call for unity, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico Feb. 17, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 April 2019

The migrants were found aboard five buses when Mexican authorities intervened and arrested 15 people.

Mexican authorities rescued 338 Central American migrants aboard five buses in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, the Attorney General's Office (FGR) said Tuesday.

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The migrants included 181 adults and 157 minors from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, as well as one person from Cuba. The migrants were being transported in five passenger buses by traffickers, the FGR reported.

During the rescue mission, 15 people transporting the Central Americans were arrested for probable violation of Migration Law.

The Federal Ministerial Police (PFM) said they had received a tip that "a group of men was transporting migrants on dirt roads." The police carried out an investigation along a section of the Tecpatan-Raudales Malpaso road to locate the buses. In the operation, police also confiscated three communication radios, a laptop, and six cell phones.

Those who had been aboard the buses have reportedly received comprehensive medical and psychological attention and have been sent to the National Institute of Migration (INAMI) in Chiapas.

Since mid-October 2018, thousands of migrants, mostly from Honduras and El Salvador where poverty and violent crime rates are some of the highest in the world, began a group exodus to feel more secure during their passage through Mexico, with the goal of reaching the United States.

On March 23, a caravan of more than 1,200 migrants began a trek through southeastern Mexico after spending two months stranded in the state of Chiapas waiting for authorities to grant them visitor's card for humanitarian reasons.

Five days later, a new caravan of some 1,800 migrants formed in northern Mexico, most of them Cubans, after INAMI temporarily closed its offices in Tapachula and Suchiate.

Thousands of undocumented people cross the Mexican territory every year towards the United States, but during their journey, they are exposed to robberies, extortion, kidnappings and even murders by criminal gangs, as well as abuses by corrupt authorities.

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