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Mexican train operator stops trains because many migrants board and get injured

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican rail operator announced Tuesday that it was temporarily suspending train operations in the country’s north because many migrants were boarding freight cars and injuring themselves in the process.

Ferromex said it had temporarily ordered the halt of 60 trains carrying goods capable of filling 1,800 semi-trailers. He said some international trade would be affected by the shutdown.

In recent days, there have been about “half a dozen unfortunate cases of injury or death” among migrants riding freight cars, the company said in a statement.

The company, owned by conglomerate Grupo Mexico, said some migrants were even jumping on moving freight cars “despite the serious danger this poses.”

“There has been a significant increase in the number of migrants in recent days,” Ferromex said in the statement, adding that it was stopping trains “to protect the physical safety of migrants,” pending action by authorities to resolve the problem. issue.

He said about 1,500 people were gathered at a rail yard in the town of Torreon, in the northern border state of Coahuila. The company also reported that around 800 migrants were waiting at cargo stations in Irapuato, in the north-central state of Guanajuato.

About 1,000 people were in freight cars on the train line that connects the city of Chihuahua to the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.

Migrants have long used trains, known collectively as “The Beast,” to hitchhike from the state of Oaxaca to the U.S. border. About ten years ago, the Mexican government briefly organized train raids to discourage the practice, but later largely abandoned the effort.

This announcement comes as migrants increasingly seek to reach the US border.

Migrants, mostly from Haiti, burst into an asylum office in Tapachula, southern Mexico, on Monday.

Crowds of migrants toppled metal barricades and jostled National Guard officers and police stationed in offices. Some migrants were trampled by their colleagues in the rush.

Authorities then convinced many people to leave, and no injuries were reported.

Crowds of frustrated migrants, many from Cuba and Honduras, say they have had to wait weeks in some cases to get an appointment at the office in Tapachula, near the border with Guatemala.

At the office run by the Mexican Refugee Assistance Commission, migrants can apply for asylum in Mexico. Most, however, intend to use these papers to travel more easily and safely to the U.S. border.

Mexico is on track to receive more asylum requests this year than ever before, as the flow of migrants threatens to overwhelm the governments of several Latin American countries along the migration route.

Andrés Ramírez Silva, director of Mexico’s refugee agency, said last week that the number of asylum applications received by his agency this year could reach 150,000, well above the record of 129,000 set in 2021 .


Follow AP’s global migration coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/migration


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