10 Cuban Migrants Are Killed in a Freight Truck Crash in Southern Mexico, 17 Seriously Injured

10 Cuban Migrants Are Killed in a Freight Truck Crash in Southern Mexico, 17 Seriously Injured
A naval police officer patrols the banks of the Suchiate river on the Mexico-Guatemala border in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas State, Mexico, on June 17, 2019. (Quetzalli Blanco/AFP/Getty Images)

TAPACHULA, Chiapas—At least 10 Cuban migrants died and 17 others were seriously injured after a freight truck they were riding in crashed on a highway in southern Mexico near the border with Guatemala.

The National Immigration Institute said all of the dead Cuban migrants were women, and one of them was under 18.

The Institute said the driver of the vehicle had apparently been speeding and lost control of the truck, which was carrying 27 migrants at the time. The driver fled the scene.

The Chiapas state civil defense office said the crash happened Sunday on a highway near the town of Pijijiapan.

Photos showed a truck with an open cargo box tipped on its side, and the victims on the side of the highway. An employee of the state prosecutor’s office said the migrants had been hitching rides on passing vehicles.

Mexican authorities generally prohibit migrants without proper documents from riding buses, so those without the money to hire smugglers often walk along the side of highways, hitching rides aboard passing trucks.

It was the latest in a series of migrants deaths in Mexico amid a surge in illegal immigrants traveling toward the U.S. border.

A migrant from Ecuador died and 10 others from Colombia and Guatemala were injured in a crash Saturday that occurred while they were being taken for processing in a van operated by Mexico’s immigration agency.

Mexico’s National Migration Institute said the van was involved in a collision with a bus in the city of Mexicali, across the border from Calexico, California.

On Friday, two Mexican migrants were fatally shot on the Mexican side of the border and three others suffered gunshot wounds, the Migration Institute said. Rescue services found a group of 14 Mexican nationals at dawn on Cuchuma Hill near Tecate, a city between Mexicali and Tijuana.

The cause of the shooting wasn’t known, but illegal  migrant crossings often involve agreements with local cartels for the right of passage. Migrants are sometimes shot if their smuggler is working for a rival gang or if they haven’t paid passage rights. Migrants are also often robbed by roving gangs of thieves and kidnappers in border areas.

And on Thursday in Chiapas, a truck flipped over on the highway, killing two Central American migrants and injuring another 27.

The Migration Institute said Friday that 52 illegal migrants were traveling in an overcrowded dump truck when the driver lost control and overturned. The injured, including six children, were transported to the hospital, where they were all granted legal cards of asylum, as victims of a crime on Mexican territory.

And on Wednesday, two Central American migrants died after trying to board a moving train in the state of Coahuila near the Texas border.

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