Disasters & Accidents

Guatemala receives bodies of 15 nationals who died in Mexico crash

Guatemala City, Dec 30 (EFE).- Guatemala on Thursday received the bodies of 15 nationals who were killed early this month when a truck packed full with migrants crashed in southeastern Mexico.

The Mexican Air Force plane that transported the bodies landed around noon at La Aurora airport in Guatemala City.

Those repatriated were all male and between 19 and 46 years old, according to the Guatemalan foreign ministry.

Eight of the 15 migrants came from the northwestern department of Quiché.

The bodies were transferred to funeral cars and will later be taken to their villages of origin for their wakes and burials.

To date, including the returnees on Thursday, Guatemala has received the remains of 19 migrants who died in the accident on Dec. 9 in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

The accident occurred when a truck and trailer carrying at least 150 migrants tipped and crashed into the base of a pedestrian bridge, allegedly due to the driver losing control while speeding.

According to Mexican authorities, 56 people died in the crash and 114 were injured – almost 100 of them Guatemalans.

The migrants were trying to cross Mexico to reach the United States.

One of those who died and who was repatriated on Dec. 18, Daniel Arnulfo Pérez, was trying to get to the US to find work to pay a mortgage, relatives told reporters during his wake.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Hernández said Thursday at a press conference that they are still waiting for the Mexican authorities to confirm 18 more deaths of Guatemalans.

Every year more than 500,000 Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorans try to emigrate irregularly to the US in search of better living conditions and to escape poverty and violence in their native countries, according to estimates by experts and international organizations. EFE


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