Investigations continue 1 month on from Mexico truck crash

By Mitzi Fuentes Gomez

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico, Jan 9 (EFE).- Investigations and repatriations of the bodies of 56 migrants continue a month after a truck crash in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

On Dec. 9, a truck-trailer carrying Central American migrants overturned on the Tuxtla-Chiapa de Corzo highway, killing 56 and injuring more than 100.

Despite the tragedy, the authorities of Mexico and Guatemala have not shown progress in the investigations, while relatives await the recovery of their loved ones so they can return home.

Emilio Yboy López is a Guatemalan farmer who a month ago received a call telling him that his son, Jenrry Soel Yboy Hernández, 21, had been in an accident. It took him three days to get to Tuxtla, Mexico, to find the young man who suffered a broken hip.

Emilio, still shocked but relieved, tells the story of his son who, he says had a dream of raising money to build a house in his place of origin.

“I told him not to go (on the trip), but he argued that he had already been in Guatemala for two years and had not gathered anything, and at the invitation of his friends they went with those they knew,” he lamented.

Emilio says that as soon as Jenrry is discharged they will return to his country so that he can recover. “I think he will try again (to go to the United States),” he said.

Of the total number of deaths, 54 bodies have been identified, the majority of Guatemalan nationality, and 31 of them have been repatriated: 11 to the Dominican Republic and 20 to Guatemala, according to data from the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic.

According to the Chiapas Health Secretariat, medical assistance continues to be provided to 13 Central American migrants in different hospitals in the state.

A month after the fatal accident, the Mexican authorities have not released a progress report of the investigations to determine the cause of the accident and responsibility for it.

Meanwhile, the Guatemalan government, through the head of the Office of the Prosecutor Against Illicit Trafficking of Migrants, Stuardo Campo, reported on Twitter that a team of prosecutors and investigators seeks to locate human smugglers.

The Dominican Republic has been the only government that has reported dismantling a network – accused of smugging people to the United States through countries such as Guatemala, Panama and Mexico – after the arrest of five people in the province of San Pedro de Macorís and in the municipality of Baní.

For some experts in migratory mobility on the southern border, the silence of the governments of Mexico and Guatemala on dismantling these networks, and the slowness to act, suggest that the authorities overlap with the criminal groups that operate in the area.

“This trailer could not have gone unnoticed when there are checkpoints in the Comitán, San Cristóbal and Tuxtla area. This means that there is a criminal network to investigate and dismantle,” said anthropologist Aki Kuromiya, a researcher at South Border College.

Jorge López Arévalo, professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Autonomous University of Chiapas, said that the militarization of the borders is the only thing that increases the cost of migration.

“Migrants contribute important economic resources that they distribute on all Mexican highways, even in the United States,” said the professor.

The region is experiencing a record migratory flow to the US, whose Customs and Border Protection “found” more than 1.7 million illegal immigrants on the border with Mexico in fiscal year 2021, which ended on Sep. 30. EFE


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