The National Migration Institute (INM) has participated in the detention and prosecution of 408 people for crimes against migrants making their way to the United States. The criminal proceedings were brought before the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), said Ardelio Vargas Fosada, commissioner of the INM.
Criminal proceedings have helped curb the attacks against migrants in Mexico, Vargas said during a joint press conference with government spokesman Eduardo Sánchez. Special criminal units dedicated to combatting extortion, trafficking, kidnapping and rape, which were created in Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Chiapas and Oaxaca, contributed in the capture of the criminals, he added.
Agents of the INM carried out various operations which rescued 64,000 migrants, Vargas said. Coordination between local, state and federal agencies played a crucial role in the success of the operations, he added.
The majority of the crimes occurred in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León and Coahuila, he said.
Over the last 14 months the INM has carried operations in conjunction with local and state authorities designed to gather information about criminal organizations. Mexican authorities staged 153 raids over the last year on a train known as “La Bestia” that once rolled toward the U.S. border crowded with Central American migrants.
Mexico’s government cracked down on routes commonly used by migrants to travel from Guatemala to the U.S. border.
The head of the National Immigration Institute said Tuesday that 153 train raids were part of 758 immigration inspections over the last year. Such raids also target buses, trucks and other means of smuggling migrants.
Mexican immigration agents assisted 23,078 child migrants of various nationalities in the same period, Vargas said.
A program to extend free temporary visas to migrants from El Salvador and Honduras will be expanded in the hope that this will help regulate the flow of people to the United States, Sánchez said.
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