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A Caravan Holding 200 Migrants Crashed On a Mexican Highway, Leaving At Least 55 People Dead

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At least 55 people are dead after a migrant caravan crashed into a steel pedestrian bridge on a Southern Mexico highway. The caravan was packed with as many as 200 migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador. At least 52 of the passengers were also injured. 

TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, MEXICO – DECEMBER 09: Mexican national guard officers work in the area after a traffic accident that killed migrants from Central America on December 9, 2021 in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. A truck accident leaves at least 49 people dead and dozens injured according to authorities. Most of the victims are believed to be migrants from Central American who were travelling on a truck that rolled over and crashed into a pedestrian bridge. (Photo by Alfredo Pacheco/Getty Images)

Authorities say that the vehicle appeared to topple over as a result of the weight of hundreds of passengers on the tractor-trailer, as well as the speed at which the driver was going when he went around the curve. 

“It took a bend, and because of the weight of us people inside, we all went with it,” said a male Guatemalan victim to France 24.

The impact of the truck hitting the pole tore open the storage area that the migrants were riding in, instantly killing dozens of people. Chiapas civil protection said that the fatalities included men, women and children. 

After the crash, survivors scrambled to escape the wreck of debris and dead bodies. 

Rescue workers — both professional and volunteer — rushed to help the survivors and move dead bodies to the side of the road onto white sheets. 

TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, MEXICO – DECEMBER 09: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) Victims killed after a road accident are laid on the street in body bags after a traffic accident on December 9, 2021 in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. A truck accident leaves at least 49 people dead and dozens injured according to authorities. Most of the victims are believed to be migrants from Central American who were travelling on a truck that rolled over and crashed into a pedestrian bridge. (Photo by Alfredo Pacheco/Getty Images)

According to the AP, the wreck was one of the “deadliest days for migrants” since the 2010 San Fernando massacre when the Zetas drug cartel murdered 72 migrants in the northern state of Tamaulipas.

The tragedy serves as a grim reminder of the ongoing immigration crisis at our Southern border. While Mexico is trying to find a way to stem the flow of migrants from its border to the U.S., it is so far not finding success. 

“It hurts when these things happen,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a press conference. “We have been insisting that one needs to address the root causes,” he added, referring to the reason people flee their home countries in the first place: poverty, danger and lack of opportunity. 

President Obrador also put some of the blame on the U.S., saying that he has been insisting to the Biden Administration that the immigration situation is “urgent,” but that the White House was moving “slowly.”

Meanwhile, some critics say that the cause of such deadly accidents during mass migration is due to too-strict immigration policies.

People, like migrant activist Irineo Mujica, say that, out of desperation, migrants turn to dangerous methods to find a way to a better life. “These policies that kill us, that murder us, is what leads to this type of tragedy,” Mujica told AP News

Survivors told press outlets that they had paid between $2,500 and $3,500 for the caravan to take them to Puebla. It was there that they were likely going to pay for another smuggler to take them across the U.S. border.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, who leads the country that most of the victims were from, offered his condolences to the deceased via Twitter. “I deeply regret the tragedy in Chiapas state, and I express my solidarity for the victims’ families, to whom we will offer all the necessary consular assistance, including repatriation,” he wrote.

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