A group of 94 migrants from Asia and Central America was found “in subhuman conditions” aboard a truck near Tuxtla Gutierrez, a city in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, the National Migration Institute, or INM, said.
The migrants - 78 men and 16 women - had “severe lesions on their hands and legs, as well as symptoms of suffocation,” the INM said in a statement.
Two of the migrants were given first aid and the rest were provided with food and water.
The truck was stopped early Tuesday at the checkpoint on the way out of Tuxtla Gutierrez after an X-ray inspection revealed that people were in the trailer, the Chiapas Attorney General’s Office said.
The group includes nine men and a woman from Nepal; nine men from Bangladesh; 37 men and eight women from Guatemala; 20 men and three women from El Salvador; and four women and three men from Honduras, the INM said.
The migrants were heading from Comitan, Chiapas, to Mexico City, the INM said.
Truck driver Jose Luis Gomez Arceo, who has a prior criminal record, was arrested on people trafficking charges, the AG’s office said.
The migrants told investigators they paid the people traffickers fees ranging from $4,000 to $5,000 for the Central Americans to between $6,000 and $8,000 in the case of the Asians, the AG’s office said.
An estimated 300,000 Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.
The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.
Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican officials say.