Photo: La Bestia
Four migrants were killed and three others wounded when gunmen attacked a train in southeastern Mexico, the National Migration Institute, or INM, said Thursday.
“A group of suspected criminals attacked the migrants, who were traveling on the train that covers the Arriaga, Chiapas-Ixtepec, Oaxaca route, causing the deaths of four people and wounding three others,” the INM said in a statement.
The attack occurred in a remote region of Oaxaca state and “the group of criminals tried to take advantage of this to steal belongings and money from the migrants,” the INM said.
“Some migrants refused to hand over their belongings to the suspected criminals, who shot them,” the INM said.
One of the migrants died when he jumped from the moving train “to try to avoid being robbed, dying instantly,” the INM said.
Officials have not released the identities or nationalities of the victims.
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, rob and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican officials say.
At least 100 migrants were robbed by armed men aboard “La Bestia,” or “The Beast,” the freight train Central American migrants headed for the United States often ride on their journey across Mexico, on Dec. 2.
The incident occurred in Chahuite, a town in Oaxaca state near the border with Chiapas state.