Recently, more than 500 illegal migrants from Latin America and Asia were discovered crammed into the trailers of two trucks heading from Mexico towards the United States- a load that included 32 women and 4 children. ICE and border patrol officials said the traveling conditions were “inhumane” and confirmed that the four people being accused of smuggling these migrants were arrested, making it one of the biggest cases of suspected human trafficking ever. Apparently, the discovery was made by the use of x-ray equipment at a checkpoint in Mexico’s southern Chiapas state. The reports have indicated that the vehicles had holes for air punched in the floor of the containers but that the immigrants lacked sufficient air and water. “We were suffering, it was very hot and we were clinging to the ropes,” one Honduran migrant said.
Investigators believe the foreigners had to each pay $7,000 to the traffickers for them to be taken into the U.S. While most of those on board were thought to be from Guatemala, there were others from Ecuador and El Salvador as well as smaller numbers from as far as China, Japan, Nepal and India. “It is the largest ever such operation to rescue illegal migrants traveling in inhuman conditions,” a police spokesman said. An estimated half a million illegal migrants try to cross Mexico each year in a bid to reach the United States. Human rights groups say many fall into the hands of organized criminal gangs who exploit and abuse them.