Mexican federal police on Thursday rescued 29 migrants who were left in an abandoned truck container to die from suffocation, authorities said.
The group was found inside a refrigerated container standing in a disused service station alongside a freeway in the central state of Puebla that caught a patrol’s attention.
All the migrants from the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and 11 of them were children.
“Several of them were fainting from the lack of oxygen,” a police statement said.
A Honduran man in the group, Elvin Omar Pine, said, “We were making noise with an ax. We were trying to break through, but weren’t able to. Suddenly we head a voice asking if there was someone inside. If it wasn’t for them, we would have been done for, we would have died.”
The migrants had been aiming to sneak through Mexico and across the border into the United States in the truck container, but they were abandoned by the smugglers.
After their rescue, they were handed over to Mexican migration authorities with a view to being deported.
Central Americans from the so-called Northern Triangle made up of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — all poor states brutalized by gang violence and prey to corruption — account for the biggest group of undocumented migrants seeking to enter the United States.
Many fall victim to abuse by human traffickers and other criminals along the way.