Migrants ride in the back of a truck during their journey toward the United States, in Los Olivos, Mexico, Feb. 2, 2019. On Thursday dozens of migrants were killed or injured when the truck they were riding in crashed in Mexico.
Migrants ride in the back of a truck during their journey toward the United States, in Los Olivos, Mexico, Feb. 2, 2019. On Thursday dozens of migrants were killed or injured when the truck they were riding in crashed in Mexico.

GENEVA - The International Organization for Migration reports Latin America has displaced previous record-holder, the Mediterranean Sea as the deadliest route for migrants in the world.

Thousands of refugees and migrants have died while making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe.

FILE - A soldier from Spain guards the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) camp in Koulikoro, Mali,  Nov. 28, 2017.
EU Faces Security Challenges in Migration Control
The bombing of a barracks housing 250 Spanish soldiers in Mali was narrowly averted last week when vans containing about a ton of explosives were stopped short of the gates by guards firing machine guns.“If the truck bomb had gone off inside the compound, it would have been a catastrophe,” said the commander of the Spanish light infantry battalion, Lt. Col.

The region’s grim yearly record as the deadliest route for migrants for now has been broken by Latin America.

International Organization for Migration spokesman, Joel Millman, says since February 1, 79 deaths have been reported along this route. He says this is nearly three times higher than the numbers reported in the Mediterranean.

He agrees the rise in deaths is a consequence of increased migration from Latin American countries to the United States. He tells VOA the journey has become more dangerous because of greater reliance by refugees and migrants on smugglers to transport them to the U.S. border.

A U.S. border patrol boat rescues migrants crossing the Rio Bravo towards the United States, seen from Piedras Negras, Mexico, February 10, 2019.
Record-Breaking Family Migration Overwhelming US Border Agency
The number of migrant families crossing the southwest border is again breaking records, and the crush is overwhelming border agents and straining facilities, officials said Tuesday.More than 76,000 migrants crossed the U.S.-Mexico border last month, more than double the number from the same period last year.Most were families coming in ever-increasingly large groups — there were 70 groups of more than 100 people in the past few months, and they cross illegally in extremely rural locations with few…

“Circular migration, in which there were repeat customers every year in Latin America going to jobs has largely ended. And, that means that the relationship that migrants have with the people who transport them tends to be much harsher and they are dealing with a more criminal class of smuggler than existed a generation ago. Clearly, that shows up in the numbers of people killed,” he said.

Millman says smugglers often take risks and cut corners to increase profits. He says many drive unsafe vehicles, and this often results in deadly accidents.

Just 10 days ago, he notes a truck accident in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas killed 24 Guatemalan men and women. He says this year has been a particularly deadly one for Guatemalans. He says this crash was one of the worst reported by IOM in the past five years.

 

 

 

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