Two Mexican immigrants were shot dead in a dawn attack near Tecate, across the border from California
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s National Migration Institute said two Mexican migrants were shot and killed on the Mexican side of the U.S. border in the early hours of Friday morning.
Three others were injured by gunshots, but they were helped by one of the institute’s emergency rescue teams, along with nine other people who were unharmed.
Rescue services found a group of 14 Mexican citizens at dawn on Cuchuma Hill near the city of Tecate in the border state of Baja California. By the time rescuers rose to meet the group, two of the migrants were already dead.
The harsh desert hill is considered a sacred site by at least one group of Mexican indigenous people, but it is also used by migrant smugglers.
The cause of the shooting is unknown, but migrant crossings often involve agreements with local gangs over right of passage. Migrants are sometimes shot if their smuggler works for a rival gang or if they do not pay passage rights.
Migrants are often robbed by roaming gangs of thieves and kidnappers in border areas.
In one high-profile case in 2021, Tamaulipas state police shot and killed 19 people at the border, including at least 14 Guatemalan migrants, then burned their bodies. The court recently convicted 11 officers for murder.
In this case, officers initially said they were responding to gunfire and believed they were pursuing Gulf Cartel vehicles. But the state police burned the bodies in an attempt to cover up the crime.
The two dead in Tecate are the latest in a rapidly growing number of migrants killed or injured on Mexico’s northern and southern borders in a desperate attempt to reach the United States.
In Chiapas, one of three states in southern Mexico bordering Guatemala, a truck overturned on the highway on Thursday, killing two Central American migrants and injuring 27 others.
The Mexican Immigration Institute said on Friday that 52 migrants were traveling in an overcrowded garbage truck when the driver lost control and it overturned. The injured, including six children, were taken to the hospital, where they all received legal asylum cards, as they were victims of a crime on Mexican territory.
Just one day before the accident, two other Central American migrants died after trying to board a moving train in the state of Coahuila, near the Texas border.
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