3 migrants, 2 from Cameroon, dead in Mexico highway crash

Three migrants died in a highway accident in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca, authorities said Thursday.

At least two of the dead — a man and a woman — are from the African nation of Cameroon, and the identity of the third is being checked. Five more migrants were injured and are being treated at local hospitals.

The country’s National Immigration Institute did not immediately identify the cause of the crash, or provide information on the condition of those injured.

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Oaxaca is a key route for migrants seeking to cross Mexico to reach the U.S. border, and accidents involving migrants there are common.

In March, the bodies of eight Asian migrants were found after a boat accident along Oaxaca’s Pacific coast.

Mexican flag

A Mexican flag waves in front of The National Palace, the office of the president, in Mexico City’s main square, the Zocalo, at sunrise, April 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

One survivor, an Asian man, was located. The bodies were found near a beach in the town of Playa Vicente, which is about 250 miles east of Mexico’s border with Guatemala.

In 2023, at least 16 migrants from Venezuela and Haiti died in a bus crash in Oaxaca.

There has been a series of migrant deaths in Mexico amid a surge in migrants traveling toward the U.S. border. Because migration agents often raid regular buses, migrants and smugglers often seek out risky forms of transportation, like unregulated buses, trains or freight trucks.

Last year, 10 Cuban migrants died and 17 others were seriously injured after a freight truck they were riding in crashed on a highway in the neighboring state of Chiapas, near the border with Guatemala.

The National Immigration Institute said all of the dead Cuban migrants were women, and one of them was under 18.

The Institute said the driver of the vehicle had apparently been speeding and lost control of the truck, which was carrying 27 migrants at the time. The driver fled the scene.

Mexican authorities generally prohibit migrants without proper documents from buying tickets for regular buses, so those without the money to hire smugglers often hire poorly-driven, poorly-maintained buses that speed to avoid being stopped. Or they walk along the side of highways, hitching rides aboard passing trucks.

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Last week, a truck flipped over on a highway in Chiapas, killing two Central American migrants and injuring another 27. And two Central American migrants died last week after trying to board a moving train in the state of Coahuila near the Texas border.

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