Police in Guatemala found an abandoned shipping container with 126 Haitian migrants inside. According to the BBC, the container was on the way to the U.S. before being abandoned.
The shipping container was found roadside between Cocales and Nueva Concepción after people heard them screaming for help.
The Guatemalan police rescued the migrants and gave them first aid before they were taken to a migrant shelter. More than 106 of the rescued migrants are from Haiti. Nine of the migrants are from Ghana, and 11 are from Nepal.
Authorities said they had been abandoned by the smugglers they’d paid to help them get to the U.S. through Mexico.
The spokesperson from the police in Guatemala said that they heard the migrants crying inside the container when they arrived.
“We heard cries and knocks coming from inside the container. We opened the doors and found inside 126 undocumented people.”
Se escuchan gritos y golpes provenientes del contenedor, dentro de este se encontraban 126 personas indocumentadas 109 de Haití, 11 de Nepal y 9 Ghana, se brinda atención humanitaria y luego fueron trasladados a los albergues del Instituto Guatemalteco de Migración. pic.twitter.com/ISFgBcSPKE
— PNC de Guatemala (@PNCdeGuatemala) October 9, 2021
The shipping container came to Guatemala through Honduras.
Conditions in Haiti are causing people to seek refuge in other countries by the thousands. President Jouvenal Moïse was assassinated in July, and the country suffered another earthquake soon after. More than 13,000 migrants made it to the Texas/Mexican border, hoping for a better life in September.
Unfortunately, the U.S. has since sent 7,500 migrants back to Haiti, prompting Daniel Foote, the U.S. special envoy for Haiti, to resign, citing the deportations as inhumane. Some of the migrants sent to Port-au-Prince hadn’t been living in Haiti for decades. The United States Department of Homeland Security reiterated that the borders are not open and migrants “should not make the dangerous journey.”
The journey is perilous for asylum seekers coming through Central and South America, and more than 50 have died this year trying to cross the jungle Darien Gap in Panama.
The migrants are currently being held at the Guatemalan Migration Institute and will be sent back to authorities in Honduras.