A Mexican rail company suspended operations after a video showing migrants crammed into freight cars boarding in the US went viral earlier this week, citing concerns for the safety of those on board.
Ferromex Railway announced on Tuesday that it will temporarily suspend train operations in the north of the country as migrants are injured in the process of climbing onto the carriages.
“There has been a significant increase in the number of migrants in recent days,” Ferromex said in a statement, adding that it was halting trains “to protect the physical safety of migrants” pending action by government authorities and law enforcement. to solve the bigger issue.
The company specifically cited “half a dozen unfortunate cases of injury or death” caused by migrants boarding freight cars in recent days. It also reported that some migrants were jumping onto moving freight wagons “despite the grave danger it represents”.
VIDEO SHOWS TRAIN FILLED WITH MIGRANTS HEADING TO US SOUTHERN BORDER FROM MEXICO
Ferromex, Mexico’s largest rail concession operator, said the standoff halted 60 trains carrying cargo that would fill 1,800 tractor-trailers. Some international trade will also be affected by the new order, the company said.
The announcement comes as desperate migrants increasingly seek access to the US, tripping up both Mexican and US officials at the border.
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Migrants have long used the trains, known collectively as “The Beast,” to reach the U.S. border, and a video of a Ferromex train from Zacatecas, Mexico, filled with migrants — headed for the southern U.S. border — has viral on Sunday.
When the company announced the decision to halt rail operations, it said there were about 1,500 migrants gathered at a rail yard in the city of Torreon, in the northern border state of Coahuila.
The company also reported about 800 migrants waiting at the cargo yards in Irapuato, in the north-central state of Guanajuato.
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About 1,000 people were reported to be already in freight cars on the train line connecting the city of Chihuahua and the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.