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Factbox: Deadly tragedies involving migrants crossing Mexico


Migrant Elerith Medina is hugged by an activist during a protest outside the National Institute of Migration building after a fire broke out late on Monday at a migrant detention center, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, March 28, 2023. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

At least 40 migrants died in the Mexican northern border city of Ciudad Juarez after a fire broke at a migrant detention center on Monday.

The blaze was one of the deadliest in the country in years, and is the latest in a string of fatal accidents for migrants as the U.S. and Mexico grapple with record levels of border crossings.

What follows are other cases, beginning with the most recent, in which groups of migrants have died trying to reach the United States.

Migrants suffocate on train in Texas, March 2023

Two migrants suffocated to death aboard a freight train in Texas, with at least 15 others needing medical care. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejando Mayorkas blamed the deaths on “callous” smugglers who “only care about making a profit.”

Bus crash in central Mexico, February 2023

Seventeen people died when a bus carrying migrants from Venezuela, Colombia and Central America crashed in Mexico’s central Puebla state.

Rio Grande drowning, September 2022

Nine migrants died and 37 were rescued as they tried to cross the Rio Grande River into the United States, highlighting the risks facing hundreds of people who attempt to cross the river every day.

Truck smuggling incident in Texas, June 2022

Fifty-three migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador died in a sweltering tractor trailer in Texas in the deadliest migrant-trafficking incident on record in the U.S.

Truck crash in southern Mexico, December 2021

Fifty-five people, nearly all Guatemalans, were killed after a truck carrying an estimated 166 migrants crashed in Mexico’s southern Chiapas state, in one of the deadliest migrant tragedies in Mexico of the last decade.

Veracruz road accidents, September 2021 and February 2020

Four Cuban migrants were killed and another eight were injured when their van overturned on a highway in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, according to Mexican media and state authorities. The previous year, a bus carrying migrants overturned on another Veracruz highway killing one person and injuring 81.

Texas van crash, August 2021

A van overloaded with 30 people, many believed to be migrants, crashed in Texas several miles from a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint, killing 10 and critically injuring many others.

California border crash, March 2021

Thirteen migrants from Mexico and Guatemala died when a vehicle packed with 25 people collided with a tractor-trailer a few miles north of the border. The victims were part of a group of nearly four dozen migrants suspected of slipping through a hole cut by smugglers through a fence along the border.

Dehydration deaths on Texas border, June 2019

Seven migrants, including a woman, two babies and a toddler, died from extreme summer heat and dehydration after crossing the Mexican border into Texas. In another incident, a six-year-old girl from India died from heat stroke in Arizona after smugglers left a group of migrants in a remote desert location.

Tabasco train derailment, August 2013

At least six people were killed when a cargo train nicknamed “La Bestia” (The Beast) derailed in the state of Tabasco. Many migrants have fallen to their deaths or suffered injuries on the train while hitching a ride to the U.S. border.

Tamaulipas migrant massacre, 2010

Seventy-two migrants primarily from Central America were murdered in the San Fernando area of the northern state of Tamaulipas. The group was mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, but also included people from Ecuador, Brazil and India, the U.N. human rights office reported.

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