SOUTH OF THE BORDER: Mexico Retains 500+ Illegal Migrants

"Each paid smugglers between $5,000 and $7,000 for transport."

So, how does Mexico handle their illegal immigrants? Well, for one thing, they don't let them wander around unchecked, not to mention set up shop wherever they want.

According to Yahoo News, "Mexican authorities detained more than 500 undocumented migrants over the weekend, mostly Central Americans trying to reach the United States, many of them risking their lives, officials said."

The migrants were reportedly trafficked by smugglers while kept in harsh conditions without food or water. Authorities detained them in six different operations. In the border state of Tamaulipas, over 200 migrants were stored in six "safe houses" used by gangs.

"They had paid their traffickers up to $4,000. More than 100 of the migrants in that group were minors," reports Yahoo News. "The detentions come as immigration across the southern US border is at the center of a political firestorm in Washington."

In another operation, Mexico's National Migration Institute said Saturday that 100 illegal immigrants from Guatemala and Honduras were retained after being found on two buses in Jalisco. Each paid smugglers between $5,000 and $7,000 for transport.

Another operation discovered 53 Guatemalans in an unventilated truck near the violent state of Veracruz. More from Yahoo News:

Authorities arrested a total of nine people on human trafficking charges in the two operations.

On Sunday, authorities said they arrested a group of 228 Central American migrants and one Mexican in Tamaulipas, after receiving an anonymous tip-off.

And on Monday, they announced three more operations that led to the detention of 40 Hondurans in an overstuffed and unventilated truck in Veracruz, 43 Central Americans in Tamaulipas and 41 in the state of Tabasco.

The operations come a week after Mexico detained more than 300 Central American men, women and children being smuggled to the US without water or food.

Just last month, Mexico reported the highest number of homicides on record. According to NPR, "Mexico recorded 29,168 homicides last year."

Though it will take several months to reach an official tally, security experts have expressed certainty the "figure will mark the country's highest murder rate at least since official statistics began in 1997 — and potentially the highest in the nation's modern history."

The State Department currently lists five of Mexico's 32 states under "Do Not Travel."

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