Mexican Judge Sentences Human Traffickers

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A Mexican federal judge sentenced two men to nine and 12 years in prison, respectively, for transporting 118 undocumented Central American migrants via cargo truck through southeastern Mexico, the federal Fiscal General’s Office said on Saturday, Dec. 5.

According to the Mexican prosecutor’s office, the judge, based in the state of Chiapas, ruled that the two individuals were guilty of the crime of transporting foreigners in order to evade immigration procedures and obtain profits.

The two defendants, Juan “L” (Juan López) and Hermelindo “J” (Hermelindo Jiménez), faced criminal proceedings after being detained by the National Guard in October 2019 while driving a tractor-trailer through western Chiapas, a state that borders Guatemala.

After stopping the vehicle, law-enforcement officers discovered 99 migrants from Guatemala, 14 from El Salvador and five from Honduras, among whom 22 were children, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The judge imposed sentences of 12 years in prison on Juan and nine years on Hermelindo for the crime, combined with heavy fines.

Human traffickers occasionally use cargo trucks to transport Central Americans to reach the border with the United States.

This puts the lives of the migrants at risk, as they travel for days in an overcrowded trailer with no food, Mexican authorities said.

…Dec. 7, 2020

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