The suffering of the families of the Guatemalan migrants who traveled in the damaged trailer in Chiapas does not end.
In addition to not knowing anything about their relatives, they are now receiving threats and extortion from people who tell them that they are kidnapped in Mexico.
An image sent to The Associated Press on Monday shows a message sent from a phone in Mexico in which They ask one of the families in Guatemala, who published their number to receive information on their missing relative, $ 3,000 in exchange for information.
Extortionists are also using altered photographs in which they combine photos of the faces of the disappeared with the bodies of other migrants.
The calls are not limited to Guatemalan territory. Relatives of migrants in the United States have received the same type of calls. “We are afraid, he says there are 40 hostages, we do not know if my brother may be there“Said a migrant who resides in the United States and who for security reasons asked that his name not be published.
On Thursday, a trailer loaded with migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador that had left southern Mexico bound for Puebla overturned in Chiapas while speeding and killed 55 people and injured more than a hundred.
Until Monday, the Mexican government has not made public a list of the dead migrants, but lists of unconfirmed deceased people circulate on social networks.
Some of the wounded Guatemalans decided to return to the country on their own. The Guatemalan government made available telephone numbers to which families located in low-income communities, without access or who do not even speak Spanish well, they should call to ask for or give information about their relatives, but they have not received any news yet.
On Friday, the Guatemalan government sent a high-level commission to Mexico, headed by Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo and two prosecutors who spent a few hours with the injured and then met in Mexico City with that country’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.
Thousands of migrants flee poverty in Guatemala every year. According to experts, between 300 and 500 migrants leave each day for the north and pay an average of $ 10,000 to human traffickers. To obtain the money, they often borrow or pledge their houses or land.
Migrants, who for the most part seek to reach the United States -where some three million Guatemalans live-, contribute to the country more than 11 billion dollars a year in remittances, the equivalent of more than 14% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. country.
According to official data from the Migration Directorate, from January to November of this year almost 15,000 Guatemalans, including more than 3,000 minors, were deported from the United States by air.
In the same period, another 58,225 were deported by land and air from Mexico.