The more we know about the tragedy of the 55 migrants killed in Chiapas, the more underlying concerns arise.
The migrants from Guatemala and Honduras for the most part, relate several things that are worth mentioning. In the first place, that many of them had given advances of up to 30,000 pesos to end up delivering up to 300,000 when they arrived in Texas. Next, they made 3 stops while in Chiapas and went through booths at each of those stops. And finally, that they were crowded together until the trailer reached 150 crowded human beings and that those who were going towards the center of the trailer box survived and those glued to the walls died.
If we were to give truth to what they reported, the first thing to conclude is that there is an illegal market with which someone is benefiting and in a very juicy way. To get an average, because some say they were charged 60,000 pesos to put them at the border and others that up to 300,000, and we put the average at 150,000 pesos, in that truck there was to distribute 22,500,000 pesos in that single trip.
The amount is enough to corrupt authorities, inspectors and pay for the transfer in excess of gasoline and other necessities.
So, as is often the case in our country, the chain that maintains or is not monitored migration is corrupted. It is not only that policing the southern border is a problem, since it is impossible to comb the jungle at all points and it is even known that there are roads made by who knows who, but that the juicy profits of those who promote this migration and the authorities involved They have managed to build a network of interests that will be very difficult to unleash. Given that the situation in the countries where the migrants come from have problems that will be very difficult to solve in the short term.
The fact of the three stops is very significant, since the checkpoints are not only made up of immigration authorities, but also members of the National Guard and sometimes the army. What makes things worse because the standard procedure in the checkpoints is to check what they have in the load, at least in one of the three. Obviously this did not happen.
And finally, the overcrowding. It is not strange that the members of the gangs that traffic with migrants want to maximize their profits, but they know that this overcrowding is not feasible, not because of security (of course they are not thinking about that) but because of the viability of trafficking itself. 150 people inside a trailer box is noticeably unstable when cornering and at speed. There are 150 people at 70 kilos each, an average of more than 10 tons of weight dancing inside a box that has no structural strength. The accident was predictable.
Migration policy is in frank crisis. Not only because of the demands of our neighbor to the north, but because of the approach we are giving it, granting the authorities a role that, given the circumstances, they will never fulfill. It is not about letting them enter in an orderly fashion or that they simply stay in Mexico as an alternative, but the problem is not one of force and police, it requires much more intelligence and analysis. Nothing more, but nothing less either.
Lawyer, political scientist and economist
Essayist and interested in legal and justice issues. currently a professor at the UNAM law school.