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Migrants climb on top of trains amidst uptake in deportations from Mexico

2019-04-27 22:45
Hundreds of migrants hoping to reach the United States boarded a freight train in southern Mexico, frustrated by efforts to slow their progress by the Mexican government, which is under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump. The risky move to board the train, known as "La Bestia" (The Beast), followed a mass breakout of migrants from a holding centre in the southern border city of Tapachula on Thursday night. The government estimated some 1,300 people escaped but said a majority later returned to the centre. Trump has threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border if the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador does not put a stop to illegal immigrants reaching the U.S. frontier. Migrants are paying little heed so far. The breakout from the Tapachula holding centre was one of the biggest in recent years, and came after Mexico had stepped up efforts to round up and send home migrants. Video footage of the escape from the Siglo XXI facility posted on social media showed people sprinting from the gates of the holding centre, the biggest of its kind in Mexico. Migrant advocacy groups say that Mexican officials have been holding 1,700 people there in a space designed for about half that number. Families of migrants held at the centre say conditions inside are difficult. Detainees, they say, sleep on the hard floor, eat poorly and lack medical attention. Mexico's National Migration Institute did not reply to requests for comment on conditions at the facility.