A Least Ten Cubans Die, Including a Girl, in a Traffic Accident in Mexico

Mexican Immigration reports 17 Cubans with serious injuries after a truck overturned in Pijijiapan (Chiapas). (Chiapas Civil Protection)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, October 1, 2023 — At least ten Cubans, including a girl, died this Sunday after a truck without license plates in which they were traveling overturned in the municipality of Pijijiapan, 150 kilometers from the border city of Tapachula (Chiapas) with Guatemala. A source from the Rafael Alfaro community hospital, where some of the injured were transferred It has been confirmed to 14ymedio that “27 natives of the Island were traveling in the truck” and that they were “expelled at the time of the accident.”

According to the source, the immigration authorities will be in charge of releasing the names. The National Migration Institute detailed that the injured are in “serious” condition. Regarding those hospitalized, he noted that “16 were admitted to the Pijijiapan hospital and one more was channeled to the Hospital of the municipality of Huixtla.” Two minors will be sent to the Pediatric Hospital in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

“The prosecutor’s office for the care of migrants in Chiapas began the investigation folder to determine responsibilities.” The Mexican authorities reported the incident to the Cuban Foreign Ministry in Mexico for the respective process of “repatriation of the bodies,” the source said.

The Mexican press has made public the names of 15 of the injured. They are Danelis Talavera Sánchez, 32 years old; Maylen Melisa Aliaga Tamayo, 24 years old; Ariany Nolasco Moreyda de la Caridad, 7 years old; Yaritza Alen Cuitic, 44 years old; Eliani Dueña Carillo, six years old; Melisa Guiarte Serrano, 18 years old; Eylisa Mauro Chávez Prieto, 20 years old; Sonia Tamayo Rosales, 53 years old; Dykenia Rodríguez, 46 years old; Diana Iris Lozano Moleón, 26 years old; Armando Cárdenas Césped, 60 years old; Alejandro Adrián Velasco, 12 years old; Yorlayne Valverde Pastol, 17 years old; Roos Liz Cortina Mandearabe, 18 years old; and Félix Arreaga Suárez, 46 years old.

The truck in which 27 Cubans were traveling was traveling at excessive speed, reported Migration from Mexico. (Chiapas Civil Protection)

Through his social networks, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez confirmed the death of “irregular migrants” from the Island, without offering details of the number of people. He indicated that Cuban authorities were coordinating with the Mexican authorities to “provide required consular assistance.” He also asked people to remember  that the most appropriate thing is to “use regular, safe and orderly routes to emigrate.”

For his part, Miguel Díaz-Canel also turned to X (formerly Twitter) to comment on the incident. “It is with pain that we learned of the tragic road accident in Chiapas, which took the lives of Cuban migrants. Condolences to the families of the victims and wishes for recovery to the injured,” the president wrote.

According to the first reports, it is believed that the driver was speeding when he lost control of the truck, which overturned. After the incident, the man fled.

The Civil Protection personnel of the state of Chiapas stated that at least 36 migrants were traveling in the truck, which was one of those used to load merchandise. In addition to the deceased, four minors are reported to be in critical condition due to injuries.

The desperation of Cubans, and to obtain a safe passage that allows them free transit through Mexico, has led them to pay truckers to take them out of the state of Chiapas so that they can continue their journey to the United States.

This is the second accident that has occurred in Chiapas in the last three days, after the overturning of a truck in the municipality of Mezcalapa that left two migrants dead and 38 injured.

According to data from the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar), Mexico is on its way to establishing a new record in refugee applications during the current year, which far exceed 129,000, and among the largest of the groups of immigrants it receives are Cubans.

The authorities have been overwhelmed in Tapachula by the thousands of migrants every day who go to the different offices of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar) in search of a document with an official registration number to avoid being deported. The general director of the organization, Cinthia Pérez Trejo , confirmed to 14ymedio that in this week they have assisted 10,000 migrants, the majority “Cubans, Hondurans and Haitians.”

Flight agencies in Tapachula are doubling the cost of plane tickets for Cubans who want to fly to Mexico City or the border with the United States. This was reported to this newspaper by Yumara, a 29-year-old Cuban who, at Comar, processed the “complementary protection” document that guarantees her being able to remain in Mexico while she requests an asylum appointment for the United States through the CBP One application.


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