New migrant caravan relying on ‘Beast’ train to get through Mexico for free

A Mexican freight train carrying more than 400 Central American migrants in the latest caravan group traveling through Mexico arrived in a town just south of California early Wednesday.

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Hundreds of people sitting 10 feet up from the ground, on top of the train’s cargo containers, pulled into Mexicali overnight. The Mexican city sits just over the border from Calexico, in southeastern California.

The train is known as “The Beast,” or “La Bestia” in Spanish. Migrants have used freight trains at a lower rate in recent years compared to how popular it was around 2014 and 2015, when unaccompanied children and families began climbing aboard the trains to avoid paying smugglers to get them to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Riding the train was deemed illegal by Mexican authorities in 2014 when the practice became widespread. It’s not clear to what extent that policy is enforced.

The trains leave out of Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas then go up to Mexico City, located in the center of the country. From there, the trains go in a number of directions, giving migrants options as to which part of the U.S. border they would like to go.

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The journey typically takes two weeks, but one Mexican media outlet said the migrants who arrived early Wednesday had been traveling from the Guatemala-Mexico border for two months.

The group that arrived by train in Mexicali this week is smaller than the massive caravans that have made their way through Mexico on foot and by bus, but local officials said hundreds more from this new caravan recently passed through Mexicali on the way to Tijuana.

The migrants in Mexicali were put up in two hostels, according to Baja California Gov. Francisco Arturo de Lamadrid.

The governor said as many as 1,200 migrants are in Mexicali and Tijuana. 

Source: cnn, frontera.news, la verdad, washington examiner

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