Mexico uncovers massive migrant smuggling ring using trucks

Mexican officials say they have uncovered an industrial-scale migrant smuggling ring using tractor-trailer rigs disguised as freight deliveries for major companies

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican officials said Monday they have uncovered an industrial-scale migrant smuggling ring using tractor-trailer rigs disguised as freight deliveries for major companies.

President Andres Manuel López Obrador said authorities found a tractor-trailer disguised with the logo of Soriana, a major grocery store chain. But instead of groceries, it was carrying about 150 migrants.

In a statement Monday, Soriana wrote that "the truck detained Saturday in Veracruz state does not belong to our delivery fleet, nor is it owned by the Soriana Organization."

"The company has filed a complaint, because it was fake, it was camouflage to transport migrants," López Obrador said.

Ebrard said the company operated trucks equipped with air conditioning units, but those weren't turned on when carrying migrants.

"The risk they are putting people in, half of them are minors," Ebrard said. "They are locking them in trailers to cross the entire country. They leave them there for hours, they could die of asphyxia."

It led officials to believe it was just a matter of time before migrants would die aboard the overcrowded vehicles.

"The biggest concern is that there is going to be a tragedy, that is what we don't want," said López Obrador.