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Mexican company stops sending freight trains north to US border as ‘unprecedented’ number of migrants hitchhike


After recent deaths and injuries as more migrants hitchhike on its freight trains, Mexican transportation company Ferromex announced that, for the first time, it would temporarily halt service on 60 different trains heading towards the American border.

The number of migrants arriving in the United States from Mexico is increasing and thousands are hitchhiking on northbound trains.

A spokesperson for Ferromex’s parent company, Grupo Mexico, told NBC News that this was the first time the transportation company had closed its railways due to migrant hitchhikers, and that the number of migrants trying to take the train was “unprecedented”.

In a statement, Ferromex said that “the accumulation of migrants in recent days has increased significantly” and that the closure of roads to northern Mexico aims to “avoid accidents or loss of life” after half a dozen of incidents.

Ferromex is the largest freight railroad in Mexico, operating more than 6,200 miles of track, and its trains serve cities on the U.S. border like Ciudad Juárez, Mexicali, Nogales and Piedras Negras.

In recent days, up to 1,500 migrants have tried to hitchhike by train in Mexican cities like Torreon, according to Ferromex. On a route that ends in Ciudad Juárez, just across from El Paso, Texas, Ferromex said a single train could carry 1,000 hitchhikers.

News of the closures comes as the number of migrant apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border continues to rise after a lull earlier this year. NBC News reported that as of Sunday, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended more than 7,500 migrants along the southern border, according to two Department of Homeland Security officials.