More than 100 Haitian migrants were rescued from a shipping container in Guatemala on Saturday, a sign that individuals from the country continue their journey to reach the U.S. even after thousands of migrants living under a bridge in the U.S. were deported last month.
The abandoned shipping container was located in between Nueva Concepción and Cocales, two towns located in southern Guatemala, according to The Washington Post.
Locals heard screams coming from inside the trailer, according to the BBC, which led Guatemalan authorities to search the container.
Of the 126 individuals inside, 106 were from Haiti, 11 were from Nepal and nine were from Ghana, according to the AFP, citing Guatemalan national police spokesman Jorge Aguilar.
He said “cries and knocks” were heard from the container, and inside the doors were 126 “undocumented people.”
The group was given first aid then transported to a shelter under the authority of the Guatemalan Migration Institution, according to the BBC.
Alejandra Mena, a spokeswoman for Guatemala’s migration authority, said the individuals first traveled to Honduras, then started moving towards the U.S., according to the BBC.
Police said they believe the migrants paid smugglers to illegally bring to the U.S. through Mexico, but were ultimately abandoned on the road, according to the Post.
They will now reportedly return to the Honduras border and be handed over to authorities there.
The report from Guatemala comes after the U.S. last month saw around 15,000 Haitian migrants camping under a bridge that connects Mexico with Del Rio, Texas.
The camp has since been cleared. Roughly 2,000 individuals were sent back to Haiti through 17 controversial repatriation flights. The location of thousands of others remains unclear, though some have reportedly been released in the U.S. pending immigration hearings.
Videos of border officers on horseback dispersing the Haitians sparked backlash and a pledge from the White House to hold those officers accountable.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasMore than 100 Haitian migrants rescued from shipping container in Guatemala Blinken warns Haitian migrants against making ‘dangerous’ trip to US Drugs, guns and money: US, Mexico step up cooperation against cross-border crime MORE said an investigation has been opened into the situation.
Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenMore than 100 Haitian migrants rescued from shipping container in Guatemala Biden shows little progress with Abraham Accords on first anniversary Blinken to hold meetings next week with UAE, Israeli foreign ministers MORE on Friday warned Haitian migrants against pursuing the “dangerous” trip to the U.S., adding that the journey “will not succeed.”
“We also are trying to be very clear that if they seek to make that journey in an irregular manner, they put themselves at tremendous risk along the entire route, and they will not be able to enter the United States,” Blinken said.
“So we’re working to make sure that we’re communicating that effectively,” he added.