A group of human traffickers was apprehended in northern Mexico earlier this month smuggling Central American migrants north in cars registered with the Uber ride-hailing service.
Five cars were stopped June 10 at the border of the Mexican states Coahuila and Zacatecas carrying 34 undocumented migrants, Reuters reported. Of the five cars, four were registered with Uber.
Central American migrants traditionally use a freight train known as “La Bestia” — “The Beast” — to traverse Mexico, but authorities cracked down on the practice in 2015, partly because of U.S. pressure and because migrants on the rail line had become a magnet for organized crime.
“First we saw them on trains, then on buses, then on trucks and today we see them in rented vehicles,” Segismundo Doguin, a National Migration Institute officer in Coahuila, told Reuters.
The migrants allegedly paid 3,000 pesos — about $164 — to be picked up in Matehuala, a highway hub about 220 miles south of the international border. They were headed to Reynosa, a city across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas.