IOM Says Over 500 Migrants Died While Trying to Reach the US


IOM Says Over 500 Migrants Died While Trying to Reach the US

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) stated on Friday that at least 514 people have died on the American migratory routes so far this year. Of them, 247 have died at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“This is the earliest point in any of the past six years that IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has reached a threshold of 500 or more deaths in the Americas,” the IOM spokesperson Joel Millman said.

The people who died trying to reach the U.S. came from Latin American countries such as Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico. There were also cases from countries on other continents such as India and Ukraine.

The IOM spokesperson indicated that the aforementioned figures do not include the 11 people who died while being held in detention centers at the U.S. or Mexico.

One of these cases happened recently in Texas, where the Salvadoran migrant Marvin Gonzalez and his eight-year-old daughter managed to get across the border in late July.

“After they were detained in El Paso, Gonzalez died from heart-related causes that seemed to have flared up suddenly,” local media NTV recalled and reported that his wife, Norma Palacios, said that the “their American dream has now become a nightmare.”

“About 300 migrants leave El Salvador every day, even as U.S. President Donald Trump pressures Central America and Mexico to curb migration flows.​​​​​​​ Salvadorans making the trek to the U.S. say they have no choice but to emigrate so as to escape poverty and violence.”

Among the leading causes of death are drowning at sea, road accidents and train routes, dehydration, crimes, diseases and lack of timely medical attention.

Millman also noted that the increase in police control at border areas has historically encouraged the operation of criminal organizations trafficking people.

“For the past 20 years, this has been the case at the Mexican border, where human trafficking has become the norm since the time of President Bush. The harder it becomes to cross, the more migrants approach criminal actors, who do not care about their safety.”​​​​​​​