PUEBLA, Mexico – A Honduran teenager died and another was wounded in an attack on “La Bestia,” or “The Beast,” the freight train Central American migrants headed for the United States often ride on their journey across Mexico, prosecutors in the central Mexican state of Puebla said Tuesday.
About 10 armed men boarded the train, which was traveling from Tierra Blanca, in the Gulf state of Veracruz, to Apizaco, a city in Tlaxcala state, on Monday near Tehuacan, a city in Puebla state, the Puebla Attorney General’s Office said.
“A group of six undocumented (migrants) was traveling on the train when 10 subjects, who said they were ‘coyotes’ (people traffickers), tried to rob them and opened fire,” an AG’s office spokesman said.
A 17-year-old Honduran died from several gunshot wounds and a 15-year-old boy from the same country was wounded in the head.
The wounded migrant was taken to a hospital.
Railway company Ferrosur’s employees found the migrants in an area in the Tehuacan region called the Cañada Lobo de Azumbilla.
Migrants called the freight trains that operate across Mexico “The Beast” because of the dangers they face on the trains.
An estimated 300,000 Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.
The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.
Gangs kidnap, rob and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican officials say.