Animal Politico reports that around 300 undocumented Central American migrants were arrested on Wednesday during a joint operation carried out by Mexico’s immigration agency in tandem with federal and state police in the southern state of Tabasco, near the Guatemalan border. The migrants were part of at least a thousand others bound for the United States who found themselves stranded last week in Tabasco and Chiapas states. Personnel with the cargo train lines which migrants often use to hitchhike north had kept the group from climbing on because of a suit filed on April 1 by the state of Veracruz against two train companies. La Jornada writes that most of the detained group were from Honduras.

Kansas City Southern and Ferrosur, said the attorney general’s office of Veracruz in the suit, was putting the lives of migrant hitchhikers -- who often number several hundred per day -- in jeopardy by making unplanned stops so that bandits can board. The office accused the companies of “presumed responsibility for action or omission in unlawful acts and violations of human rights against migrants.” Advocates have long claimed that the cargo trains’ operators collaborate with the Zetas and the small-time bandits who work for them to collect “taxes” from riders on the lines collectively known as “La Bestia." 

Rubén Figueroa, an activist with the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, told Animal Politico that the problem of undocumented migration through Mexico could not simply be solved by prohibiting migrants from boarding the trains. “What we want is for the government to grant safe passage -- a transit visa -- to the migrants, so that they don’t have to face these dangers on their way through Mexico … the government has a responsibility here … the migrants are going to keep entering.  Prohibiting them from getting on ‘La Bestia’ isn’t going to stop them, due to the crisis of unemployment, insecurity and violence in Central America.”