2 migrants found shot to death in car in southern Mexico

TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — Two migrants were found shot to death in a car in southern Mexico on Friday, authorities said.

Officials believe the intended victim was the migrant smuggler who was also riding in the car but escaped.

A law enforcement official in the southern state of Chiapas said the two migrants were found dead in a car that was taking them to the city of Tapachula from an area near the Suchiate river, which divides Mexico and Guatemala.

The nationalities of the slain migrants had not been confirmed, said the official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name.

Migrant traffickers in Mexico often have to pay protection money to drug cartels for smuggling people through their territory. There have also been attacks on smugglers by rogue police officers and rival smugglers.

In one incident, a dozen members of an elite police unit in the northern Mexico state of Tamaulipas have been charged with the January 2021 killing of 19 people, including 15 Guatemalan migrants.

A migrant trafficker, two Mexicans and an unidentified person were also among the dead. The people were shot and their bodies burned. The motive for the killings remains unclear.

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