According to official data, last year at least 686 migrants died or went missing trying to illegally cross the land border between Mexico and the United States – mainly from poor Central American countries. The International Organization for Migration has described it as “the most dangerous in the world” in a new report.
The number of 686 people is almost half of the approximately 1,500 migrants reported killed or missing while attempting to illegally cross all borders on the American continent in 2022. These are the most tragic data since records of this type began in 2014. And these statistics are likely underestimated because many deaths have not been registered, says the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Since 2014, IOM has recorded a total of at least 4,664 deaths or disappearances of migrants at the border between Mexico and the USA. “These alarming numbers are a reminder of the need for countries to take decisive action in this regard,” said Michele Klein Solomon, IOM Regional Director for Central and North America and the Caribbean.
Death on the way to the USA
Nearly half of the migrants (307) who lost their lives fleeing poverty and hunger in hopes of reaching the United States died while trekking through the waterless deserts of Sonoran and Chihuahua. This is significantly more than other desert regions where illegal migration dominates.
“Although the total number of fatalities among migrants decreased by 8 percent compared to 2021, it is probably actually higher than the information we officially have, as this report lacks official data from the border district in Texas and Mexico search and rescue agency,” the IOM report concluded.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Juan Manuel Blanco