TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — Suspected migrant traffickers killed a Mexican National Guard officer as he tried to stop a freight truck on Thursday, prosecutors said, the latest death in Mexico’s increasingly violent migrant smuggling trade.
Prosecutors in the southern state of Chiapas said the officer had stopped an open freight truck of the kind that police say is frequently used to carry migrants in the area.
A surviving officer said they had tried to stop the truck for driving with its lights off when someone aboard opened fire.
In June, a police officer was killed and two others wounded in Chiapas in a shootout with traffickers.
Attacks by migrants or smugglers on immigration officers and police in Mexico were once rare, but appear to be increasing.
In August, Mexico's National Immigration Institute said its officers approached a group of migrants walking along the tracks in the town of Apizaco and the migrants reacted by throwing rocks. One officer was hit and was in serious condition at a local hospital with wounds to the face and skull, it said.
State police in northern Mexico allegedly shot to death 19 people, including at least 16 Guatemalan migrants, in January near the border with Texas. A dozen members of that elite police unit have been charged in the killings, whose motive remains unclear.