3 migrants dead in Pacific shipwreck | VailDaily.com

3 migrants dead in Pacific shipwreck

MEXICO CITY ” Authorities in southern Mexico were searching Saturday for survivors and victims after a boat believed to be carrying more than 20 Central American migrants capsized in the Pacific Ocean.

Oaxaca state public safety secretary Sergio Segreste said officials had confirmed three bodies from the shipwreck had washed ashore near the towns of San Francisco Ixhuatan and San Francisco del Mar, about 200 miles from the Guatemalan border.

On Friday, Segreste said local officials in San Francisco del Mar reported they had found 22 bodies on the shore and that two more bodies had reportedly washed up near another town.

But he said Saturday that state authorities had only confirmed three bodies had been found.

“There are reports of more bodies but the weather hasn’t let us go out to sea,” Segreste said. Oaxaca state has been hit by heavy rains and flooding this week.

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Moises Hernandez, regional commander for ministerial police in Oaxaca, told reporters Friday that a survivor of the shipwreck, identified as Estela Martinez, said the boat departed from Guatemala. She said the ship capsized Tuesday with more than 20 people aboard, according to Hernandez.

If confirmed to be migrants, it could be evidence that smugglers are increasingly turning to boats to transport Central Americans through Mexico, avoiding highway checkpoints.

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