Guatemala charges 10 for 2021 trip when migrants were slain

February 5, 2022 GMT

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Prosecutors in Guatemala on Friday charged 10 members of a smuggling ring that allegedly organized a 2021 trip during which 15 migrants were killed in northern Mexico.

Prosecutors said the suspects are charged with criminal conspiracy, money laundering, human trafficking and other crimes.

A dozen members of an elite police unit in the northern Mexico state of Tamaulipas have been charged there with the January 2021 killing of 19 people, including the 15 Guatemalan migrants. A migrant trafficker, two Mexicans and an unidentified person were also among the dead, their bodies shot and burned. The motive for the killings remains unclear.

Prosecutors say the smuggling ring continued sending migrants on a route that includes northern Mexico even after the slayings. The migrants were trying to reach the United States.