Mexico estimates that in 2019 alone, migrant smugglers' profits amounted to 615 million dollars, the Interior Ministry shared in a statement.
"Migrant smuggling made profits of approximately 615 million dollars, a figure obtained with estimates in the Encuesta Sobre Migración en la Frontera Sur (EMIF SUR), however, the size of the market must be much larger," specified Rocío González Higuera, head of the Migration Policy, Registration and Identity of Persons Unit (UPMRIP).
The official provided this figure during her participation in the VII Latin American and Caribbean Congress on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling, where the challenges that this scourge represents for Mexico were discussed.
González Higuera affirmed that seven out of every 10 migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador who crossed into the United States irregularly through Mexico's northern border used a guide or coyote.
Each one paid, on average, 4,559 dollars, "which implies that most of the crossings are subordinated to a smuggling network". In the case of Mexicans crossing irregularly, 5 out of 10 used a guide or "pollero", and the average payment was 4,967 dollars.
"We are talking about almost 400 dollars more, the hypothesis is that the networks used by Mexican nationals are more consolidated, therefore, the successful crossing is more likely", she concluded.
For all these reasons, it is necessary to "put an end to corruption, listen to the victims, restore their rights and ensure that every government action is in favor of the defense of the human rights of people in migration contexts".
Mexico is experiencing a record migration flow to the United States, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detected more than 1.7 million undocumented immigrants at the border with Mexico in the fiscal year 2021, which ended last September 30.
In addition, a record 58,000 people applied for refuge in Mexico during the first half of 2022, a year-over-year increase of 14.88%, according to Comar.