15 dead and 36 injured in a head-on collision involving a bus from Ejutla, Oaxaca, on the Miahuatlán – Coixtlahuaca highway

A crash in Oaxaca impacts Venezuelan migrants; Governor Salomón Jara offers support, and Mexico grapples with rising migrant incidents.
  1. A devastating highway crash in Oaxaca highlights the perilous journeys of migrants, especially those of Venezuelan origin.
  2. Amid rising migrant-related incidents, Oaxaca’s Governor Salomón Jara commits to assisting victims and reinforcing safety measures.
  3. The tragic event in Mexico echoes a more considerable regional concern as migrant movements surge and highway challenges intensify.

A devastating collision between a trailer and a passenger bus resulted in the tragic loss of 15 lives and left 36 injured on the Miahuatlán-Coixtlahuaca highway, specifically near the border between the southern state of Oaxaca and the central state of Puebla, at kilometer 91 of the Cuacnopalan-Oaxaca stretch. The incident unfolded during the early hours of Tuesday, August 22.

Initial reports from the Mexican National Guard indicated that the accident occurred when a bus, purportedly carrying many Venezuelan migrants, collided head-on with a cargo trailer. As a result of the severe impact, the Cuacnopalan-Huitzo section of the road was shut down to traffic at approximately 6:30 am. Social media channels circulated photos of personal belongings scattered across the asphalt and the mangled remains of the bus and trailer.

Personal belongings were left lying on the asphalt. Photo: social networks.
Personal belongings were left lying on the asphalt. Photo: social networks.

What happened on the Miahuatlán-Coixtlahuaca highway?

While the exact cause of the accident remains under investigation, sources suggest that the passenger bus was en route from Ejutla, Oaxaca. Early speculation online hints at undocumented migrants aboard the bus, although official confirmation of this claim is still pending. The identities of those who perished, as well as their nationalities, are yet to be disclosed. However, local media did share a list of the injured who were subsequently transported to hospitals in Puebla. Among them were Venezuelans Luis Enrique Salazar, Daniel Alsuro, and several Mexican nationals.

Oaxaca’s governor, Salomón Jara, expressed deep condolences to the victims’ families, committing to providing the necessary support. “We send a hug and our condolences to the families of the deceased, to whom we will also offer all the support,” Jara commented on social media. He also pledged to assist the injured in any way possible.

The bus and the trailer collided head-on. Photo: social networks.
The bus and the trailer collided head-on. Photo: social networks.

People injured in the accident are identified.

This tragic event underscores a growing concern regarding accidents involving buses laden with migrants on Mexican highways. Just last month, an accident in Tabasco led to the deaths of five Hondurans. A mere week ago, the National Migration Institute (INM) of Mexico discovered 137 migrants from Egypt and Mauritania abandoned on a bus in Veracruz.

The rising number of such incidents reflects the escalating migratory movement in the region. In fact, during the fiscal year 2022, the United States intercepted over 2.76 million undocumented migrants at its border with Mexico. The motivations driving this mass movement and the subsequent challenges remain at the forefront of regional discussions.