A new report published by the United Nations International Office of Migration showed the US-Mexico border is the deadliest land route for migrants in the world.
The study, carried out by the Missing Migrants Project, showed there were 1,238 deaths among migrants in the Americas in 2021, and at least 728 of those deaths took place along the United States’ southern border with Mexico. The deaths included at least 51 children. The number of deaths along the US-Mexico border compared to those at other popular migration sites make the southern border the deadliest in the world, according to the study.
“The number of deaths on the United States-Mexico border last year is significantly higher than in any year prior, even before COVID-19. Yet, this number remains an undercount due to the diverse challenges for data collection,” said the author of the IOM report, Edwin Viales.
The report partially credits the pandemic for the high number of deaths, as entry point closures and other roadblocks forced more migrants to more dangerous routes and areas on their journeys North.
The report says there were more migrant deaths in the Americas in 2021 than there have been any year since 2014. “With 1,238 migrant deaths and disappearances recorded, 2021 was the year with the highest number of lives lost in the Americas since 2014, when the Missing Migrants Project (MMP) began documenting migrant deaths. A significant increase compared to figures recorded in 2020 (798 deaths) and even before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 (854 deaths),” the report states.
Viales says the numbers may be much higher. “Our data shows the growing crisis of deaths during migration in the region, and the need to strengthen the forensic capacity of the authorities to identify deaths on these routes. We cannot forget that every single number is a human being with a family who may never know what happened to them.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: DALLAS NEWS
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