Mexico freezes accounts of 'migrant traffickers' amid US tariff row
Mexico said Thursday it has frozen the bank accounts of a group of suspected human traffickers allegedly responsible for organizing US-bound migrant caravans, amid talks to try to avoid Washington's threatened tariffs over immigration.
The Mexican finance ministry said its Financial Intelligence Unit had blacklisted 26 people "for their probable role in trafficking migrants and illicit support for migrant caravans."
It did not identify them.
The statement came as officials from both countries met in Washington seeking a deal to avoid five percent tariffs on all Mexican imports -- due to take effect Monday and rise incrementally to 25 percent by October -- in return for Mexico stemming the flow of US-bound migrants.
The finance ministry said it had traced "unusual" money transfers from different points in Mexico to accounts in different countries.
The money trail then followed the routes of the caravans of Central American migrants that have crossed Mexico in recent months, ending in six Mexican cities on the US border, it said.
The accusations will be presented to federal prosecutors, it added.