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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 August 2007, 15:33 GMT 16:33 UK
Mexico deports stranded migrants
Mexico map
Hundreds of illegal immigrants have been deported from Mexico after they became stranded when a train route through the country was closed down.

Up to 7,000 people - mostly from Guatemala and Honduras - got stuck in southern Mexico when a rail link to the US ceased operating.

US train operators Genesee & Wyoming Inc (GWI) closed the line because of damage caused by a hurricane in 2005.

The authorities said that around 350 people had been deported so far.

More deportations are planned but some of those who were stranded began walking along the now disused railway to continue their journey.

Hurricane damage

However many of the migrants had begun to live in tents to the east of the Mexican city of Villahermosa.

Central American immigrants are known to cross Mexico's southern border illegally on their way to the US, often riding on train roofs or stowing away in carriages.

In June, GWI revealed plans to shut the rail link down over a four-week period.

It said Hurricane Stan in October 2005 destroyed or damaged around 70 bridges and washed out segments of track in the state of Chiapas.

The company blamed the uncertainty of reconstruction of the rail line and falling passenger numbers for the decision to close down the route.

The migrant trail through Mexico
09 Jul 07 |  Americas

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