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New migrant caravan relying on ‘Beast’ train to get through Mexico for free

A Mexican freight train carrying more than 400 Central American migrants in the latest caravan group traveling through Mexico arrived in a town just south of California early Wednesday.

Hundreds of people sitting 10 feet up from the ground, on top of the train’s cargo containers, pulled into Mexicali overnight. The Mexican city sits just over the border from Calexico, in southeastern California.

The train is known as “The Beast,” or “La Bestia” in Spanish. Migrants have used freight trains at a lower rate in recent years compared to how popular it was around 2014 and 2015, when unaccompanied children and families began climbing aboard the trains to avoid paying smugglers to get them to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Riding the train was deemed illegal by Mexican authorities in 2014 when the practice became widespread. It’s not clear to what extent that policy is enforced.

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