Hundreds of migrants escape Mexican detention centre

A policeman stands by a van transporting migrants recaptured after a large group of Cubans, Haitians and Central Americans broke out
A policeman stands by a van transporting migrants recaptured after a large group of Cubans, Haitians and Central Americans broke out. Photo credit: Reuters

More than 1000 migrants have broken out of a detention centre in southern Mexico, authorities say, in a fresh sign of how a surge in arrivals has stretched the country's resources to the limit.

More than half of the roughly 1300 migrants later returned on Thursday to the Siglo XXI facility in the border city of Tapachula in Chiapas state, but about 600 are still unaccounted for, the National Migration Institute said in a statement.

Migrants from Cuba, who make up the majority of the people being held at the centre, were largely behind the breakout, the institute added.

Mexican newspaper Reforma reported that Haitians and Central Americans were also among those who fled the facility, which has been crammed with people.

Mexico has returned 15,000 migrants in the past 30 days, officials have said, amid pressure from US President Donald Trump to stem the flow of people north.

On Wednesday Trump reiterated threats to close part of the US-Mexico border if Mexico doesn't block what described as a new caravan of migrants headed north.

The majority of migrants moving through Mexico are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, but Cubans are also joining in large numbers.

More than 1000 people from Cuba are now in Chiapas, according to Mexican officials.

Reuters