The President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, decreed this Monday a three-day national mourning for the death of dozens of migrants, mostly Guatemalans, in a road accident in southern Mexico last week.

“The president (…) agrees to declare national mourning throughout the territory of the Republic of Guatemala for three days, for the unfortunate death of Guatemalans as a result of the accident in Tuxtla Gutiérrez,” in the state of Chiapas, according to the agreement signed by Giammattei.

Last Thursday, a trailer carrying migrants crammed into the United States collided with a wall, allegedly due to speeding. The Mexican authorities count 55 dead and more than a hundred injured, mainly from Guatemala.

An official list of the fatal victims of the accident has not been released so far and Mexico is expected to deliver more information to Guatemala this Monday to expedite the repatriation process, Giammattei said Sunday night during an interview with a television newscast.

With the declaration of mourning, the country’s flag must remain at half mast in the National Palace of Culture, former seat of government in the capital, and “in all government buildings.”

The Giammattei government also expressed “its sorrow and condolence to the relatives of the deceased Guatemalans” and urged “the entire population to show solidarity with them, for such an irreparable loss, which mourns the nation.”

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Thousands of Guatemalans leave each year fleeing violence or looking for better opportunities in the United States due to the lack of employment in the country, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the passage of hurricanes in the region that have left a trail of destruction.

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