Mexican authorities increased immigration enforcement along well-traveled routes for migrants in southern Mexico over the weekend, checking identifications, pulling migrants off public transport and intercepting four trucks packed with nearly 800 migrants.

The National Migration Institute said 1,000 immigration agents had been deployed in the north and south of Mexico. The deployment comes as Mexico faces heightened pressure from the U.S. to reduce the surge of mostly Central American migrants through its territory. Mexico plans to position 6,000 National Guard troops by Tuesday to its southern border with Guatemala.

The Associated Press saw nearly 10 armed soldiers at a checkpoint near Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, in Chiapas state, wearing black armbands to indicate they are part of the National Guard. The soldiers stopped vehicles while immigration officials checked identification and removed passengers without documents. At another checkpoint just north of Comitán in Chiapas, more than a dozen apparent National Guardsmen drove around backroads in the rain and dark, looking for migrants and human smugglers.

A Mexican marine stands guard on the Suchiate River, watching out for migrants crossing from Guatemala to Ciudad Hidalgo, as locals stand on a raft in Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Mexico faces heightened pressure from the U.S. to reduce the surge of mostly Central American migrants through its territory. (AP Photo/Idalia Rie)
A Mexican marine stands guard on the Suchiate River, watching out for migrants crossing from Guatemala to Ciudad Hidalgo, as locals stand on a raft in Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Idalia Rie)

In the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, the National Migration Institute said 791 people were taken Saturday to a migration facility and that drivers of the tractor-trailer trucks transporting them were arrested.

Migrants are routinely transported through Mexico in packed semis, sometimes in dangerous conditions without food or water or sufficient fresh air. Government video showed officials breaking the lock on the door of one cargo truck and helping migrants out.

The institute described the detentions and arrests in Veracruz as part of a strategy implemented by its new commissioner, Francisco Garduño. The former prisons director assumed the post Friday, taking over for a sociologist and academic.

A young man cries as he says that if he gets sent back to Honduras, he will be killed, while sitting with other migrants inside an immigration holding cell after being removed from a bus heading north out of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Behind is Honduran migrant Noe, 31, holding his 4-year-old daughter Marlene. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday his country must help Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, even as it increases security and revisions to deter migrants from passing through Mexico on route to the U.S. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A young man cries as he says that if he gets sent back to Honduras, he will be killed, while sitting with other migrants inside an immigration holding cell after being removed from a bus heading north out of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Behind is Honduran migrant Noe, 31, holding his 4-year-old daughter Marlene. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Military police wearing National Guard armbands were also patrolling Sunday along the Suchiate River that separates Mexico from Guatemala. In prior days, migrants were seen being ferried across the river by raft without interference from immigration or other Mexican officials.

Outside Comitán on Sunday, some roadblocks and checkpoints were manned by multiple soldiers and police identifying as National Guard.

At one checkpoint, immigration agent José Ángel Ramírez welcomed the help of the National Guard.

A Mexican marine stands guard on the Suchiate River, watching out for migrants crossing from Guatemala to Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Mexico faces heightened pressure from the U.S. to reduce the surge of mostly Central American migrants through its territory. (AP Photo/Idalia Rie)
A Mexican marine stands guard on the Suchiate River, watching out for migrants crossing from Guatemala to Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Mexico faces heightened pressure from the U.S. to reduce the surge of mostly Central American migrants through its territory. (AP Photo/Idalia Rie)

“We don’t have a way to stop so many and the traffickers pass everywhere,” said Ramírez, who was accompanied by a dozen National Guard officers.

Nearby, five Hondurans found traveling without papers were sitting in a holding cell.

One of the Hondurans, a farmer named Armando who was traveling with a daughter and nephew, broke into tears while saying he’d be killed if returned to his country.

Seen through a section of pipe placed the middle of a road between two-way traffic, soldiers forming part of the National Guard stand guard at an immigration checkpoint heading north out of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday his country must help Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, even as it increases security and revisions to deter migrants from passing through Mexico on route to the U.S. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Seen through a section of pipe placed the middle of a road between two-way traffic, soldiers forming part of the National Guard stand guard at an immigration checkpoint heading north out of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

After several hours, the Hondurans were transported to a Mexican detention center for migrants.

The Mexican National Guard is a new security force created by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took office Dec. 1. The security force is still taking shape and was originally established with the goal of stemming endemic violence. Last year saw the highest number of murders in at least 20 years in Mexico. 

Mexican soldiers have long been authorized to search vehicles for drugs or weapons, explained one of the newly minted National Guard officers, who declined to give his name. Now, he said, they can detain drivers or others suspected of helping the undocumented move through Mexico.

A soldier forming part of the National Guard is reflected in a slatted window while manning an immigration checkpoint north of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday his country must help Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, even as it increases security and revisions to deter migrants from passing through Mexico on route to the U.S. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A soldier forming part of the National Guard is reflected in a slatted window while manning an immigration checkpoint north of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Comitán locals say that trucks often bypass area checkpoints at night. “We don’t know what they have inside,” said immigration agent Julio Velasco. Mexican officials have set up additional roadblocks in recent days to cover more territory.

Luis Guillermo Lechuga, who sells vests near one of the checkpoints, was skeptical that the increased security presence will reduce the flow of migrants through Comitán and surrounding areas.

“Everything will be the same,” said Lechuga, who expressed a mixture of sympathy and annoyance with the travelers. “Nobody leaves their country without problems.”

A soldier forming part of the National Guard mans an immigration checkpoint heading north out of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday his country must help Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, even as it increases security and revisions to deter migrants from passing through Mexico on route to the U.S. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A soldier forming part of the National Guard mans an immigration checkpoint heading north out of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019.  (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Honduran migrant Noe, 31, kisses his 4-year-old daughter Marlene as they wait inside an immigration holding cell after being removed from a bus heading north out of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday his country must help Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, even as it increases security and revisions to deter migrants from passing through Mexico on route to the U.S. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Honduran migrant Noe, 31, kisses his 4-year-old daughter Marlene as they wait inside an immigration holding cell after being removed from a bus heading north out of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soldiers forming part of the National Guard man an immigration checkpoint heading north out of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday his country must help Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, even as it increases security and revisions to deter migrants from passing through Mexico on route to the U.S. AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soldiers forming part of the National Guard man an immigration checkpoint heading north out of Comitan, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019.  (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soldiers wearing the armbands of Mexico's National Guard walk at a migration checkpoint on the highway north of Comitan, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. Under pressure from the U.S. to slow the flow of migrants north, Mexico plans to deploy thousands of National Guard troops by Tuesday to its southern border region.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soldiers wearing the armbands of Mexico’s National Guard walk at a migration checkpoint on the highway north of Comitan, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soldiers wearing armbands for Mexico's National Guard man a temporary immigration checkpoint where officials were look for migrants, just north of Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. Under pressure from the U.S. to slow the flow of migrants north, Mexico plans to deploy thousands of National Guard troops by Tuesday to its southern border region.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soldiers wearing armbands for Mexico’s National Guard man a temporary immigration checkpoint where officials were look for migrants, just north of Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
People ride in the back of a pickup as they pass through a temporary immigration checkpoint manned by soldiers wearing armbands for Mexico's National Guard, just north of Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. Under pressure from the U.S. to slow the flow of migrants north, Mexico plans to deploy thousands of National Guard troops by Tuesday to its southern border region.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
People ride in the back of a pickup as they pass through a temporary immigration checkpoint manned by soldiers wearing armbands for Mexico’s National Guard, just north of Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A truck decorated with crosses that light up when the driver brakes, slows down as it passes through a checkpoint, manned by soldiers from the National Guard along with immigration officers and federal police, in Comitan, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. Under pressure from the U.S. to slow the flow of migrants north, Mexico plans to deploy thousands of National Guard troops by Tuesday to its southern border region.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A truck decorated with crosses that light up when the driver brakes, slows down as it passes through a checkpoint, manned by soldiers from the National Guard along with immigration officers and federal police, in Comitan, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soldiers wearing the armbands of Mexico's National Guard man a migration checkpoint north of Comitan, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. Under pressure from the U.S. to slow the flow of migrants north, Mexico plans to deploy thousands of National Guard troops by Tuesday to its southern border region.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soldiers wearing the armbands of Mexico’s National Guard man a migration checkpoint north of Comitan, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. Under pressure from the U.S. to slow the flow of migrants north, Mexico plans to deploy thousands of National Guard troops by Tuesday to its southern border region.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soldiers wearing the armbands of Mexico's National Guard board a truck to patrol back roads that migrants use to avoid a migration checkpoint, north of Comitan, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. Under pressure from the U.S. to slow the flow of migrants north, Mexico plans to deploy thousands of National Guard troops by Tuesday to its southern border region.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soldiers wearing the armbands of Mexico’s National Guard board a truck to patrol back roads that migrants use to avoid a migration checkpoint, north of Comitan, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Passengers are ferried across the Suchiate River to Guatemala, from Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, at sunrise on Saturday, June 15, 2019. A free flow of goods and people crossing by raft has fueled the economy on both sides of the river as long as residents can remember, and many worry that the arrival of the National Guard could hurt business. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Passengers are ferried across the Suchiate River to Guatemala, from Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, at sunrise on Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A Mexican marine stands guard on the Suchiate River, watching for migrants crossing from Guatemala to Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Mexico faces heightened pressure from the U.S. to reduce the surge of mostly Central American migrants through its territory. (AP Photo/Idalia Rie)
A Mexican marine stands guard on the Suchiate River, watching for migrants crossing from Guatemala to Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Mexico faces heightened pressure from the U.S. to reduce the surge of mostly Central American migrants through its territory. (AP Photo/Idalia Rie)
A boy repacks chickens more densely, to be loaded onto inner tube and plank rafts and taken across the Suchiate River to Guatemala, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. A free flow of goods and people crossing by raft has fueled the economy on both sides of the river as long as residents can remember, and many worry that the arrival of the National Guard could hurt business. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A boy repacks chickens more densely, to be loaded onto inner tube and plank rafts and taken across the Suchiate River to Guatemala, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

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