President Amlo says his new immigration plan is working, but huge numbers still travel north – aided by smugglers’ bribes

Mario Rosales is organising travel arrangements for his latest clients, a Honduran woman and her two primary school-aged children hoping to reach the United States.

Rosales, 47, a coyote, or people smuggler, sends their photos via WhatsApp to his contact in the Mexican National Immigration Institute (INM) in order to obtain fake identity cards – all part of the family’s travel package, which costs $1,800 per person to traverse about half (1,750km) of the region’s most dangerous migration route.

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Related: ‘May God bless you’: evangelical pastors’ hidden role in human smuggling’s boom

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