STORY: Atop a halted freight train in Mexico, a group of migrants heading for the U.S. border sat waiting on Friday (September 29).
The train stopped abruptly miles from the crossing, amid the ongoing suspension of dozens of northbound trains over migrant safety fears.
A Reuters witness said hundreds were aboard the stationary train in a desert-like area near Villa Ahumada, some 76 miles from the border town of Ciudad Juarez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
Sasha Pacheco is one of them.
“We asked the train driver and he said that we would depart in ten hours. They're treating us like animals. Why would they take us if they're going to do this to us? We are hungry, hot, thirsty. We’re in the middle of the desert, there is not one tree. We want to get to the U.S., we're just an hour from our destination, but it would take a day walking with a baby."
She added that there were no alternative transport options from their current spot.
Also on Friday, further east in the border city of Piedras Negras that sits opposite Eagle Pass in Texas, Venezuelan migrant Jose Julian said he too had been stranded while traveling aboard the cargo trains.
He said that it took three days on foot to make it to the border.
Sixty northbound cargo trains run by Mexico's Ferromex were stopped last week, after about half a dozen migrants suffered death or injury.
The company later said it restarted some routes where there was no known "heightened risk."
Banners on the side of the train stopped in Villa Ahumada read, "Thank you Ferromex," put up by migrants who had been initially grateful that the trains had begun the journey.
Grupo Mexico, which owns Ferromex, could not immediately be reached about the sudden train stoppage.
Earlier in the day, a spokesperson said they had no additional updates to share about the exact number of trains still stopped.
The stoppage of trains in the past week has caused around $1 billion worth of goods to be stuck at the border.
For years, migrants trying to reach the United States have crisscrossed Mexico on cargo trains.
Collectively, such trains have become known as "La Bestia," or The Beast, because of the risks of traveling by rail.