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Drug cartels have taken over control of smuggling operations and increased their cut of the profits, squeezing smugglers’ take to a third of what migrants pay them. What doesn’t go to the cartel in charge of the smuggling is often doled out to local crime bosses and used to pay bribes to Mexican security forces. To keep profits up, Honduran smugglers say they charge more than triple what they used to per migrant ($13,500, up from $4,000), according to the WSJ. Still, what’s left over to pay for actual travel costs isn’t much, and conditions for migrants have deteriorated. While the San Antonio incident is the deadliest on record, it’s far from the only one: 650 people died crossing the Mexico–US border last year, the most the International Organization for Migration has ever reported since it started tracking deaths in 2014. Last year, the Biden administration launched an operation to target smuggling organizations, and last month the Department of Homeland Security announced it had arrested 2,000 suspected smugglers during the previous two months.