By Lizbeth Diaz

MEXICO CITY, Mexico, Thurs. July 1, 2021 (Reuters) – The mother of a toddler whose disappearance sparked international media attention appeared on Wednesday before authorities in Honduras to reclaim her son, who was found in Veracruz state, Mexico, alone near a truck that carried more than 100 migrants in suffocating conditions.

Wearing no shirt, the boy, thought to be aged 2, was found alone on the roadside in Veracruz state, surrounded by snack wrappers, half-empty water bottles, clothes from other migrants and black trash bags scattered on the ground.

Lutgarda Madrigal, the attorney for the department of protection of children and adolescents in Veracruz state, said the mother had approached Honduran authorities with identification after seeing the blurred photograph published in international media.

Reuters could not independently verify how the woman identified herself as the mother.

The boy is in good health and has tested negative for COVID-19, but is constantly crying for his mother and father, Madrigal added. He is currently in a shelter for unaccompanied minors.

“As it was international news, she saw him and went to present herself as the child’s mother before an immigration authority,” said Madrigal. “We are going to start the process of returning the child to his country.”

Mexican authorities have not released the name of the child or his mother. No details were known about how the child ended up in Mexico.

Thousands of children from Central America have crossed illegally from Mexico into the United States without their parents this year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris recently visited a border patrol facility near the U.S.-Mexico border and urged a focus on children and practical solutions to migration.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by David Gregorio)