Mexican authorities detained 80 undocumented migrants, most of them from Central America, in three separate operations, the National Migration Institute, or INM, said.

The migrants, 47 Guatemalans, 22 Hondurans, eight Ecuadorians and three Salvadorans, were intercepted during routine inspections of buses and in an operation to combat people trafficking in three states, according to the agency.

The largest number of detentions occurred in the central state of Puebla, where INM agents found 61 Central American migrants without valid travel documents during bus inspections.

Eleven other Central American migrants were detained in an operation to combat people trafficking in the municipality of Zapopan, Jalisco state.

Finally, in an operation in the western state of Nayarit, INM agents intercepted eight Ecuadorians riding in a bus en route to the United States.

An estimated 300,000 Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.

The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.

Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican authorities say. EFE