165 illegals freed from captivity by Mexico

The Mexican army says it has rescued 165 migrants kidnapped by a criminal gang at least two weeks ago.

The migrants were trying to cross to the US illegally but were taken hostage in northern Tamaulipas state by a gang who demanded cash from relatives.

Most of the victims were from Central American countries.

The migrants were probably betrayed by human trafficking gangs who were paid to get them into the US, a Mexican government spokesperson said.

Instead of taking the group across the border, they handed them over to another criminal organisation that operates in northern Mexico.

The kidnappers had been phoning relatives of the victims and demanding further money transfers, said government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez.

The operation took place on Tuesday, in the municipality of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, but has only now been reported.

The army was alerted to the presence of heavily armed men at a property in the area, said Mr Sanchez.

When it stormed the property, it found 165 people, including two pregnant women and seven children.

The victims are from El Salvador (77), Guatemala (50), Honduras (23), Mexico (14) and there is also a citizen from India.

"They said they had been kidnapped by an armed individual and that they had been deprived of their freedom in precarious, dirty and overcrowded conditions in the past two or three weeks," Mr Sanchez told journalists.
The story says they will be taken to Mexico City.  That is a departure from Mexico's normal practice of telling them they have 30 days to leave the country which allows them to continue their journey to the US.  The so called immigration reform package in Congress does nothing to deal with this problem.  These people jump the northbound train at Mexico's southern border and ride it north.  They usually have to pay the drug cartel to get them into the US and take them to a city like Houston.  They continue to come because there is no effective deterrent under the Obama administration.  There si also none under the Gang of Eight proposal.


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