80 Migrants Kidnapped in Southern Mexico

80 Migrants Kidnapped in Southern Mexico

Masked gunmen stormed a train in southeastern Mexico and kidnapped at least 80 Central American migrants presumably bound for the United States, a priest who runs a migrant shelter said Monday.

The Rev. Alejandro Solalinde said migrants who escaped the attack told him that armed men in ski masks and civilian clothes intercepted the train as it headed northward through Veracruz state Friday. The gunmen then allegedly forced migrants to climb down from atop the cars and stuffed some into at least three waiting SUVs.

Solalinde, who runs a migrant shelter in nearby Oaxaca state, said he suspects that the Zetas drug cartel was involved because it operates in the area.

The train was scheduled to stop at the community of Medias Aguas in Veracruz but continued on to an isolated area, Solalinde said the witnesses told him, implying that the train’s operators were cooperating with the gunmen.

The federal government’s National Immigration Institute said in a statement late Monday that it was assisting an investigation by federal prosecutors and state officials in Veracruz and Oaxaca. Agents with Grupo Beta, a government-sponsored organization that aids migrants, have gone to the area of the alleged kidnapping to look for witnesses, it said.

The priest said some who escaped told authorities about 250 migrants were on the train, most them from Honduras and Guatemala.Thousands of Central American migrants enter Mexican territory without permission each year, many bound for the United States.A report released in February by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission says at least 11,333 migrants were abducted between April and September 2010.

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This entry was posted on Středa, Červen 29th, 2011 at 10:54 and is filed under clothing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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