Men, women and children from Central America and Mexico were held for as long as four months as they tried to cross the border before federal police discovered them in a border town on Monday. Mexican authorities arrested three men who were allegedly holding these people hostage and an additional two serving as lookouts. Immigration authorities say the victims told them they were being held for ransom and ordered off local buses by their kidnappers. The focus has recently shifted towards Mexico’s economy and structural reforms, but this crime shows the long standing security issues that remain.
Kidnappings very common
This incident reflects the rise in immigrants from Central America in the past few years. Because of the violence occurring throughout Central America, risking illegal immigration is a small price to pay for these people. “They are willing to risk everything in Mexico, even though they know what might be waiting for them there,” said Maureen Mayer, a researcher at the Washington Office on Latin America Think Tank. Kidnappings of immigrants are more common than people think. Rev. Hector Silva, who runs a shelter for immigrants says organized crime groups usually “stop a bus, order the immigrants off, put them into their own pickup trucks, and disappear.” Immigrants are usually ransomed from there or forced to work with drugs. With many only having the goal of getting to the U.S. in mind, they will do anything in order to be released and hopefully cross to a safe area.
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