MEXICO CITY – Federal Police officers and marines rescued 68 Central American migrants being held captive in Tamaulipas, a state in northeastern Mexico, and arrested six suspects, media reports said Sunday, citing the Tamaulipas Coordination Group (GCT).
The migrants were rescued in separate operations, media outlets said, citing the GCT, a joint federal and state agency.
Federal security forces responding to a tip from the public about gunmen firing shots in Reynosa, located across the border from McAllen, Texas, encountered a group of armed subjects in an SUV.
The subjects opened fire and tried to flee, but security forces members arrested three of them.
A Honduran man being held captive by the gunmen told authorities about a house where more migrants were being held against their will.
Authorities found 15 Central Americans locked in a small bedroom at the house.
The Federal Police, meanwhile, raided a house in the city of Madero in response to a tip from the public.
Officers rescued 52 Central Americans – 41 Hondurans, five Salvadorans and six Guatemalans – being held against their will.
Three men and a minor were arrested at the house, where authorities found a shotgun and ammunition.
The federal government said earlier this month it was deploying more security forces units in Tamaulipas and planned to purge the state’s law enforcement agencies in an effort to stop the surge in drug-related violence.
The Gulf and Los Zetas drug cartels have been fighting for control of Tamaulipas and smuggling routes into the United States for years.