VERACRUZ, Mexico – Mexican troops rescued 20 Central Americans who had been kidnapped by a gang of migrant smugglers that was holding them captive at a house in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.
The commander of Mexico’s 26th Military Zone, Miguel Gustavo Gonzalez, told a press conference that five suspected smugglers were arrested who were holding the undocumented migrants as hostages and were demanding $1,200 from their families to free them and allow them to continue on their way to the U.S. border.
The officer said that the operation took place in the municipality of Tierra Blanca, where members of the gang were arrested and forced to hand over 40,000 pesos ($3,200) in cash, two guns and four vehicles.
Gonzalez said the raid followed an anonymous tip.
He said that the 11 women and nine men from Honduras and Nicaragua were found being held captive in the community of Palma Sola.
Meanwhile, the undocumented migrants who were rescued received food and medical attention from the immigration authorities, who will settle their legal status. EFE