MEXICO CITY – Nine illegal Honduran immigrants who apparently “belong to Central American gangs dedicated to extortion and robberies of migrants” have been arrested in connection with the killings last week of two Hondurans in southern Mexico, officials said.
The suspects confessed to the killings, which occurred last Thursday, the Government Secretariat and the National Migration Institute, or INM, said in a joint statement.
The bodies of Iris Suleida Raudales Flores, 24, and Cynthia Carolina Cruz Bonilla, 19, were found outside Palenque, a city in Chiapas state, prosecutors said.
The two women were shot and stabbed, the Chiapas state Attorney General’s Office said.
The nine suspects were found aboard a bus that had stopped in the town of Nueva Esperanza by Federal Police officers and Chiapas state police.
Officers found two firearms, ammunition and ammunition clips in a suitcase belonging to the suspects, officials said.
Samuel Hernandez Ramirez, Oscar Edgardo Martinez Garcia, Duglas Alexander Valera Carias, Yoni Alexander Vazquez Membreño, Carlos Antonio Dominguez Espino, Agustin Perez Diaz, Duglas Alexander Cornejo Arevalo, Juan Pablo Lendos and Dayrel Guadalupe Perez were arrested in connection with the killings, the AG’s office said.
An estimated 300,000 Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.
The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.
Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican officials say.