Friday, June 14, 2024

31 migrants abducted in Tamaulipas have been rescued

Thirty-one migrants kidnapped on Saturday while traveling by bus in Tamaulipas have been rescued, federal officials said Wednesday.

Interior Minister Luisa María Alcalde and presidential spokesman Jesús Ramírez announced the rescue on the X social media platform, but they didn’t say where it took place or identify the criminal group that abducted the migrants near the border city of Reynosa.

Tamaulipas governor Américo Villarreal
Américo Villarreal, governor of Tamaulipas, confirmed the rescue of the kidnapped migrants on Wednesday. (Cuartoscuro)

“[Tamaulipas] Governor Américo Villareal just informed us that the 31 migrants kidnapped in Tamaulipas were rescued safe and sound,” Alcalde wrote.

“Thanks to the state authorities, the National Guard and the armed forces,” she added.

Ramírez said the rescue was possible “thanks to the coordinated effort” of the Tamaulipas government, the state Attorney General’s Office, the army, the National Guard and the federal Security Ministry.

The migrants – nationals of Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico, according to Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez – are “in the hands of authorities” and will undergo medical checks, he said.

Security authorities in Tamaulipas subsequently reported on Facebook that 30 – rather than 31 – migrants were rescued in the municipality of Río Bravo, located immediately east of Reynosa. They said that the state government “carried out several actions in order to be able to find [the migrants] alive.”

They included monitoring the telephones of those abducted, analyzing video footage recorded by the bus on which they were traveling and launching searches assisted by police dogs across various locations.

The migrants were abducted by armed criminals while traveling to Matamoros from Monterrey, Nuevo León, on a bus operated by Grupo Senda, a Monterrey-based bus company.

Tamaulipas authorities said Monday that the National Guard had found five Venezuelans including two children who were abducted while traveling on a Senda bus.

Senda bus
The migrants were traveling on a bus operated by the company Senda, on the highway between Reynosa and Matamoros. (Carlos Juárez/X)

However, state security spokesman Jorge Cuéllar Montoya subsequently said the five were not among the 31 kidnapped on Saturday. The abducted migrants were reportedly heading to Matamoros to attend appointments with U.S. immigration authorities.

Migrants are frequently targeted by criminal groups as they travel through Mexico toward the northern border. Many have been forcibly recruited by cartels, while others have been killed.

Migrants traveling in Tamaulipas have recently been victims of extortion. Reuters spoke with a Honduran man who said that he and other migrants were forced off a Senda bus on Dec. 24 and ordered to pay US $175 each.

“Maybe, if we hadn’t paid that money, the same thing could have happened to us,” Carlos Ponce said, referring to the abduction last Saturday.

Mexico News Daily 


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