Mexico: 5 arrested in connection with migrant kidnappings

MEXICO CITY – Federal Police have apprehended five suspects in connection with the abduction of migrants from Central America, Federal Prosecutors said on Jan. 10.

Two men – a Nicaraguan national and a Mexican national – have been taken into custody for allegedly kidnapping 30 off a train in the state of Oaxaca on Dec. 16 of last year. The arrests were made based on information given to authorities by a dozen migrants who eluded capture, the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

Officials initially determined there were no signs of a kidnapping, but Alejandro Solalinde, a Roman Catholic priest, told authorities witnesses had informed him the kidnappers were aligned with the Los Zetas cartel.

The Attorney General’s Office wouldn’t publicly say whether the kidnappers were working for any criminal organization.

In a separate arrest, police apprehended a man and woman in connection with the Dec. 22 abduction of nine migrants in the same state, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Five of the victims fled their alleged captors, and one was killed while trying to escape. The remaining three victims are missing.

The Attorney General’s Office said the couple wanted each migrant to get his or her family to pay a US$500 ransom.

In the third case, police arrested a woman suspected of guarding 13 who had been kidnapped in the nearby state of Veracruz.

The arrests mark a crackdown by law enforcement officials on those who commit crimes against migrants following the August massacre in which 72 were fatally shot in the state of Tamaulipas, a crime officials suspected was perpetrated by Los Zetas.

[El Universal.com (Venezuela), 11/01/2011; Prensa Libre.com (Guatemala), 11/01/2011; The Associated Press (Mexico), 11/01/2011]

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